Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pathetic Letter to Times From Weingarten

Want to get a bead on why teachers are in a losing two front war where the enemy is within? Instead of castigating David Brooks for his outrageous column, Weingarten says:

The educational improvements that have occurred during Joel I. Klein’s tenure as chancellor of New York City’s public schools are the result of hard work and collaboration with the United Federation of Teachers and the teachers we represent.

Improvements? Every teacher knows this is a crock.

OK, stop gagging. Susan Ohanian's comment:

This "cover your backside no matter who gets chosen" letter shows how morally bankrupt union leadership is.

Letter in New York Times

To the Editor:

The three very different candidates David Brooks (column, Dec. 5) names as possible choices for secretary of education share a common denominator — they all have worked with teacher unions, to great effect.

The educational improvements that have occurred during Joel I. Klein’s tenure as chancellor of
New York City’s public schools are the result of hard work and collaboration with the United
Federation of Teachers and the teachers we represent.

In Chicago, Arne Duncan has partnered with the local affiliate of the American Federation of
Teachers to restructure struggling schools and adopt promising innovations.

Linda Darling-Hammond has worked with the A.F.T. on projects going back decades to implement lessons from the best research and real-life experience for the benefit of students and teachers in America’s classrooms.

We agree that the choice of a secretary of education is a crucial one. But we disagree that distance from and disdain for teachers’ unions are positive credentials. Demonizing teachers’ unions might win favor in certain quarters, but it won’t do anything to help kids or advance school improvement.

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers and United Federation of Teachers


So Randi, how do we say people like Klein and Duncan who demonize teachers' unions and castigate teachers and then claim to have made "improvements" are somehow "collaborative?"


  1. Thanks for ruining my weekend Norm.

    She is quite incredible isn't she?

  2. I am too shocked to comment further on Randi's letter.

  3. Chaz
    This letter is just a piece of the puzzle the explains why your demands for the union to get back the rights it's lost is a lost cause cause the UFT leaders basically agree with them.

  4. The ray of hope here, though, is that Darling-Hammond is still in the running. I read a great deal of her work while doing my master's thesis and she would be a breath of fresh air in improving both our practice and our working conditions. She's opposed to TFA and similar programs. She believes school leadership should be collaborative and democratic and that PD should be teacher-driven, -implemented, and -led. And she cares a great deal about the unique challenges faced by children in high-need schools. I can't think of a better candidate because we have someone in Darling-Hammond who does NOT treat teachers' and children's concerns as somehow mutually exclusive.

  5. You made all the great points as to why I think Darling Hammond won't get the position because in education (and other issues) Obama seems to be triangulating.

    Remember how he praised Rhee but also is with the unions.

    Names are floated out there and the candidate with the least vehement opposition will be chosen. Klein, Duncan, DH, Rhee are too controversial. TFA is part of the campaign to stop her and David Brooks and other conservatives have bought it. Can you imagine the fight for confirmation for any of these candidates.

    Thus Obama will go safe - probably some neutral politician who has signed on to all sides of the issue.

  6. Randy is a devil, she can support the enemy to keep her power. What else can we expect from her?

  7. Remember also that TFA members volunteered in large numbers during the Obama campaign.
    I'm sure there is some back rubbing and behind the scenes deal making.
    I think this is part of the reason that Darling has been rather quiet on the TFA subject as of late.

  8. But the CSA remains so strong. How else to explain the many lives of Numb Nuts

  9. Randi Weingarten and her $600,000 in yearly compensation lives in a different universe from the people she purports to speak for. She has gained entre into the arena where they experiment with the lives of working teachers and their students for fun and profit.

  10. Numb Nuts is not strong due to the CSA which is actually pretty weak but due to the weakness of the UFT. Klein has empowered supervisors and the UFT has stood idly by. So they derive their strength from his backing. They can do anything to a teacher and will get support. but if a teacher does something even minor with a child - whammo.


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