Check it out!
Before I left for my honeymoon I had heard about this amazing new podcast called All The Brians. I supposed I think it's amazing because it's a very specific topic that I happen to be a part of. That being said, I had a great time chatting with the host, Brian Alexander, for about an hour touching on two major topics: education and travel hacking. If you are interested in the education portion, just listen from the beginning. If you are interested in the travel portion, begin at timestamp 47:55.
Check it out!
My wife and I returned from our honeymoon last Sunday. It was an amazing five week experience that opened our eyes to more of the world than seen before. It truly is amazing what is out there: the culture, the nature, the food! If you want to know more about the specifics, check out my travel blog. I'll be putting up a lot more pictures and analysis there.
When we returned I started reading more of the news than I had for the previous month. I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the newspaper featuring a recent decision regarding the Vergara teacher tenure case that made headlines two years ago when Judge Treu of the LA County Superior Court struck down the California tenure laws as unconstitutional. As was promised, there was a long legal battle and other lawsuits cropped up along the way.
The main gripe folks in California had was that teacher tenure was retaining low-quality teachers and so was unconstitutional due to every child's right to a high-quality education. Personally, I find this article quite fatuous because it leaves out a very important consequence of having these laws: high-quality teachers want to stay in the profession. While I haven't read the entire paper, a graduate of Duke University named Dana Fenster spent two years as a Teach For America corps member after writing about the benefits of high-quality teacher retention under a tenure system. When teachers feel like they have more protection they are willing to experiment with their craft, usually leading to better results. Of course, not all teachers are made to teach longterm, but by focusing on the low-quality ones Judge Treu was forgetting how retention is often a better focus.
Back in April of this year a California appeals court actually ruled against what Judge Treu said and reversed the lower courts decision, allowing teacher tenure to stand. This was obviously a happy day for members of teachers unions across the country. As a teacher about to apply for tenure myself I was happy to read about it last school year.
Finally, the California Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the appeals court ruling will stand. Translation: teacher tenure in CA is here to stay.
Of course there will be more lawsuits and concerns in the future but for the moment I am happy to report that my welcome-back present was one that will benefit millions of students across the state and most likely the country.
I am a math teacher in the New York Department of Education. I infuse technology and real-world problems into my curriculum in order to prepare my students for the future. I would love for people across the country to recognize we teachers can't do it alone. If you don't believe me, come visit my classroom!