Nixon Goes to China and Opens a Charter School
So did you hear the one about the ex-United Teachers Los Angeles President who wanted to start his own charter school in South L.A.? Yes, that’s right. Long-time anti-charter crusader and former President of United Teachers Los Angeles A.J. Duffy recently applied to open a charter school in Los Angeles. This is the same A.J. Duffy described by Los Angeles Mayor (and charter school supporter) Antonio Villaraigosa as “one unwavering roadblock to [education] reform.”
At his Apple Academy Charter Public School, Duffy aims to make tenure harder to earn (including lengthening the time needed for it). And while Duffy would allow teachers to unionize at his charter school, he would also require teachers to demonstrate their effectiveness in the classroom even after they’ve earned tenure. He also seeks to streamline the process for dismissing ineffective teachers, ideally shortening it to ten days. The current process can often drag on for years, even where there is evidence of gross misconduct.
But, if American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten can support charter schools, then anything is possible.