Opening volleys have been fired in a lawsuit that aims to change the rules for teacher tenure in California and make it easier to fire ineffective instructors. The lawsuit – Vergara vs. the state of California – was filed by an education reform group on behalf of nine public school students. L.A. Schools Superintendent John Deasy was the first witness called by the students’ attorneys. He testified that because of the short time that LAUSD has to evaluate instructors – just 18 months – some undeserving teachers are given tenure. Once they have tenure, Deasy said it can take up to two years to fire ineffective teachers and cost the district $450,000 or more. Lawyers for the state and teacher unions say that it’s not the law, but inept management, that makes firing problem teachers so hard…Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari says Gov. Jerry Brown is not doing enough to alleviate poverty and support California’s struggling middle class. No Republican has been elected to statewide office in California since 2006. But in an interview with KCRW’s Warren Olney, Kashkari, says he wants to resurrect the GOP in California. He says Brown has been dishonest about the extent of California’s financial problems. Kashkari and Lake Arrowhead Assemblyman Tim Donnelly are currently the only two candidates in the Republican primary…It appears California’s egg-laying hens will soon have a little more room to spread their wings. A long-delayed Farm Bill that passed the U.S. Senate yesterday preserves a state law that requires farmers selling eggs in California to give caged hens enough room to stand, turn around and flap their wings. Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King led an effort to include a provision in the Farm Bill that would invalidate the California law on the grounds that it interfered with interstate commerce. If the House of Representative approves the Farm Bill, California’s hen law will take effect next January…A Homeland Security Department drone has crashed off the coast of Southern California. Officials say the $18 million drone was on a border security mission when it developed a mechanical problem about 20 miles southwest of San Diego. The drone was being operated by a crew in Texas, and they Decided to crash it in the ocean…And finally, let the lawyer jokes fly…The California Supreme Court has denied a law license to Stephen Glass, a former reporter who made up part or all of more than 40 stories for major national magazines. A State Bar Association committee opposed his application on moral grounds. And the court agreed that Glass had not sufficiently rehabilitated himself since his fraud was uncovered in the 1990s. Glass’ story was the subject of the 2003 movie “Shattered Glass.”
Deasy: Firing bad teachers costs up $450,000
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