Advocates seeking to end tenure protection for teachers got a boost Thursday, when a New York Supreme Court judge denied motions to dismiss filed by the opposition.
A group of parents is seeking to repeal tenure on the grounds that it is unconstitutional because it allows bad teachers to stay in the school system, which they say deprives some children of a “sound basic education.”
Judge Philip G. Minardo denied the motions to throw out the case filed by the United Federation of Teachers, New York State United Teachers, the New York City Department of Education and New York state attorney general. They argued that the parents lacked standing to bring the case.
Advocates praised the decision in a news release, saying that their goal is about modernizing the education system to make it performance-based and not-quality blind.
“Above all, this lawsuit is an affirmation of the importance of teachers to the quality of students’ education and it is a challenge for all of us to do things differently to make sure our students are getting all of the resources they need to succeed. New books and desks are not enough; there must be a highly motivated, highly effective teacher in each classroom every day,” the news release stated.
NYSUT issued a statement saying it would appeal the decision, saying the judge relied on outdated and inaccurate information the plaintiffs put before Minardo about the teacher disciplinary process.
The union argues that ending tenure would subject teachers to being fired without cause for speaking out on issues or because of favoritism by board members or other trivial matters.
“Tenure is an essential safeguard that ensures good teachers can advocate for what their students need, and to work as professionals without fear of unfair firing — a basic due process right,” the union said in a news release.