RiShawn Biddle with a BRILLIANT evisceration of Randi’s nonsense
Simply put, Weingarten's arguments against Vergara and against Duncan's statement hardly has merit. If anything, the fact that Weingarten fails to mention "tenure" and "near-lifetime employment" and "seniority" serves to remind all of us that she, and her union, are being intellectually and even morally dishonest about the damage to children wrought by the policies and practices they defend.
Randi's problem has nothing to do with Duncan's statement. It is that Vergara is another weakening of the AFT's influence (and that of the National Education Association) over education policy — and a weakening that will extend from California to the rest of the nation as reformers mount legal suits and legislative efforts to end seniority-based privileges.
Randi's issue has nothing to do with polarization. It is that after decades of defending morally repugnant policies that have kept even criminally abusive teachers in their jobs at the expense of children, the AFT's (and NEA's) can no longer make credible arguments that they have the best interests of children at heart.
Randi's dilemma isn't that public confidence in teachers is being eroded. It is that for the AFT's coffers, the ruling again reminds teachers that the grand (and costly) bargain they struck with the union is no longer of any benefit to them. Particularly for Baby Boomers and hardcore progressives within the rank-and-file, the ruling is a reminder of how weak the AFT has become, and Weingarten's unsuccessful triangulating has, in their minds, contributed to problem.
And Randi doesn't fear a setback in kids succeeding. What she fears is that younger teachers long dismayed by the AFT's defense of seniority-based privileges such as last in-first out that impede their career progress (as well as the rigging of AFT local elections that favor retirees over teachers still in classroom) will leave the union for professional associations that focus on elevating professionalism instead of on old school unionized that doesn't befit teaching.
Weingarten shouldn't get mad at Duncan for saying what needs to be said about the failed policies she defends. She should look herself in the mirror instead, and stop defending the indefensible.