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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Arthur Goldstein on Campbell Brown's Law (about Tenure)

Arthur Goldstein,Diane Ravitch, Gary Rubenstein

The Best Article ever, Explaining Campbell Brown's Law
We all know, or should know, about Campbell’s Law. That is a social science axiom that says:
“The more any quantitative social indicator (or even some qualitative indicator) is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”
The short translation: the more you measure people and tie high-stakes to the measurement, the more likely they are to make the measurement the point of their activity, which distorts the activity. Campbell’s Law explains why teachers teach to the test or even cheat, because so much is riding on achieving high test scores. So teachers forget about everything other than test scores, such as citizenship, character, ethics, and so on.
Arthur Goldstein, who teaches high school ESL in New York City, here explains how Campbell’s Law has been replaced by Campbell Brown’s Law. Campbell Brown is the media figure who is leading a lawsuit to eliminate tenure in New York State.
Here is Campbell Brown’s Law:
“Campbell Brown’s Law says whatever goes wrong in school is the fault of the tenured teachers. If you fail, it’s because the teacher had tenure and therefore failed you. Absolutely everyone is a great parent, so that has nothing to do with how children behave. Campbell Brown’s Law says parents have no influence whatsoever on their children. If parents have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, that will have no effect. If they provide no supervision because they aren’t around, that won’t affect kids either.
“Campbell Brown’s Law says kids themselves are not responsible either. If they don’t study, that isn’t their fault. The teacher should have made them study. If they fail tests because they didn’t study, it’s a crime and the teacher should be fired. Under Campbell Brown’s Law the only obstacle to studying is if the teacher has tenure. This is unacceptable and it is therefore the reason that the parents work 200 hours a week. It’s also the reason the kids didn’t study. The kids figured they didn’t have to study because their teachers had tenure.
“Campbell Brown’s Law is demonstrated in charter schools, where teachers don’t have tenure. All kids excel in charter schools, except for those who don’t. That explains why, in some charter schools, that all the students who graduate are accepted to four-year colleges. It’s neither here nor there if two-thirds of the students who began ended up getting insufficient standardized test scores and getting dumped back into public schools. That’s not the fault of the charter teachers, because they don’t have tenure and are therefore blameless. Campbell Brown’s Law says so.”
It is an excellent post, and how brilliant to connect Campbell’s Law to Campbell Brown ‘s Law.
Goldstein concludes:
“In short, if you’re a tenured teacher, you are an impediment to Excellence. The only way you can help children is by getting rid of your tenure, standing up straight and walking to Arne Duncan in Washington DC and saying, “Please sir, I want to be fired for any reason. Or for no reason. I want to take personal responsibility for all the ills of society. Neither you, society, poverty, parents, nor children themselves are responsible. I’m ready to be dismissed at the whim of Bill Gates or the Walmart family and I agree with you that Katrina was the bestest thing to happen to the New Orleans education system.”
“Me, I’m still a tenured teacher. And as terrible as that may be, I’m still relieved to never have had students so hopelessly stupid as Arne Duncan or Campbell Brown.”
As for me, I took a lot of hostile comments on Twitter for saying to a Washington Post reporter recently that Campbell Brown was pretty but didn’t know much about teaching. Outraged people, many of whom seemed to work for Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst or similar organizations, called me sexist for saying she was pretty but didn’t object when I said she was clueless about education. Anyone who wants to call me pretty (at the ripe old age of 76), you have my permission. Have at it. I wonder what the enraged Brownians will think about Campbell Brown’s Law.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Campbell Brown To File a Second Anti-Tenure Lawsuit in New York

So sad seeing how politicians and wealthy education "reformers" who do not know anything about teaching use parents and children to get the wrong policies they, the so-called "reformers", want. The tenure lawsuits are about grabbing the $billions in public money, not about teacher effectiveness. Union bashing at its least finest political moment.

The Sad, Misinformed Campaign of Campbell Brown To End Tenure Rights of Teachers

Mona Davids Fools No One, as Her Foolhardy Lawsuit Against Teacher Tenure Gains Thousands of Opponents

The Frivolous Case of NYC Parent Mona Davids v Tenure

N.Y. Teacher Tenure Law Targeted After California Ruling

Take a look at what's happening in Colorado, also below.

Betsy Combier

Natalie Mendoza, 8, seen here with parents Angeles Barragan and Armando Mendoza, is
named in a new lawsuit challenging teacher tenure.

