The Blog

Romero and DFER Target Teachers... Again

Ignoring the myriad challenges confronting California public schools, including budget cuts of more than $20 billion over the last few years, massive layoffs, and skyrocketing class sizes, Orange County Register columnist and self-professed school reformer Gloria Romero is once again taking aim at what she claims are the biggest problems facing our schools: teachers who should be fired and the California Teachers Association.

Last month Romero wrote a column erroneously accusing CTA of coming late to the party in supporting a teacher dismissal bill, AB 375. This week she resurrected her concerns about that bill. Apparently, she doesn’t like it simply because we do, or because in her view it doesn’t go far enough.

While current law removes anyone who is a potential threat to children from the classroom immediately, AB 375 streamlines the dismissal process for teachers accused of immoral conduct and gives school districts more flexibility in both timeline issues and the type of evidence allowed. It’s a strong bill that fixes some problems width the current system.

What Romero objects to is that AB 375 includes an adequate appeal process for a teacher unfairly or wrongly accused. She would prefer a system where the employee has little recourse when an employer moves to dismiss them for the wrong reasons.

The simplistic types of reforms Romero supports, including her own sloppily written “parent trigger” law, were roundly denounced by the California Democratic Party earlier this year, which objected to her using the name “Democrats” in her Democrats for Education Reform, a front group for corporations and others that would like to privatize public education.

The focus on teacher dismissal is a reaction to the LAUSD’s botched administrative handling of Miramonte Elementary and other abuse cases. It’s a focus on the wrong issue. California teachers do an excellent job in the face of sometimes daunting obstacles, despite California’s being near or at the bottom in education investment by nearly every measure. If Romero really wants to be a reformer, she’ll work width us on removing or mitigating those obstacles, instead of thinking she’ll fix our schools by taking away basic rights from all teachers.

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