In the News Archive: March 2014


Students' interests at center of trial over teacher protection laws
Los Angeles Times | March 27, 2014
A groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California concluded Thursday with both sides asserting that the interests of students are at stake.

Attorneys give final arguments in Vergara suit challenging laws for teacher hiring, firing
EdSource | March 27, 2014
The future of tenure and other laws governing how teachers are hired and fired in California is now in the hands of Judge Rolf Treu.

Vergara trial ends, with CA teacher laws hanging in the balance
L.A. School Report | March 27, 2014
Lawyers from both sides in Vergara v California — the state’s most significant teacher rights case in two decades — unleashed their final arguments today, in a last attempt to amplify their own case and destroy their opponent’s. 

Landmark teacher tenure trial concludes
Annenberg Television News | March 27, 2014
A landmark education trial, Vergara v. California, concluded in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday, as lawyers on both sides made the case for why teacher tenure and employment protection laws should either be kept or discarded. 

California case challenges teacher job protection laws
Reuters | March 27, 2014
Incompetent teachers in California are holding back poor and minority children, an attorney for several students said on Thursday in closing arguments for a closely watched trial that could change the way public school teachers are hired and fired in the most populous U.S. State.

Closing arguments conclude in landmark teacher tenure trial
CBS Los Angeles | March 27, 2014
Attorneys in a widely-watched trial calling into question tenure and other employment protections granted to teachers statewide presented their closing arguments Thursday. 

Viewpoints: It’s time to bring public school sports off the bench
Sacramento Bee | March 23, 2014
Pitching, hitting and fielding have become a central theme in my house. Not because it’sspring training; it’s that my daughter’s high school fast pitch softball season is starting. 
A new learning curve 
Chico News & Review | March 20, 2014
The room is dark and silent. Inside, a young computer scientist with a shaved head and intense blue eyes sits alone at a desk facing a pane of sound-absorbent foam. Above him a video camera points straight down at a high-tech tablet; his right hand is poised to scribble out code on its screen. Taped to the camera’s microphone is a yellow Post-it with one word scrawled on it—“ENERGY”—a curious message to the professor in his own handwriting. 

Dance of the lemons 
The Economist | March 15 , 2014
Josh, a young social-studies teacher working in a tough part of Los Angeles, had been on the job for less than a year when word came that it might not last much longer. Its public finances in ruins, California was slashing budgets and laying off thousands of teachers. Josh’s headmaster fought to keep him, but his hands were tied; under the state’s strict “last in, first out” seniority rules, enshrined in statute, the most recent recruits had to be fired first, regardless of ability.

California schools issue few pink slips
San Jose Mercury News | March 14, 2014
For several years, March 15 has been a day of dread for new teachers. It's the deadline for being notified that schools might let them go in June due to anticipated budget shortfalls.

Teacher Tenure Tested in California 
Public News Service | March 12, 2014
The defense is calling witnesses in a lawsuit that's putting California teacher employment laws to the test. 

Vergara Witness Says San Diego District, Teachers Worked Together 
L.A. School Report | March 10, 2014
A member of the San Diego Unified School District board testified today in the Vergara v California trial that the district increased student achievement scores while managing deep budgetary cutbacks.

Teacher in Vergara Trial Blames student for Performing Poorly 
L.A. School Report | March 7, 2014
For the second time this week, the defense in Vergara vs. California today turned to a teacher characterized as “ineffective” by a plaintiff in the case to show a starkly different picture. 


Vergara case inside court, dueling press conferences outside
L.A. School Report | March 27, 2014
As lawyers in the Vergara v. California case made their closing arguments inside the court room for the benefit of an audience of one – Judge Rolf Treu – their dueling press conferences held outside were directed at a statewide audience, to be broadcast by a number of television cameras.

Vergara v. California trial ends... for now
Annenberg Radio News | March 27, 2014
The Vergara v. California trial will decide if two years is long enough to determine if a teacher is successful or not and deserves tenure. Lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments on Thursday. The plaintiffs argue two years is too short and pushes ineffective teachers on schools made up of mostly poor and minority students. Teachers unions say the laws are critical for the teaching profession.

Closing arguments heard in suit over teacher tenure | March 27, 2014
Loss of the state's teacher tenure laws would be bad for students and teachers alike, an attorney for teachers told a judge Thursday.

Attorneys argue value of California teacher tenure laws
L.A. Daily News | March 27, 2014
Attorneys for a group seeking to eliminate tenure protection for California teachers argued Thursday that such iron-clad job security makes it almost impossible to fire an incompetent instructor.

How ‘education reform’ perpetuates racial disparity
Press TV | March 27, 2014
America was shocked, shocked, by new data from the U.S. Department of Education last week showing that a child’s education destiny in the nation’s public schools is strongly determined by race.

