Randi Weingarten letter to Arne Duncan
This week, we needed your leadership; to demonstrate that teacher and student interests are aligned; that we must press—60 years after Brown v. Board—for educational equity; that it takes more than a focus on teachers to improve public education; that, when it comes to teachers, we need to promote strategies that attract, retain and support them in classrooms; and that, of course, removing teachers who can't do their job in quick and effective ways is important, but so is due process, so teachers can take creative risks that enhance teaching and learning.
But instead, you added to the polarization. And teachers across the country are wondering why the secretary of education thinks that stripping them of their due process is the way to help all children succeed.
As you said in your statement, we must "increase public confidence in public education." However, in pitting students against their teachers, the Vergara lawsuit had the opposite effect. Polls show that a vast majority of Americans trust teachers most to improve public education. Why say something that erodes that trust?