EXCLUSIVE: Second lawsuit challenging teacher tenure to be filed by group of New York families

In a suit to be filed in Albany on Monday, seven families will charge that their children are underserved in schools due to incompetent teachers — who only kept their jobs because of tenure rules that violate the kids' constitutional right to a sound education. The suit is backed by the politically connected journalist-turned-education advocate Campbell Brown.

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:30 AM

Plaintiff Nina Doster, of Queens, poses with children (from left) Patience, Micah and King.
Seven families will file suit Monday to end teacher tenure in the fiercest attack yet on job protections enjoyed by New York State educators.

The families, including five from some of the most impoverished communities in the city, claim their children were underserved in school due to incompetent teachers who only kept their jobs because of tenure rules that violate kids’ constitutional right to a sound, basic education.

The lawsuit will be filed in Albany and is backed by the politically connected journalist-turned-education advocate, Campbell Brown.

“There’s no reason why my kids should not be reading on grade level. The law should be changed,” said Nina Doster, 33, of South Ozone Park, Queens. The mother of five is a plaintiff in the suit and also a paid organizer for the StudentsFirstNY advocacy group.

“Every child should be subject to the best education and teaching in every classroom,” she said.

Brown and her new reform group, Partnership For Educational Justice, argue that the current tenure, seniority, and dismissal protections make it almost impossible to fire bad teachers in New York State. They also say that the layoffs policy in which most recently hired teachers are the first to be fired deters the best new educators.

The lawsuit details the frustration of Tauana Goins, who says a teacher at Public School 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, called students “miserable” and went so far as to call her 8-year-old daughter “a loser.” The girl became so scared she regressed academically, her 27-year-old mother says.

Another kid named in the suit, King Doster, 6, said his teacher at P.S. 140 in Springfield Gardens, Queens, claimed she was “too busy” to help him learn to read.

Yet another, Natalie Mendoza, said her kindergarten teacherslept through class in a rocking chair at P.S. 94. in the Norwood section of the Bronx. That same teacher allegedly gave Natalie good grades despite her being unable to read. The teacher told Natalie’s mom, Angeles Barragan, not to worry about her daughter’s academic struggles because “it was just kindergarten,” according to the suit.

“My daughter wasn’t learning to read,” said Barragan, 48, whose daughter may have to attend second grade for a third time. “I went to observe the class and I saw that the teacher was just sitting in a rocking chair and the parent volunteers were the ones who were doing the teaching.”

Brown hailed the plaintiffs as pioneers.

“I stand in awe of these parents and their commitment to demanding that the system change,” Brown said. “As a mom I think we should evaluate every education law or policy by first asking, ‘Is this good for children?’”

The suit, which will include two families from Rochester, is the second legal challenge of teacher tenure. The first was brought by the New York City Parents Union and filed in Staten Island Supreme Court. It’s possible the two will eventually be combined.

Brown has enlisted the powerhouse law firm Kirkland & Ellis to handle the case, which is working pro bono. It is among the largest firms in the country and played a prominent role in defending California’s controversial parent trigger law, which allows parents to force major changes at failing schools if they are able to gather signatures from 51% of parents.

She hopes to facilitate similar suits in any state that has similar protections for unionized teachers.

The complaint does not name the allegedly incompetent educators, but argues that tenure laws lead to bad teachers, a claim supported by some research.

But observers say it will take much more than just education horror stories to win the case.

Brown “has to prove inequity, inadequacy and causation — that the different legal constellation in New York causes the learning issues that we see throughout the state,” said David Bloomfield an education professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

The lawsuit is inspired by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s ruling in June that declared teacher tenure violates students’ civil rights to a quality education. The ruling in the case, Vergara v. California, was endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. It is under appeal.

Brown has received guidance from David Welch, the Silicon Valley billionaire who funded the Vergara case. She will not disclose the names of donors funding her current effort.

The teachers union would not comment on the lawsuit, but has defended tenure as a way to ensure educators’ due process before being terminated.

