Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Citing the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation, a California judge ruled Tuesday that tenure and the traditional “last in, first out” teacher employment practices support an unequal public education system that violates the Constitution.Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu determined in Vergara v. State of California that the protections of tenure and seniority should not apply because ineffective teachers were being concentrated in California’s low income/high minority areas. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports the ruling, calling it a “mandate to fix these problems.” But critics, such as National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel, called the decision “deeply flawed.”“Today’s ruling would make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms,” Van Roekel said in a press release, adding that it “ignores all research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching.”The implications of this court decision are far-reaching, teachers advocates say, because federal education reforms, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, place teachers—and their unions—under enormous pressure to perform to “effective” standards. These standards are determined in part by controversial state standardized tests, such as the Common Core curriculum.Professor Mark Naison, co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association and the chairman of the African and African-American Studies Department at Fordham University, said: “This is a sign of a nation that has lost its moral compass.”He called the ruling a “declaration of war on teachers around the county who depend on tenure to protect them from abusive administrators, self-interested parents and intolerable interference with their jobs from elected officials. It will help drive the best teachers out of the profession and make recruiting talented people to the profession far more difficult. Children will suffer while teachers work in fear!”New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) spokesman Carl Korn called it a “horrendous decision.” He said it’s important for people to understand what tenure means for public school teachers.“It’s not a guaranteed job for life,” he told the Press. “For the first three years, a teacher is on probation and can be terminated for [almost] any reason. Tenure simply means that if a district wants to bring charges against a teacher, those teachers are entitled to due process.”The California Teachers Association has said it will appeal the ruling. Korn believes that it will be successful in appealing this “meritless” decision when a more “even-handed judge” weighs in. NYSUT doesn’t want New York lawmakers to follow suit and weaken tenure protections here.“Especially in New York, with all of the protests [over the Common Core curriculum and education cutbacks], how can a teacher speak out about public concerns over the budget?” Korn asked. “How could they speak out to challenge the [state] commissioner of education if they could be fired at the whim of their administrators? Without this protection, what’s to stop administrators from firing their most highly paid teachers? How does that benefit children?”Judge Treu said he was ruling in behalf of disadvantaged children, but how striking down teachers’ tenure will help them in the classroom is far from clear.
North Vernon, In. — A report from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department says the chief of the Holton Volunteer Fire Department has been arrested for methamphetamine possession.Gabriel Cruser, 40, of Holton was arrested Saturday evening around 9:35 p.m. for possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia. He was being held in lieu of a $3,155 bond. No other details are available.Cruser was just recently selected as the fire chief.
The United States Women’s National Team will enter the 2019 Women’s World Cup as favorites following Saturday’s draw.The U.S. side, which beat Japan 5-2 in the final to win the World Cup in Canada three years ago, will start the defense of their title against Thailand in Reims. The USWNT will also face newcomers Chile and the 2016 Olympic silver medalists Sweden in Group F. Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, NetherlandsGroup F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden Australia’s group features Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, while Group E sees Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and Netherlands.The tournament begins on June 7 next year in France.CONFIRMED:Here are your groups for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/bz5ZghPZ1C— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) December 8, 2018Full drawGroup A: France, South Korea, Norway, NigeriaGroup B: Germany, China, Spain, South AfricaGroup C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, JamaicaGroup D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan Germany, semi-finalists in 2015, have been handed a group that includes China, Spain and South Africa, with hosts France drawn alongside South Korea, Norway and Nigeria.England will meet Scotland, Argentina and Japan in the group stages. Related News USWNT sets packed 10-game 2019 schedule leading up to Women’s World Cup
