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In 13 Years of Education Reporting, So Much Has Changed

I first met Alex Caputo-Pearl, the strike-leading president of the Los Angeles teachers’ union, in 2011, when I shadowed him for a day at Crenshaw High School. I was working on a book about the history of public school teaching, and Mr. Caputo-Pearl, then a social studies teacher, had a fascinating personal story.

He had served in the very first class of Teach for America recruits, in 1990, and was part of a small group of original T.F.A. members who were, 20 years later, still working in urban public school classrooms.