The recent court decision essentially invalidating teacher tenure has unleashed a virtual torrent of reaction from all sides and every side – as well it should.

This is because while there are many crucial and compelling public policy issues, only a select few are truly the permanent issues that touch all of our lives. Education is on that short list.

And yet, for seemingly as long as any of us can remember, issues relating to students, teachers and curriculum have been attached to withering public arguments fueled by political organizing and powered by hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign spending – practically all of it from the educational establishment that runs the public school structure as we know it.

But maybe we should correct that last part to read as we knew it.

The case in point is known as Vergara v. California, and it is made up of several student plaintiffs asking a fundamental question that is decades late in being answered: Have teacher tenure laws that prevent schools from firing teachers deprived students of their right to a basic education?

The decision by California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu (pronounced “Troy”) is as compelling as it was sweeping and newsworthy.  Everyone can benefit from reading it – and at a total of 16 pages in length, everyone has the time.

“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students,” Judge Treu wrote.  “The evidence is compelling.  Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

Consider that last sentence.  In this matter, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Unified School District claims there are hundreds of terrible teachers it wants to fire today, but are prevented in doing so by iron-clad tenure laws.  Shocking enough for you?

Predictably, the California Federation of Teachers was subtle in its response to the decision:  “We believe the judge fell victim to the anti-union, anti-teacher rhetoric and one of America’s finest corporate law firms that set out to scapegoat teachers for the real problems that exist in public education.”

How sad, but how revealing.  A ringing jurisprudential finding that embraces core civil rights concerns of the American birthright dismissed with the exhausted propaganda of left-of-center politics.  Is that what the teachers union stands for now?

We have obviously not heard the last of this court case, but it is far better now to focus on a different kind of public determination.

Republicans have consistently offered that the flawed laws the education establishment designs and protects (like teacher tenure) is a debilitating development not for the GOP, but for the children of California.

As a result, this has been misunderstood by some (and misrepresented by others) as a tired complaint about teachers and their ultra-powerful union.  The time is now for a new and better conversation that

Republicans can help lead and permanently establish: Our disputes with flawed education policy are, at their fundamental core, a fight for what is right for students, their parents and their basic rights.

With minority students and their parents leading this charge, and even Barack Obama’s Education Secretary praising the decision and its possibilities, there is reason to believe that this is the hinge of history turning.  The seemingly impenetrable school-based political power structure has been breached.  The wall is coming down.

For Republicans – especially Los Angeles Republicans – the question is obvious: where do we go from here?

I believe that an energetic and innovative discussion about the best ways to liberate students from bad teachers and empower their parents to assert their rights will ignite a climate of education reform.  It is in that realm that Republicans hold both advantage and opportunity to offer the best way forward for all of our people.

Let us offer the better policies.  Better politics will surely follow.