Denver Teachers Suing District to Protest Forced Layoffs

by dianeravitch
In 2010, Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston took credit for a piece of legislation called Senate Bill 191, which he said would produce "Great Schools, Great Teachers, Great Principals." Its main feature was tying teacher evaluation to their students' scores, which counted for 50%. But it included other time bombs. One allowed districts to lay off teachers for various reasons. Now seven teachers and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association is suing.
One of those who lost her job was Cynthia Masters, a special-education teacher in a K-8 school. She was one of only 3,000 to lose their job.
"In the four years since the law was passed, nearly 3,000 DPS teachers have lost their positions due to what the district calls "reduction in building," or RIB for short. The reasons that teachers are RIBed vary: Some lose their jobs because their schools are "turned around" or closed. Others are cut because school enrollment drops. In Masters's case, she was RIBed due to a decrease in the number of special-ed students.
Of those 3,000 teachers, 1,240 had at least three years' worth of positive evaluations, including Masters. And not all of them have been able to find new jobs. According to the law, still widely referred to as Senate Bill 191, RIBed teachers with three years of positive reviews — officially known as "nonprobationary" — who can't find a position within a certain time frame are put on unpaid leave, a move that both unions believe violates the state constitution......"
"Brad Bartels, an attorney with the Colorado Education Association, says these teachers are victims of DPS's brand of musical chairs. They didn't lose their positions because they were bad teachers, he insists: "They just didn't have a chair when the music stopped."
"Seven DPS teachers and the DCTA have now sued the district. (The statewide CEA is representing the DCTA in the matter.) The lawsuit is a class action, and the plaintiffs represent several different classes, including all teachers in Colorado who were considered nonprobationary prior to the passage of Senate Bill 191 and all nonprobationary DPS teachers who were RIBed and ended up on unpaid leave.
"Westword spoke with five of the seven plaintiffs and found that they have several things in common: All are older than 45 and have good teaching records. Upon losing their positions, all five applied for hundreds of teaching assignments within DPS but, inexplicably to them, received just a few interviews. Only one managed to avoid being put on unpaid leave or being forced into early retirement.
"I applied for over 700 positions in the district," says plaintiff Michelle Montoya, who got RIBed in the fall of 2010. "I thought, 'I can deal with this. I'm going to go get a job. My skills are definitely needed.' And I just never got a second interview."
Will Senator Michael Johnston live long enough to declare that Colorado now has great teachers, great principals, great schools, thanks to Senate Bill 191?


Friday, July 25, 2014

Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg Announces Changes in DOE Staff...Again

The public would love to know what Phil Weinberg knows about why so many people are leaving, resigning, being fired, etc. from the Department of Education. Bad management? Carmen's "My way or the highway" is not treating employees to their usual croissant and coffee?
Speak up, Phil.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
President, ADVOCATZ

Carmen Farina: The Problem With Her Being Chancellor of the NYC School System Is.......

A Question For Carmen Farina, NYC Chancellor: Where is the Money?

Update on Retaliation Against All Whistleblowers is The Name of the Illegal Game In New York City
 The Case Against Carmen Farina, Former Bloomberg/Diana Lam Partner in Crime

Carmen Farina: Politics Wins With Her Appointment as Deputy Chancellor in New York City

Despite Too Many Questions of Improprieties, Carmen Farina is Named Deputy Chancellor For the New York City DOE
The National Problem of School Overcrowding is Victimizing Our Children: Whose Lies Do YOU Believe? by Betsy Combier (2005)

Did the NYC BOE and Mayor Forget to Include Middle and High Schools in Their Rush to Change Everything? 
Special Education in New York City Does Not Exist; Ed Officials Mislead the Public and Discard the Kids (, 2004)

