Friday, April 13, 2012

DFER lunch and AJ Duffy

I spoke at a DFER ed reform lunch last Thursday, organized by Gloria Romero, head of DFER-CA, and much to my surprise, A.J. Duffy, the former head of UTLA (yes, the guy Steve Barr called a "pig fkr" – sort of), showed up.  As I wrote in January (, Duffy is starting a new charter school, Apple Academy in LA, with ed warrior Caprice Young, that will use a thin contract – and he's really talking like a reformer.  He said two things that particularly caught my attention: A) That "seniority is over – it might take a while, but it's over"; and 2) "My greatest regret when I was head of the UTLA is that I didn't support breaking up the district."  I took that last comment and ran with it, saying "I agree with you.  But let's go further and do the ultimate break up and fully charterize the district, as New Orleans has done.  There, the central office doesn't run schools at all – and thus only consumes 1.75% of the total K-12 spending.  Instead, it evaluates and approves applications for new schools, runs enrollment, and then evaluates (and, if necessary, puts on warning or shuts down) existing schools."

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