The lack of effective teachers in impoverished schools contributes to [the achievement] gap, but tenure isn’t the cause.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, tested for the defense in the Vergara trial.

In this article in the New York Times, Rothstein contends that the elimination of tenure–the goal of the multi-millionaire (or billionaire) behind the lawsuit–might make it more difficult to recruit teachers for schools that enroll poor and minority children.

Judge Rof Treu compared his ruling to earlier cases about desegregation and funding, trying to portray himself as a champion of “civil rights.” But, Rothstein writes:

“…there is a difference between recognizing students’ rights to integrated, adequately funded schools and Judge Treu’s conclusion that teacher employment protections are unconstitutional.

“The issue is balance. Few would suggest that too much integration or too much funding hurts disadvantaged students. By contrast, decisions about firing teachers are inherently about trade-offs: It is important to dismiss ineffective teachers, but also to attract and retain effective…

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