CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Idea of the Day: Why Effective Teaching is the New Measure of Equity

  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

idea light bulb

The recent ruling on Vergara v. California, in which a Los Angeles Superior Court judge struck down state laws governing the hiring, dismissal, and job security of teachers, generated a flood of responses. Some called the decision historic and have said it will pave the way to get effective teachers in all classrooms. Others say the case and the decision will make it more difficult to attract and retain good teachers and was no more than an attempt to undermine the profession and teacher unions in particular. As the California Teachers Association wrote, the ruling stripped “teachers of their professional rights” and “hurts our students and our schools.”

But much of the debate about the verdict misses the point. The more important implication of the case and the ruling is that effective teaching matters. The court ruled that educational equity is not just about school funding alone, but about equal access to effective teaching.

As part of the Vergara case, the student plaintiffs claimed teacher-employment laws blocked them from receiving the education guaranteed to them by the state constitution. Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu agreed, writing that the laws protected ineffective teachers who were disproportionately assigned to schools serving poor children and children of color. The most pressing issue highlighted by the Vergara decision is making sure that all teachers are effective.

For more on this topic, please see: 

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here