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Group Plans to Challenge New York Teacher Tenure Law

Already under assault in California, tenure laws face a challenge in another traditionally pro-labor state.

The group, Partnership for Educational Justice, was founded by former CNN Anchor Campbell Brown in December. Brown has been a critic of job protections for teachers, the Wall Street Journal reported. She said six students have agreed to serve as plaintiffs, arguing they suffered from laws making it too expensive, time-consuming and burdensome to fire bad teachers.

This attempt to challenge New York's tenure laws follows a landmark ruling in the Vergara v. California case earlier this month. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu struck down the state's laws on tenure, dismissal and seniority, saying they disproportionately saddled poor and minority students with incompetent teachers. Evidence that ineffective teachers hurt learning, he wrote, "shocks the conscience."

Carl Korn, spokesman for New York State United Teachers, said his union believes the Vergara decision will be overturned, and the facts are different in New York than in California. While he said that New York's new teacher evaluation system has flaws, it aims to bolster educator quality.

"The system is designed to help all teachers improve, and for those who struggle or don't belong in the system, to remove them in an expedited hearing," he said.

Read the full story.

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