Student Julia Macias, right at lectern, a plaintiff and Los Angeles Unified School District Middle School, comments on the Vergara v. California lawsuit verdict in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Others from left, parents, Joe Macias, with wife, Evelyn, and their daughter Lucy, Russlyn Ali, Former Assistant Secretary of U.S. Education Department Office for Civil Rights, and Students Matter Board member, with Founder David Welch. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Could Tenure Challenge Come to New York's Teachers?
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A California judge has ruled tenure for public school teachers there are unconstitutional. In New York, some are wondering if such a challenge will come here.
"It's clearly an attack on unions by people who have never taught a day in their lives," says Karl Korn of New York State United Teachers. "From the beginning, this case brought by millionaires and their PR firms, has been all about attacking unions and denying hard working professionals a voice on the job, and fairness and objectivity in performance reviews."
Korn notes tenure law in New York is different from California. "New York teachers remain on probation for three years, not two like in California, without job protections. Tenure simply means if a teacher is charged with incompetence or wrongdoing, they're entitled to a fair hearing before a third party arbitrator before they can be disciplined or fired," explains Korn who says tenure is one of the most misunderstood provisions in education law.
Korn says tenure allows teachers to speak out. "Whether it's the impact of large class sizes, budget cuts or the overuse of standardized testing, what teacher would speak out if they could be fired on the whim of an administrator or school board member?," ponders Korn.
If a challenge were to happen in New York, Korn says "we'll cross that bridge when we'll get to it." He predicts the California ruling will be overturned on appeal.