Or at least more expensive.

Los Angeles teachers threw out most of their current union leadership Tuesday, electing as president a special education teacher and a slate of newcomers who campaigned on a social justice-centered agenda.

By more than 2,000 votes, teachers selected A.J. Duffy, a 35-year district veteran and longtime union activist, over incumbent President John Perez. About 11,300 teachers, or 27%, of the union's 41,000 members cast ballots. ...

"This is a really completely new look to UTLA," said Duffy, a special education teacher at Palms Middle School. "From the top down. We're all activists…. We're all organizers. We go to work with the community."

That's where I went to school, though it was called "Palms Jr. High" back then -- and isn't PMS an absurd acronym? Anyway, the name of this teacher sounds familiar, but who knows. The key words that makes me pretty sure things are going to get worse in every possible way are in the first paragraph: "social justice". Social justice is different from real justice in that it's not justice at all, it's fundamentally Marxist, leftist forced equality. Teachers love equality, but unfortunately (and inevitably) it comes by dragging the great down to the level of the mediocre.

But teachers who supported Duffy said they blamed the current union leadership for an 18-month delay in negotiations over a new contract.

Romer recently offered teachers a 1.5% raise; Perez countered that teachers should get at least 2%. Duffy, in campaign materials, told teachers that, because of cost-of-living increases, "any pay raise less than 7% means a pay cut."

Most teachers are already vastly overpaid. Why? Because the teachers' unions negotiate contracts that prohibit merit-based pay. Good teachers can't get paid what they're worth, and the profession attracts clueless incompetents who don't want to compete in the free market and like being teachers because their own performances never get evaluated. Plus, many parents are unbelievably lazy and think that if they pretend that teachers belong on pedestals they won't have to feel guilty about ignoring their kids.

Public education is a crock. We should replace our public education system with something that looks like our American university system -- a hierarchy of public and private schools that are mostly funded by tuition and donations, along with public financial aid for those who couldn't otherwise afford to go. We need competition within the system to stir it from stagnation.

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