Top deputy reshuffles instructional office amid slew of departures

Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning announced a major reorganization to his office, the
second in five months.
A flagship office at the Department of Education is being reshuffled for a second time in five months amid a slew of high-ranking resignations, including one from an official who was hand-picked to lead some of Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s top priorities.
Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg announced three more planned departures today, meaning that five of the seven people he initially picked to lead the newly reconstituted Division of Teaching and Learning in January are no longer at the department or will be leaving soon.
The departures come as Weinberg revealed major changes to the division, which he said would allow its work to reflect Fariña’s vision for school improvement and his own. In an internal memo that Weinberg sent to staff on Thursday — in the middle of Fariña’s two-weektrip to Spain — he said the department would consolidate several offices and that the officials in charge of teacher evaluation and accountability are leaving as part of the reorganization.
Those officials — Joanna Cannon and Emily Weiss — had previously worked in the Bloomberg administration. Two other Bloomberg holdovers, Rachel Feinberg and Jocelyn Alter, who had operations jobs, left earlier this year.
But one seasoned administrator who is leaving, Doug Knecht, was brought on expressly to oversee central parts of the Fariña administration’s agenda, including middle school improvement efforts and school collaboration.
“That might be a sign of problems on the inside because that’s not usual,” said Joseph Viteritti, who has worked with district chiefs during transitions and who previously downplayed earlier reports of turnover as natural.
Knecht declined to comment on his pending departure. Cannon and Weiss did not respond to emails seeking comment.
But current and former officials, none of whom would speak on the record because they did not want to jeopardize their relationships with the administration, cited a variety of reasons for the managerial turnover, which was recently pegged at around 100. Some said Bloomberg veterans who intended to stay, particularly those with little teaching experience, felt shunned because of their work in the previous administration. Many said morale had declined after months without hearing a comprehensive vision from Fariña, even as she rolled out some key initiatives.
“One thing you can say about [former Chancellor Joel] Klein and Bloomberg, and I’ve been very critical of them, is that they had a clear agenda,” Viteritti said. “People want to see that. Otherwise you might just start to think of yourself as a bureaucrat.”
In an interview, Weinberg, a former principal who joined the administration in January, said his office’s direction would come into a clearer focus with the latest reshuffling. He laid out a vision in his memo to staff on Thursday in a four-tiered summary, stressing that studentachievement needed to be driven by a joint effort from teachers, students, a school community, and central administrators.
Weinberg also outlined two structural changes that together would steer the department away from the accountability emphasis that characterized the Bloomberg administration.
First, he said he is merging the work of three offices into a single unit to “ensure our qualitative and quantitative work around evaluating schools can be fully integrated.” The new unit, called “Citywide Model Development,” will be headed by Alice Brown, a former network leader, and Carolyn Yaffe, who founded the Academy for Young Writers, a small high school in Brooklyn.
And the city’s implementation of teacher evaluations, which is entering its second year, will move into the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development under Anna Commitante, who joined the division’s leadership the same day as Weinberg. Weinberg said the change was meant to merge “teacher evaluation” and “teacher development,” or efforts to help teachers improve.
Of the turnover, Weinberg told Chalkbeat that he would focus on the people who remained at the department.
“We’re very proud of the work we’re doing,” Weinberg said. “There are tremendous people who are working at the Department of Education. I feel really lucky that there are so many people who can work alongside us as we move forward.”
Dear colleagues,
Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of New York City’s students. I continue to be inspired by your unwavering dedication to the work of our division.
I am writing to share changes I am planning for the future of the Division of Teaching and Learning. I am confident these changes will enable us to fulfill an instructional vision I have summarized below:
  • Students must learn to think for themselves since that is the only way they will be able to make real choices about how to live their lives.
  • Teachers need to create the conditions that privilege questions over answers as the focus of learning in our classrooms.
  • Schools should see their work as a community enterprise. An individual teacher’s efforts will make a difference, but a community working together can change many more lives.
  • As a central office, we must support school communities and illuminate a path forward by building a school system that is safe, critical, and committed to improvement.
In tandem with Chancellor Fariña’s Four Pillars, I believe our vision will help ensure that all students graduate ready for success in college and meaningful careers, and that we continue to champion high-quality instruction across each and every New York City classroom. I look forward to refining this vision with you. And, in the coming days and weeks, we will re-organize our division to further strengthen the excellent work happening in DT&L.
The re-organization will be evident in several ways:
  • The work of Citywide Model Development is changing. A new team comprised of the Performance team, the Office of School Quality, and the Office of Research and Data (from Talent Initiatives) will merge under the leadership of Alice Brown, with Carolyn Yaffe as her deputy. This will ensure that our qualitative and quantitative work around evaluating schools can be fully integrated. Christina Fuentes will continue to lead the Office of Inter-School Collaborative Learning and Vanda Belusic-Vollor will continue to lead the Office of Post-Secondary Readiness. Alice, Christina, and Vanda will be joining my leadership team to continue their innovative and exciting work.
  • Additional work from Talent Initiatives will be shared across multiple offices including the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development led by Anna Commitante to encourage coherence in our instructional work and the work of teacher effectiveness, formative assessment, and measures of student learning.
  • My support team will grow and take on additional responsibilities focusing on teacher development and evaluation policy, the citywide instructional expectations, culture and coherence, and knowledge sharing.
Along with these changes, Joanna Cannon, Doug Knecht and Emily Weiss will be leaving the Department of Education to pursue new opportunities. I thank them for their leadership and excellent work in support of NYC schools. Marina Cofield, Senior Executive Director of the Office of Leadership, Dan Aymar-Blair, Senior Executive Director of the Office of Implementation, and Anna Commitante, Senior Executive Director of the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, will continue to lead their respective teams.
I have great confidence in the talent and dedication of each and every member of our division; I want to assure you that you are valued and that I know your contributions are essential to our shared success.
I am thrilled and privileged to work alongside you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UFT Will Enter The Anti-Tenure Lawsuit On Behalf of Members

