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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mona Davids' Attorneys Withdraw From The Anti-Tenure Lawsuit

Now it turns out that Mona Davids cannot get along with her attoneys who are helping her sue New York City for protecting "bad" teachers by allowing them to have tenure. Or, at least that is the current rumor, for anyone who cares at all about Mona, I certainly don't and I don't know anyone who does either....

Mona's attorneys are possibly as confused as any of us are as to what exactly she is trying to prove. We must all remember her starting the New York Charter Parents Association, which disappeared, and her moaning and groaning about charter schools not being given public school buildings and having to deal with CECs and parents who try to fight her.

After her switch to becoming an advocate for NYC teachers Mike Mulgrew gave her $10,000, and Mona said thank you by giving him an award as a "Community Leader" - see below).

Soooo confusing.

Betsy Combier
Mona Davids

New parent group all $nug with UFT
It’s the new teacher’s pet.
A nonprofit touting itself as an “independent” parent advocacy group has quickly cozied up to the United Federation of Teachers — and to the union’s deep pockets, The Post has learned.
The New York City Parents Union, which supported the UFT’s legal battle against charter schools being housed in public buildings and which recently ripped the mayor’s handling of the schools system, has already received $10,000 from the teachers union since launching in April.
The relationship between the two groups will take center stage tonight when the Parents Union hosts its first annual awards benefit — honoring none other than UFT President Michael Mulgrew at the UFT’s downtown headquarters.
Also honored for community leadership will be the state’s NAACP chief, Hazel Dukes — who has railed repeatedly against charter schools — and Arthur Z. Schwartz, a longtime labor lawyer who represented the transit union during its unlawful 2005 strike, which crippled the city.
His new group, Advocates for Justice, filed a lawsuit last summer on behalf of the Parents Union that echoed the UFT’s losing legal bid to keep struggling schools from being shuttered.
A host of other unions were also donors to the event including the AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 237, SEIU 32B and the Transit Workers Union.
School-choice advocates accused the new parents group of being an arm of the UFT.
“It was always clear that the UFT was behind this organization, but now they aren’t even trying to pretend there is any separation,” said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform.
Parents Union founder Mona Davids insisted her group is not a union tool, saying it “welcomes and appreciates alliances with other individuals and organizations who share our interest in obtaining the highest-quality public education for all children in New York City.’’
Additional reporting by Yoav Gonen

Anti-tenure advocates’ law firm withdraws from case

The powerhouse law firm that was supposed to represent parent advocates suing to overturn the state’s teacher tenure laws has withdrawn from the case, The Post has learned.
One of the parent advocates, Mona Davids, charged that the firm Gibson Dunn pulled out after “bullying” by rival parent advocate Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor who has her own set of lawyers.
“We are moving forward with our lawsuit,” said ­Davids. “Campbell Brown does not speak for Davids vs. New York.”
Brown declined to comment.
Gibson Dunn spokeswoman Pearl Piatt said the proposed consolidation of lawsuits filed separately by Davids and Brown “advances the same issues.”
But multiple sources said the firm pulled out because several of its longstanding education clients complained about previous run-ins with Davids.
Also withdrawing was the California group Students Matter, which funded the landmark case overturning that state’s tenure laws.

Gov. Jerry Brown has appealed a California judge’s sweeping ruling that threw
out teacher job protection laws

California Governor Appeals Court Ruling Overturning Protections for Teachers

LOS ANGELES — Wading into an intense national battle that has pitted teacher unions against a movement to weaken tenure protections, Gov. Jerry Brown has appealed a California judge’s sweeping ruling that threw out teacher job protection laws on the ground that they deprived students of their constitutional rights.

In a one-page appeal filed late Friday afternoon, Mr. Brown and the state attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, argued that a decision of such scope needed to be made by a higher court, and that the judge in this case had declined a request by the governor and attorney general “to provide a detailed statement of the factual and legal bases for its ruling.”

“Changes of this magnitude, as a matter of law and policy, require appellate review,” it said of the case, Vergara v. California.

The notice of appeal was filed one day after the judge in the case, Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court, issued his final ruling. Tom Torlakson, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, had also requested that Ms. Harris file the appeal.

The decision by Judge Treu, handed down in June, sent shock waves across the educational establishment here and nationwide. He found that tenure protections for teachers deprived students of a constitutional right to an education, and disproportionately hurt poor and minority students.

“The evidence is compelling,” the judge wrote. “Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

The case was brought by an organization of students,Students Matter, backed by a Silicon Valley technology millionaire, David Welch. A lawyer for the organization, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., criticized Mr. Brown’s decision to appeal.

“The State of California should be supporting and protecting students not defending these harmful and irrational laws,” Mr. Boutrous said Saturday. “Judge Treu got it exactly right, and this appeal is destined for failure.”

Teacher unions here had denounced the decision, saying teachers were being scapegoated for the failures of educational institutions. But the ruling was strongly welcomed by the federal education secretary, Arne Duncan, and California Republicans — including Neel Kashkari, who is challenging Mr. Brown this fall.

“I am beside myself with anger that JB is appealing Vergara,” Mr. Kashkari said in a post on his Twitter account. “His lifetime of empty words about caring for the poor is utterly worthless.”