mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Fixing the Schools
Teacher Tenure on Trial

Teachers’ unions consumed with the fight against charter schools now have another challenge to face: defending tenure and firing policies. In California, a group of students has brought a lawsuit against the state, arguing that rules that inhibit the dismissal of bad teachers are undermining their right to a quality education. A decision is expected in early July. If the judge rules in favor of the students, California could become the fourth state to eliminate these rules. Other states may then follow suit.

The second challenge is coming from the other side, with school boards in North Carolina suing the state to have the tenure provisions reinstated. After Republicans took over the state legislature, the state passed a bill that would eliminate tenure for all teachers by 2018. A judge is now debating whether the school boards have standing to sue. If he rules that they do, then the stage will be set for a higher profile court battle later this year.

Tenure is an issue that is likely to gain ground, whether or not California’s policies are struck down. For now, keep an eye on these two cases.

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