Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Will California Ruling on Teacher Tenure Help Latino Students?

A California judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary decision finding that the state’s teacher tenure laws disproportionately hurt disadvantaged and minority students.

Los Angeles Judge Rolf M. Treu went as far as to write that the situation “shocks the conscience” and violated students’ civil rights. The lawsuit alleged that tenure and layoff policies hurt students by making it harder to get rid of bad teachers.

The Vergara v. California case was brought by the group Students Matter, founded and bankrolled by technology entrepreneur David Welch.

In an opinion piece for the San Jose Mercury News, Welch wrote about the importance of the decision.

“No school should have bad teachers, but it is unconscionable that our schools with the largest African American and Latino populations have a disproportionate share of them,” he wrote.

While U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy cheered the decision, teachers unions are expected to vigorously challenge it.