I love Sam Pirozzolo's comment: "The UFT is not a part of this case,” Pirozzolo said. “By the UFT sticking their nose into parents’ business, it once again shows that the only thing they care about is themselves and their membership.”

He is half right, I mean about "themselves" - the UFT do not defend the membership as they should.

I guess Mona Davids is upset she received only $10,000 from the UFT.

The Frivolous Case of NYC Parent Mona Davids v Tenure.

Once Again, The Teacher Tenure Debate: It's About Who Will Get the Billions In Public Money, not Teacher Effectiveness

Betsy Combier

 Teacher's Union Steps Into Legal Battle Over Tenure, Against a Former Ally
Updated 4:00 p.m. The United Federation of Teachers is officially jumping into a legal battle against advocates who are challenging New York’s teacher job protection laws.
The union announced on Tuesday that it would file a motion to intervene in a parent lawsuit that seeks to scale back tenure, which the advocates say makes it too hard to fire ineffective teachers. The lawsuit is only against the city and state education departments, but the union is arguing it should also be permitted to argue on behalf of its 100,000 members, since they would be affected by the judge’s decision.
The filing mostly covers the union’s reasoning for being involved in the case, which attempts to “undermine the quality of education in New York,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew wrote in an affidavit. It holds back on arguing the legality of teacher tenure at this point, other than to outline its general merits.
The lawsuit also pits the union against a former ally, Mona Davids, who is among the parents suing to undo the tenure laws. Davids heads the New York City Parents Union, which consulted with the UFT on a union-sponsored parent advocacy group two years ago.
“The union’s interests are not necessarily in the best interests of the kids,” said Davids, who said she worked with the UFT because she wanted parents to be more involved in legislative affairs. “I don’t have to agree with them on everything.”
Sam Pirozzolo, another of the parent plaintiffs, said the UFT’s involvement has little effect.
“The UFT is not a part of this case,” Pirozzolo said. “By the UFT sticking their nose into parents’ business, it once again shows that the only thing they care about is themselves and their membership.”
Davids’ group is one of two that is arguing that more than three years of experience are needed for teachers to receive lifelong job protections, as state law dictates, and that it’s too hard to remove ineffective teachers once they’ve been granted tenure. Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, who has lobbied for more flexible teacher firing rules for years, is planning to file a separate but similar lawsuit in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From South Bronx School Blog: PS 28 Principal Sadie Silver is Arrested

NYC Principal Arrested, Plans Imminent Career Advancement
The Daily News is always the first paper I read everyone morning without fail. As soon as I pick it up I check the back page (Sports) first and then check out the front page. Well lo and behold, my eyes bounced out of their sockets when I saw the headline (No! Not the new dolts on the left). 

It's nice to see yet another principal of the NYCDOE take advantage of the free and easy to usecareer advancement plan offered for administrators through the DOE and the CSA. Get arrested, get caught in unethical activity, get a raise and career advancement. Just don't murder someone. The DOE must draw the line somewhere. 

The Daily News reported today that Sadie Silver, principal of PS 28 in Bushwick was arrested;
"...Friday with Michael Acosta, 34, after cops caught the educator and her partner carrying heroin and prescription drugs into Coxsackie Correctional Facility."
Oops! Wait, there is more!

While at Coxsackie to visit an inmate at the maximum security prison, the News reports;
"Silver and Acosta face felony charges of promoting prison contraband and criminalpossession of a controlled substance, as well as a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child, since they had a 10-year-old with them when they were collared."
Promoting contraband? They were smuggling heroin into the prison. Was this for the prisoner's personal use or for him to sell to the other inmates? And how was this heroin and suboxone (Used to fight opioid addiction), which which was also one of the drugs named, being smuggled into the prison? 

The Crack Team posits an opinion. Since both Silver and her boyfriend were arrested, it would be safe to assume that the drugs were hidden on the person of the 10 year old, Silver's daughter, as the News reported. 

