Teachers Union President Joins Anti-Union Operative to Praise Charter Schools

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Randi Weingarten must be out of her damn mind!


The president of the second largest teachers union in the country, The American Federation of Teachers, is now writing op-eds with anti-union activists!?

Just this week she authored an article in the Los Angeles Times along with Jonah Edelman.

Perhaps you remember him. He’s the corporate shill who infamously bragged on YouTube about tricking teachers unions into supporting an Illinois law that would have stripped educators of their right to strike while eliminating seniority and due process.

Yes, THAT Jonah Edelman!

And why is she joining forces with a man who has dedicated his life to destroying the lives of the more than 1.5 million people she is supposed to represent!?

To fight school vouchers while pretending charter schools are a much better alternative.

No, I’m not kidding.

In the midst of an article that correctly outlines many of the problems with school vouchers, you’ll find this telling nugget:

“We believe taxpayer money should support schools that are accountable to voters, open to all, nondenominational and transparent about students’ progress. Such schools — district and charter public schools — are part of what unites us as a country.”

So once again we get the false distinction between charter and voucher schools.

Yet they ignore that BOTH are run privately without community input.

BOTH are not accountable to taxpayers.

BOTH are allowed to cherry pick the easiest students to educate and turn away those with special needs.

Yet Weingarten and her new best friend somehow think charters are worlds better than vouchers.

Wrong! They’re BOTH terrible.

Publicly funding privately run schools is nearly the same no matter whether you call them charter, private or parochial schools!

Yet we see Democratic partisans trying desperately to distinguish their cash cow charter schools from the extremely similar golden geese of voucher schools.

It’s a trick. Republicans champion privatized education in all of its forms. Democrats pretend to be discerning by boosting only charter schools.

But there’s really very little difference between these two positions. In each case, these partisan hacks are defending privatization against any and all forms of public education.

Weingarten apparently is even willing to throw the majority of her constituents under the bus to do so!

Charter schools are a failed social experiment. The majority have become merely parasites on traditional public school districts sucking out much needed funding without putting anything of value back.

They result in larger class sizes, a narrowing of the curriculum and more layoffs for the very teachers Weingarten is supposed to represent.

In the rare occasions when charters actually provide good educational value, the law explicitly allows them to change for the worse at any time. The problem isn’t a few bad apples. It’s the concept of charter schools, themselves.

You can’t have a separate level of school competing with its community district and expect the two not to end up harming each other. You can’t allow one school to operate in the dark without hardly any transparency and expect operators not to take personal advantage of it. You can’t allow one school to choose its students without expecting to drastically segregate the community’s children.

Yet here we have Weingarten joining hands with the devil signing a Faustian bargain with the blood of every member of the American Federation of Teachers.

Yes, school vouchers are a bad idea. They violate the separation of church and state. But other than that, they’re pretty much the same as charter schools. If you agree to defend the one while attacking the other, you’re just fighting about what to name the privatized school that will eventually overtake the public ones.

Weingarten should know that.

But this isn’t the first time recently that she’s agreed to hob knob with those salivating over the destruction of her own chosen profession.

Just last month, she went on a field trip to a public school with Betsy DeVos, our Anti-Education Education Secretary.

As parent and teacher activists were physically barring DeVos from entering some public schools, Weingarten was giving her a guided tour!

Some will say that we need to educate DeVos, a Republican mega-donor with next to zero experience of public education and a history of spending billions to destroy public schools. So how did it work out?

DeVos said the school was nice but could benefit from more privatization.

Thanks anyway, Randi.

You can’t make friends with the corporate education reformers.

This was one of the major weaknesses of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She tried to walk this same divide praising “high quality” charter schools while criticizing those that exploit the system.

In both cases, they’re ignoring the fact that the system was designed EXPLICITLY TO BE EXPLOITED – by charter schools.

This is one of the reasons I’ve been calling for Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association, to step down.

They aren’t listening to their constituents.

They have both gone rogue. They are playing politics on our dime without giving proper consideration to what’s in our benefit.

Teachers don’t want their national union representatives playing patty cake with those out to destroy us. We want action in the streets! We want activists and resisters, not diplomats and politicians.

It’s time Randi and Lily stepped aside for union leaders who understand what our schools, our students and our profession really needs.

10 thoughts on “Teachers Union President Joins Anti-Union Operative to Praise Charter Schools

  1. Randi must think that the enemy (for profit corporate charter schools) of my enemy (Trump/DeVos vouchers) is my friend UNTIL vouchers are defeated and Randi returns to combating the scourge of autocratic, for profit, often fraudulent and inferior corporate charter schools.

    Fighting two greed obsessed, autocratic, private sector forces is too much to deal with. Join forces with one to defeat the other and then return to bashing it out with the enemy you joined to defeat an enemy you think is even worse.

    The same thing happened in World War II when the US joined forces with the USSR to defeat Nazi Germany and as soon as Hitler was gone, the US and USSR returned to being enemies.


      • What union are you talking about?

        The AFT is broken up into many unions just like NEA. There is the national level (the one that sometimes doesn’t seem to be representing its members), the state levels, and then local unions for most of the 15,000 public school districts. There are even teachers’ unions that do not belong to NEA or AFT. These unions are often found in large city school districts.

        That means there are thousands of teachers’ unions. The locals almost always support what the teachers want. If enough locals under the national AFT umbrella protest against Randi, that might bring about change.

        Teachers’ unions are democratic organizations. There is no way that Randi (AFT national) can control the locals like Trump can control his often bankrupt and fraudulent, lying, family business that has survived because of court cases and close to a billion dollars in corporate welfare – not mentioning how much Russian mafia money Trump made laundering their cash through his family real estate business.

        The state and national levels of teachers’ unions do not control all the money that members pay with their dues. A ratio of the dues goes to each local and the locals spend that money as they see fit.

        When I was teaching, I belonged to ARE (local), CTA (State), NEA (national). The local that I belonged to was ARE (Association of Rowland Educators) and the members that paid dues voted for their local president and their representatives who met regularly to decide what issues they would support and how much money from their slice of the dues to spend.

        While Randi of AFT (national level) is getting too much attention for not representing her union’s members’ best interests, why has the largest teachers’ union been ignored.

        For instance the California Teachers Association:

        Trump-DeVos Budget Ignores What Really Works
        Administration’s Education Agenda is the Opposite of What Students Need

        Contacts: Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1550 or Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324

        BURLINGAME — California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

        “The proposed education budget proves Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are out of touch with the needs of students and working families. Their education agenda actually represents the opposite of what we know leads to success, which is well-resourced neighborhood public schools that provide students with the support, one-on-one attention, inviting classrooms, and well-rounded curriculum they need.

        “The Trump-DeVos plan for education, which includes voucher programs and $10.6 billion in budget cuts, will strip funding for after-school programs, arts education, loans for low-income students, professional development for educators, and class size reduction. Our students deserve more, and our country deserves better.

        “California voters have repeatedly said no to vouchers and yes to greater support for public schools and colleges. Trump should look to California to see what’s working and stop pushing bad ideas on our students and our state.”


        The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with
        the 3 million-member National Education Association.



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