Students Matter, which is challenging tenure and other teacher protection laws in Vergara v. California, filed a second school lawsuit Thursday. It is suing 13 school districts that it claims are violating the state law requiring student scores on state standardized tests be a component of a teacher’s evaluation.
The lawsuit, filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, says that the districts illegally agreed in contracts negotiated with teachers to exclude test scores. Students Matters is asking the court to order the districts to follow the Stull Act, as the 1971 law is known.
Students Matter is a nonprofit created and funded by David Welch, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. In a decision last year, it won the first round in Vergara, when a state Superior Court judge ruled that five state laws establishing teacher layoffs by seniority, a two-year probationary period leading to tenure and procedures for dismissing teachers violated students’ constitutional rights. The case is on appeal.
Attorneys for Students Matter say that Doe v. Antioch, their new case, is the logical next step. “In Vergara v. California, we proved that teacher quality is the most important in-school factor affecting student success,” Theodore Boutrous said in a press release. “Meaningful and reliable teacher evaluations are crucial to determining whether students are being taught by effective teachers.”
The 13 districts serve approximately 250,000 students. Along with Antioch Unified, they are Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Chino Valley Unified, El Monte City School District, Fairfield-Suisun Unified, Fremont Union High School District, Inglewood Unified, Ontario-Montclair School District, Pittsburg Unified Saddleback Valley Unified, San Ramon Valley Unified, Upland Unified School District, and Victor Elementary School District.
Read more by clicking here.