“Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Wright v. New York, a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court last July that seeks to overturn certain teacher tenure protections on the grounds that they deny public school students their constitutional right to an adequate education.
Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, whose organization, the Partnership for Educational Justice, is providing support for the plaintiffs in the case, says that the lawsuit was inspired by the outcome of Vergara v. California. In that lawsuit, a superior court judge struck down five statutes that provide tenure protections to teachers in the Golden State. (The decision is under appeal.)
“Judge [Rolf Treu], in how he wrote his decision, was quite extraordinary,” Brown told Reason magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward in an interview for Reason TV. “[He wrote] that the evidence presented of how these kids were being denied a quality education shocks the conscience,” said Brown, “and it”The Real Campbell Brown” ||| gave these parents…hope that a judge in New York might understand these arguments and find the same thing.”
In her interview with Mangu-Ward, which took place at the National Summit on Educational Excellence in Wasington, D.C., Brown also discussed her decision to leave journalism for the “glamorous world” of ed reform, her response to critics who object to her tactic of turning to the courts to shape policy, and the personal attacks she’s endured since entering a field in which ad hominem attacks are the norm.”
I agree with Campbell Brown that pubic teacher tenure is wrong, needs to go out of style and disappear like disco and acid wash jeans. And I’ve even with her on school choice and I’ll explain both of my positions later. But where I differ with Campbell is on school choice and how to do that. We completely agree on tenure, but at least as far as I’m concern tax dollars for education should be for public education. That is really the first and only responsibility for government when it comes to education. Which is the schools that we all as taxpayers pay for and since that is the case we have a responsibility to make those schools as good as possible especially for kids from low-income single-parent families.
If private schools want to set up their own school voucher programs and recruit kids from low-income families to go to their schools and people want to contribute to those private programs, by all means. And I would probably be one of those contributors, but it wouldn’t be because government said I had to, but because I made the choice to do that with my own money. Now, what I am in favor with to go along with eliminating teacher tenure, is public school choice. The idea that someone has to go to a certain public school simply because of where they live is crazy, unproductive and bad for the economy. Because it means if you are from a low-income family and unless you perhaps won a private school voucher, you’re destined to go to a bad school.