Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in an inflammatory speech last month, referred to United Teachers Los Angeles as the "loudest opponent and the largest obstacle to creating quality schools." In his enthusiasm to join the national chorus blaming teachers unions, he chose to ignore the myriad positive reforms teachers are making in L.A. schools with the support of our union leadership.

We are UTLA representatives at schools in the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, or PLAS, which is affiliated with the mayor's office, and which the mayor has repeatedly identified as "my partnership schools." His speech reflects a lack of knowledge of the progressive reforms UTLA is part of creating at "his" schools.

As chapter chairs, we are part of the "UTLA leadership" the mayor disparages. Like the vast majority of that leadership, we are classroom teachers who work every day with the children of Los Angeles