California's Public School Teachers Have Incredible Job Security

Under state law, administrators must compile up to 150 pages documenting problems in addition to a poor-performance evaluation before they can dismiss a teacher. . . .

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, only one or two permanent teachers are dismissed each year, of around 40,000 in the district, said employee relations director Robert Fisher.

In the San Francisco Unified School District, just one teacher out of 4,000 in the district was fired for poor performance during the last three years, said Lorna Ho, special assistant to the superintendent. . . .

Where can I sign up? Of cource, they have to work for a whole year before they earn this level of job security! And people wonder why California's public schools are so bad. What can possibly be so special about public school employees that isn't true for doctors or lawyers or car assembly plants?


Vicious confirmation process caused People to turn down chance to be on the Supreme Court

I actually have a book manuscript written on this:

"Sometimes along the way people express that they would prefer not to be considered," McClellan said. "And there were a couple of individuals in this instance that asked that they not be considered, and that was when the list was longer. The list was in the double digits at that point in time."

McClellan -- who refused to give names -- was responding to comments made by Focus on the Family's James Dobson, who said on his radio broadcast earlier in the day that White House aide Karl Rove had told him some nominees had withdrawn from the process, wishing to avoid a tough nomination fight.

"[W]hat Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter that they didn’t want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it," Dobson said. . . .


Firefighter stops robbers with gun

John Fund on Miers

John Fund's write up on Opinion Journal.com's Political Diary reiterates some points that I posted earlier this week after conversations with some people who I promised not to name:

He calls Ms. Miers is a "very good moral person," but says her real skills at the firm were networking and climbing the rungs of the local and state bar association hierarchy. She rarely tried cases and most of her work for corporations was to serve as the local counsel for out-of-state companies that needed someone familiar with local Dallas judges.

As for her political views, Mr. Packard said Ms. Miers rarely tipped her hand. "It's fair to say that Harriet finds abortion truly abhorrent, but on all other gender issues such as affirmative action you would find her socially very liberal,"


My comment on Harriet Miers' Confirmation

Forbes Magazine has a somewhat edited version of this piece:

Harriet Miers was one of the safest choices President Bush could've made for Supreme Court justice. She's likely to be confirmed quickly, and without much fuss. I'm not referring here to her politics. According to a study of judicial nominations I recently completed, the less distinguished the nominee-the less intellectually accomplished, the less prolific, the less impressive her record-the more likely it is that she will be confirmed. It also helps to be old, white and female.

Both Republicans and Democrats like to carp about the trouble their nominees must endure in the congressional confirmation process. I wondered how much the process had deteriorated, and why. So I assembled data on the 1,576 federal judges confirmed from the beginning of Jimmy Carter's administration in 1977 through the end of George W. Bush's first term. I also looked at 59 Supreme Court confirmations going back a century. To account for changing factors like whether the same party controlled the White House and the Senate, and whether the nomination was made in an election year, I used regression analysis when I compiled my findings.

It is indeed taking longer to get judges confirmed these days, but more interesting is which nominees sail through without a hitch, and which stop dead. My conclusion: The smarter the candidate, the more bruising the confirmation battle and the more likely the nominee will be defeated. . . .

Strong Warning on Miers' Nomination

I have never met Miers, but lawyers who I have talked to who have some inside information claim that Miers is not good news. They say that she was a very good administrator and politician, but not a good lawyer. She was a diversity hire at her law firm in Dallas and that she was moved into an administrative position. Her advancement in the ABA shows more about her political skills than it says anything about her ability as a lawyer. Miers is socially conservative, but there are strong doubts that she is economically conservative or any thing like a small government type.


Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers carried a gun for self protection