I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, March 8, 2013

God Bless Randi Weingarten

Lord knows I've had my disagreements with Randi Weingarten in the past - good faith disagreements, yes, but strong disagreements nonetheless.

Let me be among the first to say, however, that this took a lot of guts:

Randi Weingarten and other protestors were arrested and hauled off in handcuffs while demonstrating against school closings in Philadelphia. Neither the Mayor nor the School Reform Commission was willing to meet with Weingarten.
After her release from custody, said the article in the Huffington Post,
“Weingarten said she sees the school closure plan as siphoning money away from public schools, since the plan doesn’t touch charter schools. “This was really a plan to eliminate public education,” Weingarten said. “This is not about how to fix public schools, but to close them — not how to stabilize but to destabilize public schooling.”
“Weingarten called the closings immoral. “When the powers that be ignore you and dismiss you, then you don’t have any choice but try to resort to civil disobedience to try to confront an immoral act,” she said.
“So she joined parents and union activists to form a group of 19 people who blocked the entrance to the meeting. She said she intentionally told Philly teachers not to join, lest they lose their teaching certification, and discouraged parents who are undocumented immigrants from participating.”
Some of you might think this is a publicity stunt, but I don't. Anyone who puts themselves on the wrong side of the law because she is standing up for a principle deserves respect. Going to jail is not fun, and given the capricious nature of our current judicial system, the penalties for Weingarten could be harsh.

You and I may disagree about the Newark contract, Randi, but my hat is off to you. You are a real champion for teachers and for the labor movement.

ADDING: What is happening to the Philadelphia teachers is beyond disgusting. Any country that treats its educators this way ought to hang its head in shame. More in a bit...


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is another one of her stunts that she can point to the next time she helicopters in to negotiate a sell-out contract somewhere.

It is all too typical of Weingarten's misdirection of the membership. After all, where has she been all these years as the Philadelphia school system has been hollowed out? That's an easy one: busy "collaborating" (her word, not mine) with Gates and Broad.

Why did she twice support mayoral control of the schools inNYC - and tacitly support Bloomberg's illegal purchase of a third term in 2009 - which has been the primary vehicle for destabilizing the public schools and privatizing them?

Why has she had AFT-sponsored workshops at the Aspen Institute, extolling for-profit companies and programs in the schools to it's billionaire clientele?

Why is she at this very moment on the advisory board of inBloom, inc., the Gates/Murdoch effort to consolidate all student data and supply it to for-profit entities, with no privacy guarantees?

The woman is very smart and very clever, but she's a fraud. In the struggle between teachers and those who would take over the schools and turn teaching into temporary, at-will employment, she's on the wrong side.

OTE admin said...

Absolutely, Michael. This woman is a total fraud.

Your comment says it all.

Galton said...

I too, see this as Michael Fiorillo does.

I would suggest that Randi has done more harm than Broad. Self-interested traitors are far, far worse than egotistical, billionaire, hobbyists.

phila.ken said...

The truth is Randi Weingarten has a history with the Broad Foundation. See:

"Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education?"


Deb said...

My question is why, if she recognizes what is happening in Philly as worth being arrested for, does she not recognize that she assisted in pushing Newark that much closer to Philly in the contract they just signed? Does she not have the vision to see that Newark will be right where Philly is in a matter of a few short years?

I cannot question her motives or reasons for Philly - I cannot accuse her of showmanship - i do not know her. But I question the cognitive dissidence of her actions in Newark and her actions in Philly.

Anonymous said...

Randi Weingarten plays to the middle.

For example, avid Common Core supported, just like Gates, whom she has taken money from, but calling for a moratorium on Commn Core ( to appease teachers, who don't support Common Core in the first place).