Former Los Angeles mayor, California Assembly Speaker, and importantly, teacher union organizer, Antonio Villaraigosa had some sharp words for teachers unions in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. Reacting to rhetoric at two recent teacher conventions, Villaraigosa asked why the teachers unions were so resistant to change.
“As a former union leader and a life-long Democrat who supports collective bargaining, I am deeply troubled by the rhetoric and strategy we heard at both national conventions. They attacked an administration in Washington that helped protect 400,000 teaching jobs during the recession …” Villaraigosa wrote. “Others are in full-throated denial over the recent California court ruling striking down the state’s public school teacher tenure and seniority laws — despite compelling evidence that it is nearly impossible to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom and that the least effective teachers disproportionately end up in classrooms with low-income children.”