Edvoice - Issues

Why Are Teachers Unions So Opposed to Change

July 20 | The Wall Street Journal

(Wall Street Journal subscription required to view full article) 

By Antonio Villaraigosa

At a time when only one in 10 low-income children is earning a four-year college degree and two out of three jobs of the future will require one, change is needed. At a time when more than half of young people attending community college need to retake high-school classes because the education they received was not rigorous enough, change is needed. At a time when American 15-year-olds trail their counterparts in 30 countries in math, 23 in science and 20 in reading, change is needed.

Research Finds Charter Schools Nationwide More Cost-Effective, Produce Greater ROI

July 22 | University of Arkansas Newswire

A first-ever report released July 22 by the University of Arkansas, which ties charter school funding to achievement, finds that public charter schools are more productive than traditional public schools in all 28 states included in analyses of cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

Proposed changes to LCAP renew debate

July 6 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

In response to hundreds of public comments, the state board will consider explicitly requiring districts to consult with students as they write their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which lay out budget and student achievement priorities. The plans are a critical component of the community and parent participation that the state’s new school funding system mandates. The board will also review a redesign of the LCAP template and may add a requirement that makes it clear that extra money for “high-needs” students must be used “principally” to benefit them. Civil rights groups lobbied heavily for the new wording.

Poll finds Common Core opposition rising

June 26 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

The poll indicated that some of the doubts and skepticism about the Common Core State Standards that have gained sway in other states are taking hold in California, too. As opposed to many states, in California the new standards in English language arts and math have the full support of the majority of the Legislature, the governor, the State Board of Education and organizations representing teachers unions, school boards and the state PTA.

But of the voters surveyed, the more they hear about Common Core, apparently the less they like it. Of the roughly three-quarters of voters who said they knew something about the standards, more had a “negative impression” (44 percent) than a “positive impression” (38 percent). Parents with kids in schools, who made up about 30 percent of those surveyed, had identical views.

New California law lets schools fire teachers for 'egregious misconduct'

June 25 | Reuters

California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a law adding "egregious misconduct" to the list of fireable offenses for public school teachers, weeks after a judge said it was too hard to fire incompetent teachers in the most populous U.S. state.

Gov. Brown signs bill to streamline teacher firings

June 25 | The Press Democrat

By Fenit Nirappil

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday making it easier for school districts to fire abusive teachers, capping an effort that gained momentum after a particularly egregious case of misconduct in Los Angeles highlighted how difficult it can be to remove problem teachers.

AB215 takes effect Jan. 1 after several failed attempts in recent years to overhaul statutes governing teacher dismissals.

Bill simplifying teacher firings now law

June 26 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

Gov. Jerry Brown ended three years of high-decibel battles in the Legislature on Wednesday by signing a bill he helped shape that should make it quicker and easier to fire teachers accused of the most abhorrent forms of misconduct. 

Bill to streamline some teacher dismissals clears Legislature

June 13 |

By Melanie Mason

The California Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a measure backed by often-warring factions of education policy that would make it easier to fire teachers charged with grave misconduct such as sexual abuse.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), the bill's author, said the current appeal process for dismissals "takes too long and costs too much money, diverting valuable resources from the classrooms."

California judge declares teacher employment rules unconstitutional

June 10 | Sacramento Bee

By Jeremy White

In a decision that could reverberate through the nation's largest network of public schools, a Los Angeles judge has declared some key California teacher employment rules unconstitutional.

Senate OKs bill easing firings for teacher abuse

June 9 | Sacramento Bee

Associated Press

Senators unanimously passed AB215 on a 33-0 vote. The bill by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, creates a separate hearing process for teachers who are charged with egregious misconduct.