AJ Duffy, The Video                 

A.J. Duffy’s Biography


Background: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Attended New York public schools. 

Education: Associate degree from New York City Community College in Marketing Management.  B.S. in community organizing from Antioch College. General Education credential in Social Studies and Special Education credential from Cal State L.A. 

Teaching Career: Organized and taught in daycare center for working parents in Philadelphia from 1966-71; worked in community day care centers in Venice, California from ’72-74; joined LAUSD in ’74 as a Special Ed assistant and substitute teacher at Salvin Special Education Center; earned teaching credential in early ‘80s; taught at Drew Junior High and Franklin HS.  Found a home in 1991 until 2005 at Palms MS as a Special Ed teacher for six years and served as Dean for eight years. 

Union Activism:

·         UTLA West Area Chair 1996-2002

·         UTLA Board of Directors 1996-2002

·         UTLA House of Representatives 1985-Present

·         CTA State Council 2005-Present

·         AFT/NEA National Delegate 2005-2011

·         UTLA President 2005-2011 (Termed out)

·         AFT Program Policy Committee

Employment highlights:

UTLA President:

·        Brought to LAUSD the pilot school concept and negotiated all three contracts. There are now fifty pilot schools.


·        Helped negotiate two contracts with LAUSD that resulted in 8 1/2 % pay raise and lowered class sizes

·        Helped negotiate the redirection of two hundred million dollars in categorical monies for further class size reduction.

·        Helped form and sat on the joint UTLA/AALA/LAUSD committee to study new Evaluation/PAR Program for contract negotiations.

During my term as president of UTLA, I brought a great depth and breadth of experience from pre-school to high school, both general as well as special education.  As a teacher, dean and organizer, I am thoroughly versed in the complexities that educators face today. 


I have a passion for education, in particular, with Special Education students.  Having been a Special Education student myself as a child, I understand the complexities and struggles of students.  With only a third-grade reading level, at age 25, I dedicated the next five years of my life to learning to read, comprehend and write at a higher level.  I believe my personal struggles have given me the strength and determination I have now to improve education.