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The last thing you want to do when someone invites you to a party is act like a snob.You know that guy, curling his upper lip as he picks through the food and whispering just loud enough for everyone to hear how the chicken is dry, the desserts are supermarket bought rather than high-end bakery and the liquor isn’t top shelf.And can the music be any louder or obnoxious?You never want to be that guy. So I’ll keep my thoughts about Wednesday night’s bash to usher in the Dodgers’ National League West title as respectful as possible.I don’t know about you, but I found the whole thing a bit tedious to be honest.At least in that ho-hum been-there-done-that sort of way.A second straight division title is nice and all.And getting through the National League Divisional series again will be much appreciated. But for this season to truly be considered a success, nothing short of a World Series appearance is satisfactory. I just went there, didn’t I?And on the very night the Dodgers turned Chavez Ravine into Times Square and celebrated their division title with all fervor of New Year’s Eve, no less.Sorry to be that guy.But someone has to say it.Cool party.Just not overly impressed.Nor should the Dodgers be.They’ve been here what, four times over the last seven years?Spraying champagne and bear hugging and high-fiving each other and taking laps around Dodger Stadium basking in the love of their faithful fans.Only to fall short of their ultimate goal of playing in the World Series.So you’ll have to excuse me if I took in Wednesday night feeling a bit underwhelmed and decidedly unsatisfied.It’s time for the Dodgers to take that next step.They have the highest payroll, the best pitcher in baseball, one of the most exciting young stars in the game in Yasiel Puig, a No. 2 pitcher who would be the ace of most other staffs and above-average players at nearly every position on the field.It’s time to finally cash in on all that talent.World Series or bust.Don’t get me wrong, all the necessary elements were in place for an unforgettable party.Anytime you put Clayton Kershaw on the mound with a chance to clinch a title it’s a big deal.That he went out and cut up the hated Giants like only a soon-to-be three-time Cy Young Award winner can made it even sweeter.Kershaw clearly wasn’t his best early on, scuffling with himself and the Giants while grinding through the first four innings.He even looked human for a moment in the third inning when he overthought a pickoff move to second base, only to balk two runners into scoring position, one of which ended up crossing the plate for the first run of the game.But he more than made up for it in the fifth inning when he came to bat with two outs and a runner on third and ripped a line drive to center field.Not only did it plate Carl Crawford for the tying run, Kershaw legged it out for his first career triple.The capacity crowd rose to its feet when it became obvious Kershaw wasn’t satisfied with just a double and shifted into another gear as he neared second base. The fans then willed him to third base as if he was an Olympic track star sprinting to a gold medal.It was a memorable moment.One of a handful.Puig nearly topped it in the sixth when he drove a Tim Hudson fastball deep into the right field pavilion for a solo home run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.The at-bat was classic Puig, as he swung helplessly at a curveball on the previous pitch only annihilate the fastball Hudson tried to sneak past him. But he wasn’t quite done.In the seventh inning, Puig scooped up a base hit by Matt Duffy in center field and spun around and fired a laser to third base to gun down Gregor Blanco.Puig didn’t appear to have any chance of throwing out Blanco upon reaching the ball, but the combination of athletic gracefulness and a powerful right arm meant the ball reaching the bag well before Blanco for an easy out.The crowd rose in appreciation, chanting Puig’s name as he jogged back into position. The fans created an electric atmosphere that only intensified throughout the game, with every out pulling them one step closer to really letting loose. It was a special night, to be sure. By no means am I turning my nose up to any of it.The Dodgers worked hard for this title, their fans lived and died with them every second along the way — most through the radio, mind you — and everyone involved deserves to revel in the achievement as intensely and appreciatively as they wish.Besides, we all know how they’ve gone too long too many times over the last 25 years without sniffing a division championship or postseason berth, so to start taking any of this for granted is the height of pretentiousness.These are the good old days, and we should appreciate them in real time.I get all that.Nevertheless, I still couldn’t help shake that blase feeling Wednesday.Like something was missing.Something bigger and better and grander.Almost like the champagne chilling inside the Dodgers clubhouse was merely the cocktail hour segment of a party that hasn’t truly started yet.At the risk of being that guy, it’s World Series or bust for the Dodgers.