State Senator Gloria Romero, a Democratic lawmaker from East Los Angeles, wants to get rid of experienced teachers, and blames teachers for all the problems in lower performing schools. At least according to a new ad by the California Teacher's Association that calls for Romero, a longtime CTA ally, to pull her support for Senate Bill 955.
What is SB 955? It is a bill that would remove seniority as the primary rule regarding which teachers are laid off and which teachers remain in the classroom during down budget years. The bill would allow school districts the option of taking into consideration teacher performance and subject need in determining which teachers should be kept and which should be laid off.
The state's powerful teachers union is vehemently opposed to these changes and wants the measure killed.
What is interesting is that the CTA has already been successful in killing the bill. The leader of the state Senate, Darrell Steinberg, had the measure sent to the Senate Rules committee -- which is where you send bills to die. It is highly unlikely the bill will ever see the light of day.
So why is the CTA running the ads? it just so happens that Romero is a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The teachers union leaders want her defeated because of her support for reforms of seniority, her support of charter schools and suggestion that teachers work longer than two years before receiving tenure. They are backing another candidate, whose answer to the crisis in public education is more money.
Gloria Romero is a liberal democrat. For years she was a locked-in vote for the CTA. The problem is that she represents a low income area which has grown tired of its 50% dropout rate -- the norm even when schools were fully funded.
She started seeking accountability for low performing schools. She became a backer of charter schools and on using student performance as a way to measure a teacher's ability. She backs President Obama's Race to the Top education plan. All of that has now put her in the cross-hairs of the nation's largest teachers union.