Whether you agree or disagree with the ruling that found several facets of California's education code in violation of equal protection, court cases like Vergara force us to have pointed conversations about education and justice.
Yes, the Vergara plaintiff team has used lots of civil rights rhetoric, and the court leads its ruling with a quote from Brown v. Board. But if this is about civil rights, it's through a funhouse mirror.
The decision gives real teeth to the state's Constitution, and that could be a very good thing. It's those teeth that I find fascinating, since an approach like that used by the Vergara judge could put California courts in a very different role than we have thus far seen in the U.S.
I want teachers and unions to work with the Gates Foundation on a moratorium, as they engage with states and the federal government to mitigate the extreme damage done by high-stakes testing. But, Duncan became one notch too brazen when he endorsed Vergara.