Public schools

Los Angeles School Districts Actually Firing Bad Teachers

How novel!


The day after the L.A. school board election, which some said was about Superintendent John Deasy although he wasn't even on the ballot, he appeared at a UCLA event with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The wiry superintendent didn't mill about — he doesn't really mill, gab or make small talk. He buzzes, darting past people, in and out of doors, like a man with a medical condition that won't let him stay still.

The speed with which Deasy moves and speaks is well documented. He brings an uncomfortable impatience to the LAUSD supe's job as he moves to increase the types of schools available to students (known as School Choice), raise achievement on test scores and graduation rates, and require accountability from L.A.'s more than 20,000 tenured-for-life teachers.

Without fanfare, the school district famous for its unacknowledged Dance of the Lemons — a policy of repeatedly transferring the worst teachers to unsuspecting new schools — has started to fire its bad teachers.