The Arizona Education Association sued the Arizona Legislature and Governor Jan Brewer again because it believes that the AEA should determine how Arizona should spend money on education rather than the Arizona legislature.  Last year the AEA sued the State of Arizona by filing a complaint directly with the Arizona Supreme Court, but the court threw the case out.  Once again, believing it is special, the AEA filed its lawsuit with the Arizona Supreme Court rather than first filing it in the Superior Court, which is where the little people file lawsuits. A press release on the AEA’s website says:

policy changes made in the 3rd special session of the Arizona State Legislature aimed at teachers and other school employees.  The policy changes allow arbitrary reductions in salary, prohibit seniority as a criterion for reduction in force, eliminate deadlines for issuing contracts, and limit employee rights to engage in professional association activities.

It’s just another battle in the never-ending war over who will run public schools, the teachers or somebody else?  The AEA is particularly bent out of shape because of a new Arizona law that “prohibit

[s] seniority as a criterion for reduction in force” as it likes to say.  Translation:  the AEA does not want teachers judged or paid on the basis of merit.  The Goldwater Institute said this about this new law and the novel concept embodied in it:

Under the new law, the balance of power has shifted.  Now, teacher quality takes precedence over teacher seniority.  What a concept. Inadequate teachers must now show improvement within 60 days of being informed of their sub-par performance.  Gone is the 85 day (17 weeks or 4 months) improvement plan that used to be in place.  Now, under-performing teachers can have their pay reduced without affecting the pay of better teachers. (We needed a law for this?)

That last statement deserves repeating.  We needed a law for this? Unfortunately the answer is yes.  The teachers’ union is adamantly opposed to anything that rates or rewards teachers based on teaching ability and success in the classroom.  If Arizona is going to have an education system that works, i.e., that educates its children, the teachers and the teachers’ unions cannot control the system.  Let’s not let the Arizona teachers remake Arizona education into the models of the New York City schools or the Los Angeles Unified School District.  For more about the nightmares these systems have become see:

See the Goldwater Institute‘s “Union trying to bully Legislators into changing law” and a story in the Arizona Republic: “Arizona law changes way teachers contract with districts” and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s “Because Policy Matters.”