You will frequently hear the union sniveling, "There's nothing we can do -- it's state law!"
There is not one sylable in California education law that was not put there by the CTA.
Regarding ZZMike's comment concerning Ms. Apperson, SCUSD used "skipping criteria" to pass over teachers at some schools regardless of seniority. This skipping placed Ms. Apperson in the crosshairs of the layoffs. The teachers association in SCUSD, SCTA, has filed a lwasuit to overturn the layoff of Ms. Apperson. That's right, the union is acting to return her to the classroom, not the district, they chose to ley her off.
The whole story was not reported, details were omitted by the original reporter and Mr. Ross, spokesmodel for SCUSD, chose to leave that tidbit of information out.
First, there are many incorrect facts in the article. The writer is spinning the facts in ways not in evidence. The bill was badly written, even after going through the amendment process. It only survived as long as it did because of legislative courtesey, as the author is a member of the majority party in the upper house, thank god for bicameral legislatures.
The most egregious mis-statement of the facts is the make-up of the hearing panel, it is the ALJ, an appointee from the teachers association and an administrative appointee. It is not two members of the teachers association, unless district management chooses that route.
LAUSD dropped the ball on this and other teacher misconduct cases, site and district administration chose to ignore the problem, not because of the difficulty of the process, but because of sheer institutional inertia.
If anyone ever had any doubts about the real interest of public unions, especially teachers unions, this article should resolve them. This is government turned upside down, where government workers rule the people not the reverse.
To reiterate the point I've made elsewhere - what we have here is corruption, pure and simple. But this is what you happens when public unions are allowed to make donations to political candidates. These donations originate as taxpayer dollars so the unions act as a conduit for money to be transferred from the treasury to the Party - the Democratic party - which in return for the money does whatever the union wants.
I recall reading about how the Japanese were able to buy enormous favors in the legislature in Hawaii for ridiculously small donations. Accordingly, how much more are the public unions able to get with the insanely huge donations they are able to do through the use of taxpayers funds? Who would want to live in such a place, where those who work for government determine policy for the people?
As noted in recent articles, money from teachers unions goes not only to political donations made on behalf of teachers but other Democratic causes as well. So, in essence, what we have is that public unions are not merely funding the Democratic Party, they are the party - it is one big happy organization. It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we found that, like in the Democratic media, people who regularly work for the teachers unions also work for the party.
And where are the People with a capital"P" in this arrangement, how do they fit in? After all it is their children who are allegedly supposed to be taught by this monolithic entity. The answer is the People are there to be squeezed, while the unions deliver the least possible for the most possible - or even not possible. Don't for a second think that teachers will be held accountable for anything related to education either - we've seen how the unions respond to efforts to rate teachers. And here the teachers are somewhat right - the biggest factor in education is family, not school. But Democrats are hard at work destroying family in order to increase dependency on government - it is one of many ironies created by the new normal under the Democrats. Someone should ask Mayor Rahm in Chicago how the destruction of the family and increased dependency is working out in his city.
Who would argue that such a system is not corrupt, that allowing government workers to unionize AND make enormous donations to ONE political party make sense, or is good government? And where was the Republican Party when all this was enacted, in fact where ARE the Republicans on this issue? We have yet to hear one word of complaint from Republicans, this recipe for corruption.
Republicans have turned out to be ridiculously easy to fool - on immigration, on spending, on public unions the Democrats have run circles around Republicans.
And when we do get complaints about the system, what we hear from Democrats is blarney about workers "rights", as if there is somehow a "right of public workers to unionize. There is NO right under federal statutory law, the Constitution or anywhere else for public workers to unionize - these entities exist only under state law, which can set the terms and conditions under which they exist. ANY terms and conditions.
In fact, Democrats have set the terms and conditions under which public unions exist, and they are this: the unions donate enormous amounts of money to the Democrats and Democratic causes and be part of the Democratic family of organizations, and in return the Democrats give the unions enormous benefits, essentially whatever they want.
It's a very nice quid pro quo arrangement, under which governments are driven into bankruptcy since the politicians rarely look beyond the next election. And why should they - under the arrangement in my state, for example. local elections are at different times than federal and state-wide elections, which gives more power to government workers since turnout for everyone else is so low.
It is mind boggling that we hear not one word from major media about this corrupt arrangement. No "Frontline" stories, no "60 Minutes" - nothing since it is Democrats who are part of this. Of course, if the donations were going to Republican candidates, we would hear about it endlessly.
And, naturally, the last thing on the minds of those in charge is education - this is all about money. The Democrats will always adhere to the line that teachers are always under paid, that there is never enough money for education, in fact isn't education a great issue on which to squeeze taxpayers? After all there isn't an anti-education lobby out there, and thanks to Democratic media, teachers have achieved virtual sainthood. Who can argue for less money for the people who teach your CHILDREN? Democrats are pros when it comes to making arguments that turn people's best instincts inside out.
In fact, the situation is rapidly going from corruption to repression.
Typical Democrats - as long as they get reelected who cares about the kids ot the taxpayers.
Those two nays must be in very safe districts.
I passed CBEST in 1985 (over 27 years ago). As anyone knows, it took "real" talent in 1985 to take and pass CBEST. The foregoing reasons are still the reasons that competent teachers are Not in the L.A. Unified School District. It's never been about "the best interest of children"--but rather "self-interests. Yes, in the words of the title to the book by U.S. Supreme Court Nominee, Robert Bork, we're "Slouching Toward Gomorrah", where failed competency and moral turpitude receive generational protections--and is the greater of the vulgarity.
Perhaps they might short-circuit the dismissal procedure by reporting all credible instances of abuse to the police. Once a teacher has been charged with such an offence, it is (here in GB and surely also in the USA) normal to suspend him on full pay until a court hearing resolves the matter. That bypasses all possible objections: the teacher gets a fair trial while in the interim children are protected.
We have here the opposite problem, however. There have been cases where a teacher has been cleared in court (his innocence demonstrated, not merely acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence)but still has to face an internal enquiry which usually plays for safety by dismissing him anyway. Kangaroo courts like these are obviously equally undesirable.
Betsy Butler was in a tough re election race and das Williams is an union hack.
Awful crimes occur, and must be carefully prevented however possible. But there are shadings of innocent familiarity in the classroom that arise from precious teacher-child relationships and, sadly, can indeed easily be misinterpreted; that's an unusual but important danger of the profession. If one puts oneself in the position of an innocent teacher who somehow finds himself suspect (I am sure that can happen, especially in such a charged atmosphere as that of today--or in a situation where someone has enemies!) one can see that investigation, accusation, and removal must remain an effective but very cautious process. Children's comments and worries must be taken very seriously, and some degree of intelligent sensitization is valuable and necessary; but warmth between teacher and young child is priceless and not to be precluded or sacrificed except with much caution.
Contrast Mr Berndt's experience (of not getting fired) with that of Michelle Apperson, Sacramento Teacher of the Year, a teacher for nine years. She was laid off.
"The district spokesperson Gabe Ross said who gets notice is not at the school district’s discretion, it’s mandated by state law. He also said that teacher layoffs are based on seniority, not performance."
Sorry, nothing personal, just union rules.