By Len Ramirez

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A three-judge panel has reversed a legal challenge that found teacher tenure could hurt students.

The case started after a group of students – some from Oakland – sued the California Teachers’ Association.

The ruling by the state appeals court is being hailed as a big win for the teachers union, but it may be just a temporary victory because the plaintiffs in the lawsuit say they will appeal this to the California Supreme Court.

At issue are the rules for teacher tenure in California and how that can affect a school’s ability to fire bad teachers.

The plaintiffs are a group of parents who say their kids got stuck with bad teachers. The lawsuit argues that giving teachers tenure after just two years harms students because it becomes very difficult to fire ineffective teachers.

The plaintiffs plan to appeal and issued a statement Thursday afternoon which says:

“Every student deserves a great public education; yet California’s education laws make this impossible… Today, the courts failed to safeguard students’ constitutional rights.”

But on Thursday, a three-judge panel overturned a ruling that threw out tenure and other job protections for teachers.

Jocelyn Merz, of the Alum Rock Education Association, said, “It’s a victory for students and teachers.  If this was allowed to stand, it would in effect allow teachers to be fired arbitrarily, subjectively, without due process.”

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson also applauded the court ruling, saying all students deserve great teachers and that teachers are not the problem in California schools.