California’s teachers’ unions have filed their opening brief in their appeal of the ruling in Vergara v. California, launching the next salvo in the ongoing battle over teacher quality in the state.
A judge last fall overturned sections of state law dealing with teacher tenure, due process, and layoffs. He said those provisions infringed on poor and minority students’ state constitutional right to an equitable education. The action was then put on hold pending an appeal.
In their filing, the unions argue that the judge’s 16-page decision was “perfunctory,” and that the plaintiffs didn’t show the statutes in question cause direct harm to students. Most of the evidence brought by the plaintiffs was anecdotal, the unions argue, and the laws don’t set out to discriminate against any particular class of students, since they apply uniformly to all.
A version of this article appeared in the May 20, 2015 edition of Education Week as California Unions Appeal Teacher-Quality Ruling