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FROM THIS EPISODE

A California judge has ruled that tenure and seniority laws protect bad teachers at the expense of poor and minority children. Would less legal protection bring those kids better teachers? As the decision ripples nationwide, are there other strategies for improving the quality of America’s schools? Also, we hear from controversial US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's latest biographer, and ISIS seizes Iraq's biggest oil refinery.

Banner Image Credit: Judy Baxter

The Biggest Oil Refinery in Iraq 7 MIN, 19 SEC

As President Obama talked with Congressional leaders about possible air strikes, soldiers from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria reportedly took control of Iraq’s biggest oil refinery. Now, it’s closed down with ISIS and the Iraqi government both saying they’re in charge. That’s according to Ben Van Heuvelen, managing editor of the Iraq Oil Report.

Guests:
Ben Van Heuvelen, Iraq Oil Report (@berendvh)

Do Public School Teachers Deserve Failing Grades? 35 MIN, 29 SEC

A judge in Los Angeles made national headlines last week when he ruled that tenure and seniority rules protect bad teachers and make them almost impossible to fire. He found that ineffective teachers end up in troubled neighborhoods, where they deprive poor and minority children of their constitutional right to an equal education. He said, “the evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.” Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and other “reformers” are celebrating a victory for the “rights of students.” Teachers’ unions insist they're not the real villains, calling it “another attempt by… special interests to privatize public education.”

Guests:
Stephanie Simon, Politico (@StephanieSimon_)
Bruce Reed, Broad Education Foundation (@BroadFoundation)
Dal Lawrence, Toledo Federation of Teachers
Richard Kahlenberg, Century Foundation (@rickkahlenberg)

More:
Judge's ruling on teacher tenure sends a message to unions, reformers
The fall of teachers unions
Tenure Is Not the Problem
Will California's Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Change Schools?
The L.A. schools' excellent iPad adventure

All Together Now

Richard D. Kahlenberg

Bruce Allen Murphy on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 8 MIN, 35 SEC

In the Wall Street Journal, an admiring former law clerk finds fault with Scalia: A Court of One. That’s the new biography of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, by Lafayette College Professor Bruce Allen Murphy. As the title suggests, the book downplays Scalia’s influence on the court colleagues and on jurisprudence itself. Bruce Allen Murphy joins us.

Guests:
Bruce Allen Murphy, Lafayette College

Scalia

Bruce Allen Murphy

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