Contacts: For CFT: Fred Glass, (510) 579-3343
For CTA: Frank Wells, (562) 708-5425
Jennifer Bezoza or Candice Francis, (415) 543-9697, ext. 232
Civil Rights Groups, Researchers, Legal Scholars, and Top Educators
Urge Reversal of Deeply Flawed Vergara Ruling
More than ninety top national education researchers and scholars, including Diane Ravitch, Richard Ingersoll and Eva Baked, took the decision to task for failing to establish any causal link between the challenged statutes and any alleged problems the suit purports to address. These experts argued that current laws play a key role in the recruitment and retention of quality teachers, in a job market where teaching is unfortunately often becoming less and less attractive as a career option for university students. The researchers were also highly critical of the plaintiffs’ proposal to rely on standardized test scores and the “value-added method (VAM)” of interpreting those scores as the major criteria for teacher layoffs due to budget cuts. “VAM scores have been shown to be unstable and to fluctuate dramatically from year to year, so that a teacher could appear very ineffective one year and then very effective the next,” they wrote. “The trial court ultimately failed to consider the possibility that relying solely on VAMs as a way to administer reductions-in-force could drive teachers away from the profession and exacerbate the teacher shortage.”
The California Federation of Teachers is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents more than 100,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.