The Blog

Vergara Verdict Flawed, Like Lawsuit Itself

Like the Vergara lawsuit itself, today’s ruling is deeply flawed. CTA, CFT and the state of California will appeal. We will appeal on behalf of students and educators. Circumventing the legislative process to strip teachers of their professional rights hurts our students and our schools. 

During the nearly two-month trial, numerous defense witnesses, including superintendents, principals, teachers, and nationally-recognized education policy experts testified that these laws work well and benefit students in well-run school districts all over the state. The plaintiffs put on administrators from poorly-managed school districts like Oakland, who attempted to blame the challenged statutes for their district’s problems, rather than poor management and an incredibly high teacher and administrator turnover rates.

The plaintiffs’ first witness, LAUSD superintendent John Deasy did not help their case and demonstrated these laws are not a problem. During testimony he conceded that under his watch he had been able to tighten up the district’s personnel practices within the challenged statutes, with teacher dismissals increasing tenfold and only about half of new teachers making it through the probationary period

Four of the nine student plaintiffs recruited by Students Matter didn’t even testify. Those who did named respected teachers with excellent evaluations, including the 2013-14 Pasadena Unified Teacher of the Year, as examples of so-called bad teachers and reasons to strike down these laws. The plaintiffs in this case failed to produce a single example of a student harmed or likely to be harmed by any of these laws. Some of the student plaintiffs didn’t even attend schools governed by the challenged statutes.

This lawsuit has nothing to do with what’s best for kids, but was manufactured by a Silicon Valley millionaire and a corporate PR firm to undermine the teaching profession and push their agenda on our schools. Today’s ruling would make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms and ignores all research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching. Watch this space for more information on the appeal process.

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