Coachella Valley Unified School District et al. v. State of California et al.
Case no. A120667— Oral argument May 18, 2009—status report
On May 18, 2009 over 80 parents, teachers, administrators and board members gathered in San Francisco to witness the oral arguments of our NCLB Testing Lawsuit, Coachella Valley Unified School District v. the State of California. Prior to entering the court house, Senator Gloria Romero, our attorney – Mary Hernandez, a teacher, board member and superintendent spoke to our supporters and the press as to the importance of this lawsuit and the significance it has to close to 1.6 million English learners. Our numbers were so large that once the oral arguments started half of the group had to participate in an overflow auditorium where the hearing were broadcast live.
At the oral argument, the court declared the matter submitted, which means that the court will now consider the record (evidence and argument) closed. The one exception is the request from the court to the State, to provide citations to the record (the evidence presented to the trial court) of statistical or psychometric data that the CSTs and CAHSEE are valid and reliable and/or accurate measures of English Learner academic knowledge. Per the court website, that information is due May 22.
The appellate court now prepares an opinion. The opinion can be unanimous or split 2-1. The internal operating rules for the First Appellate District are posted on its website and explain the court process for reaching agreement on an opinion. A dissenting justice can issue his/her own opinion as well.
There is no set time really for the issuance of an opinion. It ranges from a week to several months. Although technically an opinion must issue within 90 days, if the court needs more time, it procedurally can. Opinions can be published or not. Published opinions are precedential.
Either side can appeal the Court of Appeal decision to the California Supreme Court. However these appeals are discretionary and a very low percentage of appeals are actually taken.
Continue to check this website for updates. We will post the decision as soon as the court decides.