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NEA President: California ruling allows corporate interests to trump students’ needs

Deeply flawed verdict goes against research proven to enhance teacher effectiveness

WASHINGTON - June 10, 2014 -

A California Superior Court judge today sided with Silicon Valley multimillionaire David Welch and his ultra-rich cronies in the meritless lawsuit of Vergara v. State of California. The lawsuit was brought by deep-pocketed corporate special interests intent on driving a corporate agenda geared toward privatizing public education and attacking educators.

NEA’s affiliate, the California Teachers Association, and the California Federation of Teachers intervened in the case to ensure schools can continue to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms and to give voice to systems that research and experience show are key factors in effective teaching.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Just like the meritless lawsuit of Vergara v. State of California, the ruling by Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu is deeply flawed. Today’s ruling would make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms and ignores all research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching. The National Education Association supports the California Teachers Association in its appeal of today’s decision.

“Let’s be clear: This lawsuit was never about helping students, but is yet another attempt by millionaires and corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession and push their own ideological agenda on public schools and students while working to privatize public education. Research shows experience enhances teacher effectiveness and increases student productivity at all grade levels, and that ultimately contributes to better outcomes for students. Yet, today’s ruling hurts students and serves only to undermine the ability of school districts to recruit and retain high quality teachers.

“NEA will continue to stand up for students and focus on the ingredients that are proven to help students the most—like supporting new teachers, providing ongoing training, paying teachers a decent salary, and developing reliable evaluation systems to measure teacher effectiveness.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 270-5333 cell,