Campbell Brown's lawsuit against teacher tenure and other laws that protect underperforming teachers in New York may join forces with another group bringing a similar case against the state.
The New York City Parents Union is suing to make it easier to fire inadequate teachers, and to require that schools evaluate teacher competence when choosing which teachers will remain employed. Currently seniority is the sole consideration in such decisions, often shielding less effective teachers from dismissal simply because they have been employed longer.
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Brown's newly-formed Partnership for Educational Justice objects to all of New York's teacher protection rules, including teacher tenure, which the New York City Parents Union still supports.
Since the two cases are similar, the New York Attorney General has requested that they be united. Brown's lawyers have agreed to the proposal, and are now waiting for the motion to combine to be heard in court.
The high-profile lawsuit has recently made Brown the subject of sexist attacks by various individuals and groups, including union-backed lobbying groups.
The Washington Post reports on the possible merger:
In a letter Friday to Judge Thomas P. Aliotta of the New York Supreme Court, lawyer Jay Lefkowitz, who represents the plaintiffs in Brown’s case, said they have no objections to consolidation.
But it is not clear how closely the groups will collaborate.
Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, said her group’s goal differs from that of Brown’s group.
"We have very different reasons for filing this lawsuit," Davids said. "We want to improve [educational] outcomes for all our children. We don’t need to get rid of tenure. We also want to work on improving our neighborhoods."