Silver was subsequently hauled off to the Greene County Jail, made bail, and was immediately reassigned by the DOE. 

But this is not Silver's first brush with taking advantage of the career advancement plan offered by the DOE. A few years ago, the News reported;
"...Silver was slapped with a $1,500 fine by the city Conflict of Interest Board for using her position to land her brother a data-entry job at her school."
Good thing she is a principal or she would be forced to follow Chancellor's regulation and New York State Criminal Law. 

But be sure, even though what she did was heinous, especially with a child involved, we here at SBSB will expect that she has due process and that all procedures are followed.

But several things are under the collective skins of The Crack Team. Of course the seemingly turning their head, going through the motions of doing something to administrators (Here, here, here, here,here, and here of the many scandals). But where are the deformers jumping all over this story?

Nary a word from The Three Stooges of New York State attempting to separate teachers from due process. Nothing to be found here, here, here, or here! 

Imagine if this had been a teacher in Coxsackie. How fast would those three be jumping up and down screaming that this teacher must be fired, to heck with due process? How fast would they be complaining about the system? How fast would they be tweeting about this?

Teachers are given too much power but the deformers. Is it not time these people start looking at management? They have the power, the make the decisions.


The Sad, Misinformed Campaign of Campbell Brown To End Tenure Rights of Teachers

Setting the record straight on tenure 

We're not attacking teachers


Monday, July 21, 2014, 4:30 AM
The tenacious New York parents who are challenging the state in court have one goal in mind: ensuring that all of our public school children have good teachers. They know that research confirms the single greatest in-school factor in a child’s academic success is a good teacher. They believe that the state’s guarantee of a sound education for all is absolutely dependent upon — you guessed it — good teachers.

So when opponents claim this lawsuit is an attack on teachers and their rights, that argument is more than disingenuous. It is disrespectful to the parents. And it is dead wrong for our kids.

It is time to stop seeing due process and due progress as competing goals. Here is the reality.

Under New York law, schools must decide after just three years whether teachers are granted tenure — a supreme level of job protection that can amount to permanent employment. State law makes it nearly impossible to dismiss teachers who have been identified as ineffective. And in times of layoffs, the teachers who get priority to keep their jobs are those with seniority, regardless of how well they teach.

Put together, those three provisions hurt our ability to ensure that every child in the state has an effective teacher. Yes, there are other important steps to improve strong teacher quality and equity, including better starting salaries and higher pay for teachers in the most in-demand fields. But what has driven parents into action is a system of laws that knowingly undermines success.

So let us dispense with the absurd: Seeking good teachers for all does not mean you are somehow going after teachers. It means you are working to end laws that are not in the interests of children. In fact, some of those who feel strongest about removing incompetent teachers are other teachers themselves.

This legal case is built on the premise that our New York schools have many outstanding teachers who succeed under extraordinary pressures. They should not be treated like interchangeable parts, and they should not be asked to make up the academic shortfalls of those who are not doing their jobs.

We should also move beyond another false line of attack. The lawsuit is not intended to erode any teacher’s right to due process. And it will not.

For starters, all teachers, with or without tenure, have a baseline of due process rights. And for those who have the added due-process protections of tenure, the goal here is only to make sure that system actually makes sense, without undercutting our kids’ constitutional rights.

Consider what happened last month in the groundbreaking case of Vergara vs. California, in which a state court threw out similar state laws on tenure and seniority. The judge agreed that due process was entirely legitimate, but not the “uber due process” that had led to a tortuous process of trying to remove bad teachers. The same could be said in New York, where dismissal attempts can take years.

The nation’s top school official, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, has summed it up well: Tenure itself is not the issue. Job protections for effective teachers are vital to keep teachers from being fired for random or political reasons. But “awarding tenure to someone without a track record of improving student achievement doesn’t respect the craft of teaching, and it doesn’t serve children well.”

What’s more, many state tenure laws have become obsolete because civil rights legislation passed over the last 50 years already protects teachers from unfair dismissal, according to a review by the Center for American Progress. And tenure laws do not assure quality teaching.

Even teachers agree with that. A 2011 survey of teachers by Education Sector found a startling 63% of teachers said the awarding of tenure was “just a formality” and has little to do with a teacher’s effectiveness.

The parents behind the New York case are fighting for effective teachers. No one should undermine them by misrepresenting their motivations.

Brown is a former anchor for CNN and NBC and founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice.