Emery Plays a Part in the Infamous
Vergara CaseNews Analysis
A Los Angeles judge ruled against California teachers and in support of a Silicon Valley billionaire today in the much watched Vergara Case, a lawsuit with major Emery Unified School District connections. It's a case that has pitted school privatizers and anti-union right wing forces against teachers and public school supporters. Emery Unified sent two strong anti-teacher's union supporters, former school superintendents Tony Smith and Debbra Lindo to argue in support of billionaire plaintiff David Welch (57). The case will have repercussions far beyond California as the plaintiff vows to take the case nation-wide, a prospect that has drawn cheers from all manner of conservative pundits and right wing think tanks across the land.
Both Emery superintendents supplied the plaintiff with 'letters of declaration', using their Emery credentials to bolster their case that teachers are to blame for the poor state of education in Emeryville and in California.
|Silicon Valley Tycoon David Welch|
The Republican billionaire used
Emery School Superintendent's
help to argue that teachers unions
should be deep sixed.
The plaintiff used Emery's superintendent's letters of declaration to argue that only the destruction of the teachers union and tying teacher pay with student test scores can save education, something that needs to be done "for the students". The idea is that well qualified teachers will flock to school districts that offer no job security and pay poorly although neither Emery superintendent nor anyone representing the plaintiff has shown how this will work. The Vergara plaintiff argued good teachers aren't interested in due process and instead clamor for their job and pay to be dependent upon the capricious whims of superintendents and other things beyond their control like student poverty and associated dysfunctional home life.
Emery Unified: Anti-Teacher Incubator
Emery, being such a small school district, has played an over sized role in today's victory against teachers. The district here has long taken an adversarial position against its teachers, most notably when the School Board resolved to support Superintendent Lindo over the teachers in the infamous Teachers Resolution fight. Tony Smith and his program of shutting down schools, cutting teacher pay and turning over public schools to private charter corporations while he served as Oakland's superintendent is still revered by the School Board here at Emery.
Emery's role in the anti-teacher/ pro-privatization movement has come to be that of an incubator. The district here collects those with disdain for teachers and elevates them to superintendent. After attaining superintendent status, Emery sends them out into the world where they can help right wing causes and inflict damage to teachers statewide.
It's a recipe that has rankled teachers here at Emery. Emery Teachers Association president Dawn Turner told the Tattler today, "We have the dubious distinction of having provided not one but two former superintendents as expert witnesses on the Vergara case. They are using students to forward a right wing agenda". Ms Turner echoed her colleagues vow, "We will fight this" she said.
In a tragicomic irony, the ruling in Los Angeles today comes right on the heels of last week's "Teacher Appreciation Week" here at Emery.