Attorneys for a group seeking to eliminate tenure protection for California teachers argued last week that such iron-clad job security makes it almost impossible to fire an incompetent instructor.
Attorneys for the teachers and the state responded that the real problem lies not with bad teachers but with unqualified school administrators.
The conflicting opinions were expressed during nearly five hours of closing arguments in the trial of a lawsuit asking that the courts strike down as unconstitutional several laws providing teachers with tenure, seniority-based job protection and other benefits.
Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, who is hearing the case, Vergara v. California, without a jury, indicated it could be several weeks before he issues a ruling.
A version of this article appeared in the April 02, 2014 edition of Education Week as Closing Arguments Heard In Calif. Teacher-Tenure Case