The teachers union and state officials argued Tuesday that a lawsuit challenging New York’s tenure policy should be tossed because Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature approved a new law tightening teacher accountability.
The changes make the tenure suit moot, lawyers defending the state claimed during oral arguments in Staten Island Supreme Court.
“We live in a different world today than when this action was filed,” said Assistant State Attorney General Steven Banks.
Cuomo and lawmakers approved in April a tougher tenure law that more closely links teacher job ratings to the test scores of their students. The new law also awards tenure after four years instead of three.
The lawyer representing plaintiff Campbell Brown and the NYC Parents Union claimed the changes to the tenure law were just "windowdressing" and the suit should go forward.
Tenure is effectively abolished under the new APPR law.
If a teacher receives two consecutive ineffective ratings, the district may bring a 3020-a proceeding and the burden of proof shifts to the teacher with the hearing completed within 90 days.
If a teacher receives three consecutive ineffective ratings, the district must bring a 3020-a and the only defense a teacher can use is fraud or mistaken identity with the hearing completed within 30 days.
How the hell are those windowdressing changes to tenure?
Those are drastic changes that essentially abolish tenure protections since a tenured teacher can be fired based upon his/her APPR rating.
Brown is also aiming at LIFO seniority - the last in, first out rules for layoffs - so it's possible the suit will go forward based on that.
But for Brown's lawyer to claim that the new APPR law only provides "windowdressing" changes that do not affect the core tenets of tenure - well, that's just absurd.