Students Matter

Over the past four years RALLY has grown Students Matter into the nation’s premier organization dedicated to promoting quality public education through impact litigation. We managed the development and execution of the organization’s first lawsuit, Vergara v. California, a landmark case that reaffirmed the fundamental, constitutional right of every student to learn from an effective teacher and have an equal opportunity to succeed in school.

The argument in Vergara was endorsed by the editorial boards of eleven major newspapers and extensively covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington PostPBS NewsHour, CBS Evening News, The EconomistChicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Representatives from RALLY and Students Matter have also been invited to speak at Stanford, UCLA, the NewSchools Venture Fund annual summit, the Foundation for Excellence’s annual national summit and The Education Trust’s national conference.

Students Matter Plaintiff speaks at Vergara v. California press conference with legal team Ted Boutrous and Marcellus McRae

In addition to managing earned media and contributing to case development, RALLY is responsible for developing the Students Matter brand, assembling and managing the organization’s advisory board and coalition of supporters, framing policy, and using the case as a platform to put children’s rights front and center in the national education debate.

To date this work has not only contributed to a major legal victory for California kids, but it has helped drive a significant shift in public opinion in favor of a kids-centered public education system. A Los Angeles Times/USC Dornsife poll revealed that supermajorities of California voters agree with key tenets of the Vergara ruling: 82 percent of voters believe that teacher performance, not just seniority, should be taken into account when making layoff decisions, and an overwhelming 92 percent said that teachers should be required to demonstrate effectiveness prior to being granted tenure.

Our work on the Vergara v. California case earned RALLY a 2015 Communicator Award of Distinction in the ‘not-for-profit integrated campaign’ category.

Students Matter Plaintiff Julia Macias speaks at press conference after Vergara v. California ruling

Visit the Students Matter Victory page for the best quotes from Judge Treu’s ruling, an FAQ on what happens next, and key facts and statistics from the compelling evidence presented at trial.

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