Should Students Sue To Get Better Education, If they can?

  • Students Lawsuit Calls Experts To Make Case Against California Schools :evil: While educating children ranks high on every society's agendas, rarely have students sued the whole school system to make it better. The case Vergara v. California offers a big exception that might make it to the US Supreme Court.,0,4567951.story#axzz2uRgXu1JQ Nine public school students aged 7 to 17 have taken the California public school system to court to argue that its policies and practices, based on 5 state laws, of giving lifetime tenure to teachers after 18 months on the job plus last in-first out hiring practices when layoffs hit gives students a fundamentally bad educational opportunity. It helps, of course, to have big money behind the students in the form of David Welch's Students Matter non-profit advocacy organization. Expert witnesses, those individuals with established reputations about specialized knowledge in their field, have testified that students in a system like California's suffer from diminished educational opportunities directly arising from the state's laws about tenure and lay-offs. To analysts at no matter which side prevails in this case, set to end this week, it could easily be appealed to the US Supreme Court. What do you think about students suing schools and states for giving them a bad education? Is this a type of law suit fit for our times? Or, on the other hand, is this just another waste of good money on a failed court system? If this approach is not the answer, what action should students push? Attachments: [img][/img]

  • It seems to me that these days, in so many places, everybody is suing everybody else over something they feel they're "entitled to", but feel they didn't receive at their level of expectation. With regard to an education, there once was a time when the primary responsibility for one's education rested on the student and his parents, whether a public system of education was involved or not. Now it appears that it's the state's full and sole responsibility to force-feed students with "education". With the availabiilty of libraries, Internet, and many other resources, it's hard to imagine that any public education of any quality level couldn't be readily supplemented or enhanced if a student and/or his family really wanted to make it happen… but everyone appears now to be completely defaulting the job to the school systems.

    I can already picture the round-about cycle of turmoil now being unleashed in California. Parents sue the school systems; the school systems punt it all off on the state since the state regulates local systems; the state points at Federal mandates and curriculum/teaching requirements associated with educational grants and funding, as well as blaming the teacher-unions; teachers' unions blame curriculum and low pay; curriculum writers point fingers back at Federal and state regulations and inadequate funding; in fact, everybody asserts there isn't enough funding (now made even lower by defending lawsuits and preparing complaint responses); finally school funding increases are put on local ballots - and are decisively defeated. Educational testing and evaluation are implemented - until the teachers threaten to strike, so the systems back off. Everyone returns back to square one, though all are poorer for the battle... until eventually somebody else gets offended and sues, and it all starts over again. And so it goes... another day in the "entitlement era".

  • It would seem to me that this will be a civil case so the only outcome will be who pays and how much. So they go after the ones with the most money. Probably the state and federal government.
    The first problem, and you hamilton.jerry can probably confirm this. It is difficult to sue the government if they don't want to allow it.
    Secondly, the ones who are going to pay the bill are the taxpayers.
    I just don't think sueing will do anything worthwhile in the long term and probably in the short term either.
    I see the problem a little differently than most. The problem has to do with motivation, if you can motivate a student to learn they will and do it mostly on their own. They just need a little guidance along the way.
    I haven't had kids in school in quite a long time but when I was the instructors seemed more interested in staying on their syllabus rather than teaching anything.
    I am not going to just blame teachers but parents perhaps even more. It is their job to keep there children interested and engaged. It seems mostly that kids don't have interest in thing outside themselves.
    Take them to an astronomy club and have them look through the telescopes if they show interest, get them a kit and build it with them. Try that with other things.
    Kids brains are like sponges they will soak up any knowledge that comes their way. The problem is they cannot discern good from bad they need guidance.
    My 2 cents worth.
    By the way, I had very good teachers in school, not for what the taught me but for allowing me into areas that weren't on the sylabus and for getting me into places where I could learn more.
    Do kids read science fiction anymore, not a movie, that is someone else's idea, but written stuff that allows you mind to explore.

  • Schools are no longer responsible to parents or students. In many cases the school has more legal standing then the parents of students over education issues. I have heard all my life that all the schools and teachers need are more money and trillions have been poured down that black hole and it has only lead to mediocrity. Teachers don't teach. They prepare students to take federal mandated exams.
    For better education opportunities control of the schools needs to be local and teachers need to be answerable to local school boards. Teacher unions should not be allowed to negotiate contracts and should be powerless professional organizations only.
    Students and parents need to take education away from unions and the federal government and if students want a better education they better take responsibility for it and stop thinking it is going to handed to them with little or no effort on their part.

  • Do you think parents will take up the work that would be required.
    I don't think that will happen. I think they won't . They want someone else to do the work.
    IN MY OPINION, the only purpose of a family is to have and raise children. We, at least in the US, have shirked our responsiblity to raise our children and train them.

  • No, I do not think that parents will do much on this issue. Parents look at school as free day care for their kids so both parents can work to pay bills and pay taxes. Pre-K is nothing but free day care for the poor. Schools don't teach kids to analyze and think anymore. No morals or ethics are taught but boy they will have self esteem. They think that they are great and owed the world because they exist but they are clueless how our government is supposed to work. I think that many parents are satisfied with the schools and teachers because they are free baby sitters.

  • _The first problem, and you hamilton.jerry can probably confirm this. It is difficult to sue the government if they don't want to allow it. jimc
    In my experience representing the US government as one of many attorneys, I observed that law suits against local, state, and federal agencies were common, mostly because one statute or another authorized such suits. Without a law that permits a suit against the federal government (or one of its agencies), the old common law rule that the King can do no wrong still prevails to prevent law suits. However, since legislators serve their constituencies to push laws in their interests, accumulated statutes today permit so many suits against the government that I cannot count that high. (As a retired attorney, obviously my counting skills have never been super.)

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