is planning on opening up a charter school.
I feel not only surprised, but hurt as well. In fact worse than hurt, more like stabbed in the back. It was just over a year ago when in light of Jason Felch and the Los Angeles Times exposing teachers Value Added Assessment data that I wrote extensively about, but a teacher, Rigoberto Ruelas killing himself because Jason Felch deemed him an ineffective teacher. I even reached out to the UTLA and asked for AJ Duffy, which he graciously and unconditionally accepted, to appear on my Internet radio show.
So it seems that AJ, who was quite vociferous in railing against the Los Angeles Times and its use of VAA, but seemed to genuinely wanted to fight for his teachers as opposed to Randi Weingarten, has now pulled a Randi Weingarten. He is sleeping with the enemy.
Like Randi, he is now an opportunist, a person who sees not only dollar signs, but the power he can have, and perhaps never truly had.
Duffy wishes to make it harder for teachers to earn tenure protections and wants to lengthen that process. He even wants to require teachers to demonstrate that they remain effective in the classroom if they want to keep their tenure protections.
Why is this now the way Duffy wishes to go? Why, the change of heart? Why not put his money where his mouth was and show that a school, that is unionized, that treats its teachers with respect and dignity can succeed?
And if a tenured teacher becomes ineffective, he wants to streamline dismissals. The process now in place can stretch out for several years, even with substantial evidence of gross misconduct. Some union leaders, notably Duffy, have defended this "due process" as a necessary protection against administrative abuses.
Again, let's go back to that old argument. What makes a teacher effective or ineffective? Will Duffy now accept the use of VAA's? Will Duffy have in place measures to stop administrative abuses? The hypocrisy is quite explicit here. How can someone who has spent the last six years fighting for the rights of educators do a 180 and now be against teachers?
"I would make it 10 days if I could," Duffy now says of the length of the dismissal process.
If ever a statement deserved a face palm, this is it.
Duffy had a chance, a great chance to join the ranks of those out there who are opposed to the obscene measures being put on students, parents, and educators by the deform movement. He could have lent a credible voice, a supportive voice to those who are fighting tooth and nail at has become a system that is not serving its neediest children, but rather a system of education that one sees as a place to make a dollar.
Instead he has chosen a path that will, at least he thinks, bestow power, money, and what he considers prestige. Greed, it seems to Duffy, is good. Fighting the good fight, struggling, is bad.
How can Duffy look himself in the mirror and see what he likes? How can he when everything he has fought for, everything he has stood for is now all just moot? Duffy is no more than just a politician. His, and only his, best interests at heart. The families and students of Los Angeles as well as the teachers have just been told by Duffy to F*** Off! So has the rest of America. Shame on you AJ Duffy