Supervisors call for restoration of CCSF board of trustees
San Francisco Examiner | March 25, 2014
San Francisco city leaders united Tuesday to call for the re-empowerment of the elected board of trustees overseeing City College of San Francisco.

CCSF Chancellor Wants Independent Review Of Clash Between Protesters, Police
CBS Bay Area | March 20, 2014
City College of San Francisco Chancellor Art Tyler plans to propose initiatives to promote respectful dialogue on campus and calling for an independent review of campus police officers’ response to student and faculty protests last week that turned violent, officials said Wednesday.

More than just teachers affect learning, Vergara expert says 
LA School Report | March 19, 2014
An expert on the role that teachers play in academic performance today became the latest defense witness in Vergara v California to testify that students in high-poverty area schools face higher challenges to learning.

University of California regents debate lifting tuition freeze
Sacramento Bee | March 19, 2014
Facing a budget shortfall of more than a hundred million dollars, the University of California Board of Regents expressed doubts at its bimonthly meeting Wednesday that it could sustain the current tuition freeze for students.

Democracy For None
San Francisco Bay Guardian | March 18, 2014
Democracy is dead at City College of San Francisco. At least, that's what student protesters allege.

CCSF assesses fallout from protest that resulted in arrests 
San Francisco Examiner | March 18, 2014
Hundreds of aggressive student protesters -- and warnings that they intended to take over the administration building -- prompted City College of San Francisco's leaders to lock down the school's Conlan Hall last week, resulting in two arrests and multiple injuries, according to officials.

Vergara witness says streets more than teachers shape academics
LA School Report | March 18, 2014
An expert in educational psychology testified today that violence in the neighborhood, family income, food insecurity and other out-of-school factors are three times more likely to impact a student’s classroom performance than the effectiveness of the teacher.

California can be national leader in reforming testing and school accountability 
EdSource | March 18, 2014
Beginning next week, California students will begin taking field tests of the new Smarter Balanced assessments, replacing the mostly multiple choice standardized tests that have been administered in schools for the past 15 years.

Vergara v. California: The most dangerous lawsuit you probably haven't heard of
Daily Kos | March 16, 2014
Ask yourself one question: what's the biggest challenge preventing children from economically disadvantaged, minority neighborhoods from receiving a quality public education?

Are schools ready for the new online Common Core tests? 
EdSource | March 16, 2014
California is just weeks away from learning whether its test of the test will pass or fail.

City College should be handed back to trustees, supes say | March 14, 2014
Cheering City College of San Francisco supporters crowded onto the grand staircase at City Hall Friday afternoon, maneuvering around beaming brides in white dresses to mug for photos with Supervisor David Campos.

Violent Protest at City College of San Francisco | March 14, 2014
City College of San Francisco students stormed an administrative building at the Ocean Avenue campus Thursday afternoon and clashed violently with campus police, leading to two arrests.

Supervisors Committee to Vote on Resolution Seeking to Reinstate CCSF Trustees 
San Francisco Examiner | March 14, 2014 
Lawmakers today will continue a push to reinstate the elected board of trustees that had overseen the beleaguered City College of San Francisco until being stripped of power last year.

An Update on the Billionaire Lawsuit to Destroy Teachers Unions 
San Diego Free Press | March 13 , 2014
Regular readers here will remember that I wrote a while back about the Vergara v. California trial, which is essentially an attempt by the billionaire education “reform” crowd to achieve through a ridiculous lawsuit what they have not been able to accomplish by convincing voters. The gist of the suit is that union provisions to protect teachers hurt students, thereby harming their civil rights.

Gov. Jerry Brown appoints three California State University trustees 
L.A. Daily News | March 13, 2014 
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday appointed two Democrats and a Republican to the California State University Board of Trustees, which oversees the 23-campus system.

Francisco Rodriguez will be Los Angeles Community College District’s new chancellor 
L.A. Daily News | March 13 
A new chancellor has been named to help turn around the Los Angeles Community College District, which has struggled to overcome budget cuts, threats to campus accreditation and poor graduation rates.

How billionaire-funded ‘ed reform’ groups push charters, vouchers 
Washington Post | March 11, 2014
How powerful are organizations such as Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and other like-minded groups that support charter schools, voucher programs and the weakening of teachers unions.

Teachers union cites Common Core in decision to cut Gates funding 
Washington Post | March 11, 2014
The American Federation of Teachers, which has won millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer accept foundation money for its Innovation Fund. Union members have expressed concern about the poor implementation in many states of the Common Core State Standards, one of the initiatives in which the fund invests.

CCSF accreditor appeals judge’s ruling to suspend accreditation loss 
San Francisco Examiner | March 9, 2014
The agency that stripped the accreditation of City College of San Francisco has filed an appeal of a judge’s ruling to temporarily block the decision.


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