Randi Weingarten’s Dance Around Education Reality
Here's Biddle's response to the myth of Randi-the-reformer:
Then there is one issue that Weingarten failed to address altogether: The penchant of the AFT and the NEA to regard Parent Power — including vouchers, charter schools, and Parent Trigger laws — as threats to American public education. Weingarten can argue all she wants that she advocates for a vision of education that is shaped by teachers' unions, families, and communities. But given Dropout Nation's revelations about the union's anti-Parent Trigger stance, she has to offer more than platitudes. This time around, she offered nothing.
This isn't to say that school reformers can pat themselves on the back. As Hess points out, we cannot simply legislate and regulate our way into high-quality education. While Hess forgets that state law and burdensome teacher dismissal rules are a culprit for why districts have done such a poor job in weeding out laggard teachers, he is right in noting that principals and superintendents should use the flexibility they do have to improve their teaching corps instead of just waiting on the more-rigorous evaluations.
Again, Weingarten is certainly charming. Education traditionalists would be better off touting her as their champion than Diane Ravitch. But Weingarten merely offers the same failed, amoral vision that hasn't served children well for far too long.
Randi Weingarten's Dance Around Education Reality
August 24, 2011 No Comments