The fellow travelers of the educrat empire took a TKO with 19th District Judge Michael Caldwell’s ruling that most of Act 1 of 2012, which overhauled teacher evaluation and employment practices, was constitutional. But they stayed on their feet with the striking of one section of the law that without will make it marginally more difficult to realize the full effectiveness of the law.
In essence, the law requires demonstrated and consistent competence in order for teachers not to be discharged. State teachers’ unions have invested themselves with the rearguard strategy the left has tried to perpetrate to stop democratic majorities from making and implementing reforms, as it does not have the ability to persuade majorities to give it a majority as policy-makers, employing a series of court challenges. This one complained that the law had too many objects to, as the Constitution states there shall be but one object in a bill.
Which Caldwell correctly noted in this case was dealing with matters of teacher evaluation for continued job performance. However, he also decided that the part about school district superintendent matters, which included personnel matters dealing with teachers but also included personnel matters dealing with the superintendents’ jobs, did stray beyond that object.
Union flacks, without any facts or logic behind them, brayed that to excise one section meant all had to go. That naturally makes no sense in the context of their argument: if the problem was something did not follow the intended object, why gut the parts that did? It might be another matter if the content of the bill was against the Constitution, but this was an argument over process. Nothing in terms of the content was challenged.
Yet because it was a procedural issue, Caldwell seemed to hack rather arbitrarily, opining that even those matters that did related to teachers’ personnel issues in that section regarding superintendents – such as the manner that seniority could not play the primary role in influencing termination decisions – be sliced out. This might make for a dicey proposition in any contemplated appeal by the establishment, as other courts could add back in select parts dealing with administrators’ roles in teacher personnel matters, making their interests worse off than if they had left well enough alone.
And, to compound their misery, the parts negated were the least controversial. They probably would face little resistance to being reintroduced and passed next legislative session, with an effective date just a year later. Both considerations may explain why one of the most vocal shills for the special interests, Louisiana Federation of Teachers’ President Steve Monaghan, did his best Rodney King impersonation saying that “with-me-or-against-me” rhetoric should be jettisoned in this area of policy – after presiding over the recent annual convention of the organization which featured violent imagery related to and critical language against the state and political leaders who engineered and are implementing the reforms.
In short, it is another largely unqualified defeat for the empire and its fellow travelers. Meanwhile, every day that passes cements reforms more firmly into the system, and thereby improving the education of children.