(Warner Todd Huston/The Union Label) – L.A.’s mayor has blasted his old bosses for blocking reforms and protecting bad teachers. Could the unions’ charmed political life finally be ending? We can only hope so.
Antonio Villaraigosa was once an organizer for United Teachers of Los Angeles and a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association. Now mayor of Los Angeles, he has been a staunch liberal throughout his political career. So his speech last week at a Sacramento conference of the Public Policy Institute of California was bound to make news in a man-bites-dog way.
Here’s a sample of what he said about his old employer, UTLA:
“Over the past five years, while (I was) partnering with students, parents and nonprofits, business groups, higher education, charter organizations, school district leadership, elected board members and teachers, there has been one, unwavering roadblock to reform: UTLA union leadership.”
“At every step of the way, when Los Angeles was coming together to effect real change in our public schools, UTLA was there to fight against the change and slow the pace of reform.”
Villaraigosa also had plenty to say about the type of reform he wanted to see. And it was not what the union would have wanted to hear….