Monday, September 28, 2009


I read the Washington Post piece on education last Friday with a little surprise. AFT President Randi Weingarten is finally sounding negative on Obama's education plan.

" 'It looks like the only strategies they have are charter schools and measurement,' said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. 'That's Bush III.' Weingarten, who praises Obama for massive federal aid to help schools through the recession, said her 1.4 million-member union is engaged in 'a constructive but tart dialogue' with the administration about reform."

Is this just talk or is it real?


Unitymustgo! said...

Don't forget your own words:

"Never believe what she says, instead believe what she does or often never does."

Nothing more than just another example of her trying to sound tough and garner support from her constituency, but then never actually doing anything and/or backdoor supporting the very policies she just spoke up about. The Obama train is running down the track and they need some wins. Longer school years and longer school days are bi-partisan and an easier sell than most of his other agenda's. The funny thing is Randi is right on about Obama and schooling. What a shame she isn't a real leader, actually willing to do something other than a few words here or there. If your one of those that thought we were lucky to be rid of her here in NY, think again. She can now sellout teachers at a National level, and once longer school years and days starts to take off else where well, like the proverbial saying “read the writing on the wall.” The funny part is when you actually look at the statistics about schooling and other countries, we here in NY are already right on par with what Obama wants. It’s the rest of the Nation that needs to catch up to us. My source for this last part is an article in Newsday. They actually did some real reporting and looked at the numbers with a somewhat critical eye. The “other” nations Obama in theory thinks we should be more like have average school years of 190 days. Most of the U.S. has 180 school days.



Anonymous said...


After many years observing Feldman's and Weingarten's sayings and doing, reading what Norm Scott has written and what Mirian Swerdlow has written about union strategy and policy I must agree with UMG who quotes you:

""Never believe what she says, instead believe what she does or [more] often never does."

I began seeing this "just say it" strategy happen under Feldman; I questioned my CL and DR about this. Of course these questions made them uncomfortable and they never gave a straight answer. I found out there was a cadre of teachers who verbally they didn't disagree with the Unity CL and DR but were voting New Action. Sadly, New Action collaborates with the Collaborators these days.

I hope more and more teachers take responsibility and instead of passively accepting the "this is the best we can do's," and the "this is a done deals" send a simple message: "Enough collaboration; let's be a union that truly represents the membership and not be the facilitator of the 'oligarchy.'"

I continually admire your optimism along with the other who stand steadfast and ready to truly represent the membership's interests.

Good luck.

James Eterno said...

8:45 p.m. you obviously have been around the system for a while. I appreciate you and Unity Must Go for the insights.

Anonymous said...

I think it's just smoke too. When you look for a glimmer of hope from Randi, it usually blows up in your face.