Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
In case you haven’t heard, that was an amazing court ruling in California Tuesday.
A Los Angeles Superior Court issued a ruling in Vergara vs. California in favor of nine students that key state laws governing teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff are unconstitutional.
This time, someone in authority said, “It’s for the children,” and really meant it.
I don’t envy teachers. They have a tough job. I wouldn’t want that job. It’s an important job.
However, teachers are not infallible. They are not perfect. I don’t put them on a pedestal. Unlike far too many, I don’t hold the view that they’re untouchable, immune from any and all criticism. Like any profession, teaching has its bad apples, and unfortunately a lot of them. Thus, kids suffer.
My sympathy and affection lies with those students. I’m comfortable in my belief that’s a better outlook than that of the protectionist public unions.
John Deasy, the superintendent of the Los Angeles public schools testified in court in support of the plaintiffs because he felt the current laws were “too constricting.” He wrote in the LA Times:
Nothing we administrators do in the public schools is more important to the education of a child than ensuring the quality of his or her teacher. When parents entrust their kids to us, they expect that we will do everything in our power to guarantee that those kids have the best educators available — teachers who will help unleash their students' potential and allow them to participate in the American dream.
Unfortunately, as the state's education laws have stood, school administrators across the state haven't had the power to ensure that all classrooms were led by good teachers. Teacher tenure laws have required us to decide whether or not to grant permanent employment to a teacher after just 16 months. That isn't enough time to decide whether a teacher will be effective over the long haul.
Once tenure was granted, dismissing a bad teacher became burdensomely difficult. And in times of budget cutbacks, the law required that the last teachers hired were the first fired, which robbed administrators of the ability to make layoff decisions on the basis of which teachers were most effective.
For Immediate Release:
June 10, 2014
Contact: Maegan Rees
firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 393-0020 x117
Victory for Students in California…and Students Everywhere
California Judge Strikes Down All 5 Challenged Statutes in
Vergara v. California Case
This is a day for the history books. NCTQ thanks and congratulates all involved for the successful outcome of the Vergara case, in which California's tenure, dismissal and layoff policies have been found unconstitutional. The immediate decision will impact 1 out of 8 public school children in the US, but it will certainly resonate well beyond California. This landmark case should put states across the country on notice: Policies that are not in the best interest of students cannot stand. We at NCTQ are so honored and proud to have been able to play a small role in the case.
The case started with the remarkable courage of nine student plaintiffs. And it ends with Judge Treu's unequivocal decision: "The evidence is compelling. Indeed it shocks the conscience."
Indeed. What a victory for the rights of all children to effective teachers.
National Council on Teacher Quality · 1120 G St, NW · Suite 800 · Washington, DC 20005 · USA
Some headline writers are already whining.
Making it easier to fire teachers won't get you better ones...
Chances are, schools can't fire their way to high-quality education
I and a ton of parents will take their chances.