On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said that the laws governing K-12 teacher job security were unconstitutional.
Treu declared the rules governing K-12 teacher tenure in California were unconstitutional because they affect predominately minority and poor students, allowing incompetent instructors to remain in the classroom. He said in the decision
that the protections "impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education." He went on to say that the evidence for this "shocks the conscience."
The decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And, lastly, it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching.
The case was brought by a Silicon Valley group, Students Matter.
The suit has highlighted competing views of teacher tenure.
The decision has lead to significant
and spirited debate
over K-12 teacher job protections.
posted by professor plum with a rope
on Jun 11, 2014 -
”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’”
Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor
posted by koeselitz
on Jun 6, 2014 -
"nine public school students are challenging California’s ironclad tenure system, arguing that their right to a good education is violated by job protections that make it too difficult to fire bad instructors." (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang
on Feb 1, 2014 -
I had my students fill out mid-semester evaluations last fall. No big deal, just answer these four questions: 1) What am I doing to help you learn? 2) What could I be doing better to help you learn? 3) What are you doing to help yourself learn? and 4) What could you be doing better to help yourself learn? I had them turn the evaluations in anonymously to allow more genuine feedback. Later that afternoon, I started going through the responses. It was encouraging to see that, in general, responses to the first two questions indicated I was getting better, which was gratifying given the amount of time and energy I spent re-developing the class. For the most part, students were surprisingly honest when responding to questions 3 and 4, showing they understood their responsibility in their progress, or lack thereof. Somewhere towards the end of the ~160 evaluations, I came across one that answered question #2 with: “Teach naked.” [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Sep 4, 2013 -
I fantasize about academic sharecroppers organizing with contingent workers across industries, a category (taxi drivers, seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism, truckers, office temps, construction temps...) that has exploded over the last twenty years. Together their power would overturn cities. But for that to happen, academic sharecroppers will have to tear their allegiance from the people who love what they love, that is, they will need to understand that my job is funded by their oppression, that there are more of them than there are of me, that they are the shaky foundation on which people like me totteringly stand. There are more and more of them and fewer and fewer of me. Adjuncts as sharecroppers.
There's a reason it's #14. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Jul 26, 2012 -
What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives—its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security—in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise. Graduate school as suicide mission,
in the Nation.
posted by gerryblog
on May 8, 2011 -
In over 35 years of friendship and conversation, Walter Michaels and I have disagreed on only two things, and one of them was faculty and graduate student unionization. He has always been for and I had always been against. I say “had” because I recently flipped and what flipped me, pure and simple, was Wisconsin.
When I think about the reasons (too honorific a word) for my previous posture I become embarrassed. ... The big reason was the feeling — hardly thought through sufficiently to be called a conviction — that someone with an advanced degree and scholarly publications should not be in the same category as factory workers with lunch boxes and hard hats. Wisconsin has taught Stanley Fish that academics are workers too.
Marc Bousquet (author of How the University Works
) responds at the Chronicle of Higher Education
with five lessons for academics from Wisconsin.
posted by gerryblog
on Mar 23, 2011 -
Mark C. Taylor
, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia, offers a radical proposal in The New York Times
for the restructuring of the American university system. Two key components of the proposal entail ending tenure and shuttering academic departments—replacing disciplines with problems, and then tackling them with a cooperative and multidisciplinary approach, e.g. The Department of the Future of Water made up of geologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and ethicists. Should we End the University as We Know It
posted by Toekneesan
on Apr 27, 2009 -
Ward Churchill reinstated
. A jury has found that The University of Colorado wrongfully dismissed the controversial professor, author, and activist. After a day and a half of deliberation, they cited the tenured professor's infamous post-9/11 essay
, wherein he compared technocrats who died in the World Trade Center to "little Eichmanns," as the "substantial or motivating" factor in the University's decision to fire him and awarded him $1.
posted by inoculatedcities
on Apr 4, 2009 -