- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ruffled union feathers with a statement released following the recent Los Angeles Superior Court ruling that declared California's teacher tenure laws unconstitutional.
- In a letter to Duncan, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten lambasted the nation's top education official for adding to polarization and stripping teachers of due process.
- In his statement, Duncan had referred to the decision as a "mandate" calling for similar laws nationwide to be changed for the betterment of "millions of young people."
According to the Los Angeles Times, Duncan said in his statement that the "students who brought this lawsuit are, unfortunately, just nine out of millions of young people in America who are disadvantaged by laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students. Today’s court decision is a mandate to fix these problems.”
The suit, Vergara v. California, was brought by nine students who alleged substandard teaching at their schools. At least one similar case, Cruz v. California, was also filed when the Los Angeles ruling happened last week — though its focus was on the amount of instructional time lost at lower-income schools throughout the day due to a number of factors.
Duncans remarks regarding the suit, which has major implications for teacher unions, were perhaps most surprising to teachers because, as The Washington Post reports, Democrats tend to be pro-labor.