Ron Lapekas, an attorney in Los Angeles, submitted the following comment to the blog about the Vergara trial, in which plaintiffs claim that tenure (due process) for teachers violates the civil rights of students. The case of the plaintiffs is funded with millions of dollars by a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who thinks that teachers should be fired at the will of their employer without hearings or evidence. Lapekas was a teacher before he became an attorney:

This is a show trial in which Deasy, purportedly testifying in “defense” of LAUSD, is trying to provide evidence in support of the plaintiffs to justify his own failed “leadership”. Notice that he was called as the first witness by the plaintiffs. His testimony about the difficulty of dismissing teachers is, to be blunt, false. The primary reason poor teachers are difficult to fire is because administrators like Deasy are incompetent.
Deasy is an example of an administrator who has been out of the classroom too long — and it is questionable whether he ever should have been in one in the first place. Indeed, his teaching experience is scant and completely unrelated to the challenges of LAUSD.
Deasy’s Resume shows the following:
1983-1986 Science Teacher and Resident Dormitory Counselor, Coach for Track and Cross Country: LaSalle Military Academy, Oakdale, Long Island, New York – Population: 800 Students
So, Deasy brings his three years of “experience” teaching at a private military academy that has 100% control over the students it admits to LAUSD and orders teachers to do a better job. Of course, Deasy’s orders would be easier to follow if he had any clue about the challenges of actually teaching in a troubled LAUSD school.
Deasy’s “management style” is consistent with his background in military academies. He appears to believe that giving orders will produce results. Thus, he orders teachers to “be effective”; however, such an order can’t be followed until teachers are given the power to order their students to learn. Oops — learning isn’t part of Deasy’s business model for a successful school — only “objective” results from “data driven” models can determine if a teacher is “effective.”

Like most incompetent managers, Deasy blames subordinates with generalized accusations. However, without specific allegations, teachers are unable to respond because there are no objective means to evaluate improvement — except for standardized testing. And the circle goes round and round ….
The press coverage describes the kinds of teachers who need to be fired as those who fall asleep, read newspapers in class, and show YouTube videos. For these transgressions, one needs to ask “where is the administrator who did not see this in the two year probationary period?” If the teacher has tenure, where is the administrator who did not see this and document it?
Lastly, Deasy’s testimony that teachers are difficult to fire is contradicted by the evidence. Testifying that teachers are “grossly ineffective” is a conclusion, not evidence. Indeed, this trial is an example of how LAUSD substitutes its beliefs for facts. Furthermore, there are several instances where the charges against a teacher have failed to satisfy the three member panel called the Commission on Teacher Competence that dismissal is warranted. However, Deasy usurps the function of the School Board and unilaterally orders that the teacher will not be returned to the classroom.
In conclusion,
I believe that “ineffective teachers” — such as inexperienced and minimally qualified but well intentioned Teach For America” graduates — should be provided an opportunity to improve to meet objective standards of competence.
I believe that any teacher with tenure who fails to meet objective standards should be provided the opportunity to improve as provided by the California Education Code. If the teacher fails to meet objective standards within the 45 or 90 day period provided, he or she should be dismissed in accordance with law.
And I believe that any teacher who acts inappropriately with a student and every incompetent administrator who disregarded complaints from parents and students or was unable to identify such behavior should be fired.
Lastly, I offer a suggestion to help obtain evidence: Cameras in every classroom. I had them in mine. When my principal questioned me, I told him they were legal because everyone knew they were being video recorded. When he said that they might catch me doing something improper, I responded: “If I do, then I should be caught.”