‘Landmark’ Case: Tenure Also Protects Good Teachers (letters)
You are right to criticize California teacher tenure and dismissal laws for making it hard to get rid of rotten teachers in places like Los Angeles. But the state court ruling voiding those laws does nothing about federal disparate-impact regulations, which also make it hard to fire bad teachers. Judges recently cited disparate impact in voiding New York City's requirement that teachers pass a basic general-knowledge test, since more blacks failed the test than whites. Los Angeles schools avidly enforce disparate-impact rules at education's expense. For example, principals are pressured not to discipline a higher percentage of black students than white students, even though a 2014 study in the Journal of Criminal Justice found that more blacks than whites misbehave, and even though Education Department disparate-impact rules are likely invalid under the Supreme Court's Alexander v. Sandoval decision (2001).
Indeed, a court declared unconstitutional a rule forbidding a school "to refer a higher percentage of minority students than of white students for discipline" in People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education (1997).