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Trending: Students Want Bad Teachers Out, File Lawsuit Against Tenure

Students in California are challenging tenure for teachers in a lawsuit that could have far-reaching implications.

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Los Angeles, California – Should teachers who do a poor job be protected from losing their jobs?

Nine students in California don't think so. Fed up with the education system, the students have sued and are challenging tenure requirements.

"If no one is going to stand up and change the system for us, then we have to stand up and change it ourselves," high school senior Brandon Debose, Jr., said in a report by KABC.

The lawsuit charges that the students' education was compromised by lousy teachers: "Instead of learning our subject, we sat in class coloring and watching YouTube videos," plaintiff Kate Elliottt said in the KABC report.

The students are challenging California's policy of giving teachers tenure after 18 months and the state's practice of letting the most recently hired teachers go first when layoffs occur, the New York Times reported.

Teachers' unions argue that tenure protects teachers from being fired unfairly and is an earned benefit that helps schools recruit and keep the best possible people to be teachers, the New York Times reported.

Read the full story on the New York Times website.
Mike GH T. March 31, 2014 at 10:47 PM
Kudos for those kids for standing up and doing something, at least they're doing something instead of lamenting the situation on Patch comment sections. There's no easy solution and a balance has to be struck between performance appraisals, the joy of teaching and learning. Get rid of all the teachers and who's going to teach young minds? Parents? Some don't even teach their children good manners or values. We need to value teachers, show some respect and involve them in the decision making process instead of legislating their profession to no end. This needs to be a constructive discourse about everyone doing our part and taking personal responsibility. Superintendents need to ensure their principals gain management and leadership skills to manage expectations and set the vision for their teachers, AND document meticulously all the while giving constructive feedback to those lousy teachers. Unions need to stop sheltering mediocrity and own up to a higher standard. Parents need to teach values at home, not at school.
TONY NAPIER April 01, 2014 at 04:13 PM
AFTER A TEACHER GETS TENURE IN NJ HE OR SHE IS STILL EVALUATED BY THE PRINCIPAL EACH YEAR AFTER. IF HE GETS A POOR EVALUATION HE IS NOT PUT ON THE NEXT STEP OF THE TEACHERS SALARY GUIDE AND DOES NOT GET THE RAISE THAT GOES WITH IT. IN 28 YEARS OF TEACHING IN NJ I CANNOT RECALL A BAD TEACHER. TO THE PERSON WHO TALKED ABOUT THE HIGH SALARIES FOR EDUCATORS AND THE HIGH TAXES IN NJ IT IS WELL WORTH IT FOR THEIR CHILDREN. I RAISED FIVE CHILDREN IN NJ AND I AM STILL HIGH TAXES SO THAT OTHERS GET A GREAT EDUCATION. WHEN YOU OLD AND WANT TO MOVE TO FLORIDA YOU WILL GET A GREAT PRICE FOR YOUR HOME.
Maria Houser Conzemius April 01, 2014 at 04:18 PM
My daughter had at least several bad teachers in high school and at the University of Iowa. I had bad teachers in elementary school, junior high, high school, and even a couple of bad teachers at my Ivy League alma mater, the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. Two creative writing teachers were really sexist and overtly preferred male students (back in 1971-72). Teachers should be evaluated by students on their ability to teach, not on their ability to publish or based on the opinion of an administrator, who is usually not competent to judge. It's not a new idea. I believe the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other foundations believe that students give good input on a teacher's ability to teach, and certainly cruel, indifferent, careless teachers would be given the heave-ho. In my neighborhood I saw first-graders cry on their way to school because their teacher was so mean. The woman died of cancer and had a prairie plot dedicated to her, but that didn't mean she didn't frighten and intimidate her students.
Semmas April 01, 2014 at 04:47 PM
What the kids in college now do is go to "www.ratemyprofessor.com" to see what the other kids have rated the professor. And believe it or not, they pick and choose their schedule & classes based on the ratings of the professor teaching it. This website is real and it's accurate. Perhaps the faculty at these expensive colleges should take a look and see how their staff is rated. The sad truth, however, is that these professors at these big schools are more concerned about "bringing in money to the school" and "writing papers" than they are about teaching the kids. There are exceptions to every rule, however, and there are some good professors out there. I know this has nothing to do with "public schools" but I just thought i'd put it out there.

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