Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times
Judith Perez, principal of Hancock Park Elementary School in Los Angeles, found herself stuck with a veteran teacher -- pushed out of another school -- whom she called "a total incompetent." Perez committed herself to either making this teacher improve or forcing her out. "I was a [teachers] union leader, Perez said. I believe in teachers rights and protections.... But my bottom line is Im in this profession for children.... Basically, I dedicated my year to getting rid of this teacher.