Blue-on-Blue: Former Obama Staffers vs. Teachers Unions
We’ve never waffled on our disgust for unionized teachers. They are not very bright, they’re not good at their jobs, they’re bloodsucking leeches who will destroy the financial base of every major city in the nation. They’re greedy and they don’t give a damn about the kids they’re supposed to teach. We could go on for another couple of thousand words, but you get the idea.
Some of you are no doubt saying, “But I know teachers who are great teachers and they have to belong to the union. You’re not being fair.”
Yeah, well we’re sure that there are some really nice hookers and meth dealers out there too. They’re just trapped in their darn jobs. And yes, I’m comparing unionized teachers to hookers and meth dealers. With apologies to hookers and meth dealers. They work really hard for their money, teachers have a cushy part time job and get paid a bundle, can’t be fired, and have retirement plans that most of us would love to have, except we have morals and ethics.
OK, that’s out of the way.
A few weeks ago there was an earth shattering court decision in, of all places, California. The legal reference for the decision is Vergara v. California. The bottom line is that a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge found that California law governing the hiring and firing of teachers is unconstitutional. That includes and especially targets, tenure. In California a teacher can receive tenure, and be exempt from ever being fired, in just 18 months.
Here’s what the good judge’s opinion found:
…the statutes permit too many grossly incompetent teachers to remain in classrooms across the state — and found that those teachers shortchange their students by putting them months or years behind their peers in math and reading.
He ruled that such a system violates the state constitution’s guarantee that all children receive “basic equality of educational opportunity.”
This decision would be fun if it only hit California schools. The impact of the decision is simple: there is no more tenure in California.
You may think that we’re exaggerating when we say that after 18 months teachers can’t be fired. For anything. As it happens, there are 275,000 teachers in the Pyrite State. An average of 2.2 teachers are fired every year. So once in a while a teacher takes a dump on Principal’s desk, videos it and posts it on Facebook, including having sex with the Principal and five kindergarteners.
A teacher doing that might get fired. After five years of litigation and at a cost to the school district of several million dollars. Like I said…
The really fun part of this decision is that almost every state has laws that mirror California’s and the lawsuits are getting rolling. But even that isn’t the very best part.
The best, very, very best part is that the most outspoken supporters of the decision aren’t fire breathing dragons like your Curmudgeon, they are people who until very recently were part of – or in one case is still part of – the Obama administration. Died in the wool, hard core, Democrats. We’re talking Democrats who long ago sold their souls to the unions, NEA first amongst them.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supported the recent Vergara v. Californiadecision. The case struck down California’s tenure system, stating that students were denied their constitutional right to pursue a quality education.
Duncan commented on the case in his blog, “Awarding tenure to someone without a track record of improving student achievement doesn’t respect the craft of teaching, and it doesn’t serve children well.”
Arne Duncan, the current SoE, Obama appointee, was Supt of Schools in Chicago before he moved to Washington and left a marvelous legacy of kids in Chicago with high school diplomas who read at 6th grade levels. Arne Duncan, a guy owned by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Next we have California Congressman George Miller, a guy who was always searching for a way to jog to the left on any issue.
California Democratic Rep. George Miller wrote regarding the Vergara decision that, “School districts nationwide have policies in place that mirror those challenged in Vergara—policies that constrain the ability of schools to put the very best teachers in front the children that need them most. This is simply indefensible.”
Then there’s Campbell Brown, former CNN anchor, who has started a campaign to rid New York State of tenure. Brown is working with a PR firm founded by Robert Gibbs, a former Obama Press Secretary, and a Republican led law firm working for free to file suit in New York modeled after Vergara.
The best summary of the situation facing parents who care about the quality of education their children receive came from the mom of a seven year old in Los Angeles.
Whenever there are teachers unions, it always comes off like the unions serve themselves — like it’s not about the education of the children.
Could it be that even high profile Democrats are starting to realize that parents care more about their kids than politicians or, and especially, unionized teachers?
We can only hope.