This Comment focuses on the larger issues and teacher free speech cases as well as on the adequacies and inadequacies of the Pickering test as it is now applied in the federal courts. First, the Pickering test and its development in the Supreme Court is discussed. This discussion focuses on Pickering itself and the four Supreme Court cases which, since Pickering, have shaped teacher free speech analysis in some fashion. Second, the article focuses on how the lower federal courts are applying the modified Pickering analysis. Finally, an analysis of the test from the perspective of the three professionals most intimately involved (the educator, the litigator, and the lobbyist) is needed in order to highlight deficiencies. Suggestions, both judicial and legislative, are made to improve areas of the test which seem to breed more confusion than certainty.

I. Introduction

II. Basic Lessons—The Supreme Court Foundation ... A. Pickering v. Board of Education ... B. Mt Healthy v. Doyle ... C. Givhan v. Western Line ... D. Connick v. Myers ... E. Rankin v. McPherson

III. How the Test Works: An Analysis of Lower Court Decisions Applying the Pickering-Connick Test ... A. Connick Public Concern Test ... B. Pickering Balancing Test

IV. Lessons for the Professionals

V. Conclusion