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Buchanan's teacher-firing bill passes Legislature

Original post made on Sep 14, 2013

The state Legislature passed a locally authored bill Friday that aims to protect and ensure the safety of children. Assembly Bill 375, authored by Assembly Education Committee Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), streamlines the appeal process for teacher dismissal, resulting in faster resolution and significant cost savings to school districts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 13, 2013, 3:16 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2013 at 6:50 am

AB 375 isn't enough. Now, instead of a hearing in 60 days they get over 6 months to prepare and collect a paycheck during that time.

Joan Buchanan- you can sit your ass down. There's certainly no need to pat yourself on the back for this one.

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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2013 at 8:24 am

No sale here, Joan. If Torlakson, the CTA and CFT are in favor of ANY legislation, then it is good for teachers and bad for schools and bad for us taxpayers.

You are known by the herd you run with.

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Posted by James
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2013 at 11:18 am

It is interesting that the California School Boards Association is opposed to this as is the administrators' association. The reason is because they see it as a union sponsored bill which will make dismissal of teachers that much more difficult. Joan clearly is aligned with CTA - always has been. I wonder how our own school board feels about this, given that their association is opposed to it?

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Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on Sep 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

This bill isn't "for the children". Any time you hear that you know you are being scammed. Even the SR Valley times had a more accurate report of the bill. I wonder how much money JB gets from the teachers union.

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Posted by Parent in SRV School District
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Sep 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

@LMP: I agree, everyone should read the SRV Times article on this subject. The upshot is that Joan Buchanan is bought and paid for by the unions. Kids and parents are the losers. Thank God Buchanan is termed out. The replacement could be even worse, however.

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Posted by Yuri Riminsky
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Anyone Buchanan supports as her successor should be soundly defeated. Anyone the commie CTA endorses should be negated.

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Posted by Sad
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Sep 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

She made it all about 'the unions'. It's never really about 'the children. Shame on Gov Brown, for allowing the unions to put themselves ahead of 'the children'..and for Gov Brown placing BART unions ahead of poor riders and poor taxpayers.
What do we have to do in CA to get representatives for US ???

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Sep 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

What we need is legislation allowing school districts to easily fire incompetent teachers. Joan Buchanan continues to block this. She and her union allies are protecting bad teachers at the expense of students.

California has over 300,000 public school teachers, yet dismisses only around 10 teachers per year, mostly for egregious behavior (sexual assault, battery of students, embezzlement, etc.), and almost none for performance reasons. The reason is, under current law, it is almost impossible to fire a bad teacher.

Most California teachers are not doing a good job teaching. Fewer than 30% of California public school graduates are college-ready for English, math, reading and science. “College-ready” means they have a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in college. Web Link

Countless studies have shown a direct correlation between teacher performance and student learning.

Yet, under current law, it is essentially impossible to use teacher job performance when determining teacher salary, promotions, and dismissal.

Joan Buchanan needs to stop protecting bad teachers. Our kids deserve better.

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Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Sep 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm


While I have no doubt that the OpEd column you cited to support your dire perspectives on the state of education has some merit, I'll offer you a 'moderately' more comprehensive characterization of the state of education in our nation overtime (Web Link). By the way, the 30% for CA in the article you cited was from an aggregated national survey. Perhaps the Northeast pushes it up and the relative simpletons around these parts pulls it down. Who knows.

My argument is not so much that our educators fail our children as much as our parents do. My case? From the article your cited, "While 43 percent of Asians taking the ACT met all four benchmarks, only 5 percent of African-American and 14 percent of Hispanic-American students did. Thirty-three percent of white students were considered college ready in the four areas."

Realizing that the ACT assessment is a small subset of all 'graduating' students (i.e. those that are pursuing admittance to a competitive four-year institution) as opposed to the broader cross-section, your theory would either clearly indicate that our nation's (err CA's from your assessment) educators teach Asian students significantly better then all other races or, just perhaps, their parents are doing a better job of educating their children at home.

My money is on the latter.

We do agree on one point. OUR kids deserve better.

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Posted by Rhea Delgado
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:18 am

Dirty little secret is that credentialling programs will not accept or will dismiss any teacher candidate who shows any conservative values. They only want the mindless lib thinkers in the classrooms in order to push the agenda.------gay marriage....anti borders.....needle mandated single payer health "care".

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:35 am


The report you cite is over 20 years old. You need to brush up on your Google skills my friend. Ha ha.

Try this one. Web Link It shows that students performance in math and reading has stayed about the same since 1971.

I agree. Parents play THE key role in educating students. Teachers shouldn’t be blamed for bad parenting. Obviously.

We also have some great teachers, especially here in SRVSD.

My point is, it’s difficult to fire a bad teacher. Too expensive. And it is difficult to raise the pay of a good teacher.

We should fix that.

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Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:25 am


Thank-you for the elegant critique on my web skills. I suspect that since we can provide comment during normal business hours that 20 years is a relative 'blip' in the continuum of time that we have each had a perspective as to what is good or not in our shared society.

The reason I chose the report from January '93 (basically pre-Internet) was that it critically assessed the state of education in our country from the era of Reconstruction to the fall of the former Soviet Union. One of the undeniable facts is that compared to our parent's generation, an overwhelming proportion of today's generation is expected to not only attend an institution of higher learning but to do well at it. It's not that easy to Google one's way to such a report. Again, I'll accept your earlier criticism.

However, unlike our parent's generation, there is no training or alternative to those students who would not normally be personally inclined to pursue academic achievement save for the rare few with true athletic gifts. I personally do not believe that instituting a GE-styled 'bonus the top 7% while slating the bottom 20% for dismissal' on an annual basis is apt to solve the earlier dilemma.

Clearly, I would offer nothing more then a fool's riddle to state a solution to such a Gordian societal problem. I do agree with some of your stated points. It is too difficult to change the course of an insufficient educator and similarly impeded to reward a regarded one. "We should fix that."

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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