By Jon Keller, WBZ Political Analyst

BOSTON (CBS) — Judges get tenure to insulate them from political pressures. Some college professors get it to protect their academic freedom.

We’ll leave the debate about whether or not they should be so insulated for another day.

Listen to Jon’s commentary


But either group has a better case to make then the one made by public school teachers in California, where a judge yesterday ruled that laws providing teacher tenure and making dismissal of some non-tenured teachers extremely difficult were unconstitutional.

Judge Rolf Treu wrote that there’s “no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms,” a system that especially harms poor children and violates their right to “basic equality of educational opportunity…. The logic of this position,” wrote the judge, “is unfathomable and therefore constitutionally unsupportable.”

This will come as long-overdue good news to both parents who’ve suffered the terrible experience of seeing their child trapped in a bad classroom, and the majority of quality teachers who watch in horror as their inferiors prosper.

But hold on tight to your breakfast as we repeat the response of the president of a major teacher union, the National Education Association:

“This lawsuit was never about helping students, but is yet another attempt by millionaires and corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession.”

Yes, ending a system that protects incompetents is clearly the work of the evil one percent.

Or could it be that the evil wealthy elite in this case is the value-free union leadership itself?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.




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