Opinion: Making It Easier to Fire Teachers Won’t Fix American Education
In the next three months, an appeals court will rule in the landmark Vergara vs. California case, which could upend many union job protections for public schoolteachers in the state. If the appellate justices agree with L.A. County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, teachers will no longer get tenure after only two years in the classroom, and they will no longer be laid off on the basis of “last in, first out,” the so-called LIFO rule that forces out new teachers regardless of how well they are doing their jobs. In 2014 Treu ruled that these and other employment practices endanger students’ constitutional right to an education.
Vergara will set California law, but it is also a national test case for what has become a central strategy for improving teacher quality in America: Sending ineffective educators packing.