A High School Student Responds To TIME Cover

TIME

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

TIME’s coverage of the challenge to California’s teacher tenure laws has sparked a debate involving many teachers, parents, administrators, and policymakers, but the most important perspective—that of students—continues to be overlooked.

This lack of student representation is why I founded Students Transforming Education (STE) last year. My goal with STE was simple: to involve students from all over California in reforming teacher tenure by collecting signatures in favor of common sense reforms. After a year of outreach, 2,500 students have signed the petition, demonstrating that students are engaged and want sensible reforms that will help keep the best teachers in their classrooms.

I didn’t create STE from personal experience with bad teachers, unlike the 9 of my fellow California students who sued the state in Vergara v. California. In fact, as I reflect on my high…

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