I ask our loyal readers: Has Obama done anything positive when it comes to K-12 public education?
From his appointment of Arne Duncan as his first Education Secretary to the awful Race to the Top with its mandates that states have high stakes testing where they rate teachers based in part on student test scores and the Gates funded Common Core. To top all of this, he gives us John King. No surprise that AFT President Randi Weingarten had a positive reaction to the King appointment.
Since King became acting Education Secretary, we have seen both an understanding of the harmful effects of over-testing, and a willingness to promote both the reset of federal education policy and the collaboration with educators and parents that are at the heart of the new federal education law.
The inimitable BLO Ed Scene blog summarizes the Weingarten years for us after seeing Randi's comments welcoming King. Could Randi's public education record be worse than Obama's? After all she is supposed to represent us. From the B-LO EDScene:
Imagine for a second if Weingarten ever said I know I should never have involved myself with Gates. I should've kept my nose out of the Newark negotiations that led Chris Christie to declare it the most satisfying day of his life and hung Newark teachers out to dry with a merit pay contract. What if she took back the Cuomo/Hochul robocalls and admitted she'd fooled nobody and she really shouldn't have worked on behalf of a ticket that targeted teachers and described us a monopoly he planned to break up. Then there's the Hillary endorsement and the TFA speech and as if she hadn't been busy enough she manages to squeeze out a little missive warmly welcoming the appointment of teacher basher, test and punisher John King to Arne Duncan's old cubicle. There exists such a huge body of misdeeds for Weingarten to choose from it's almost overwhelming. But Randi Weingarten is no Jacks Teller. She aint admitting squat. She's no Ragnar Lothbrock and she's not hopping out of any coffin to wreak vengeance on our behalf. Nor is she Tommy Shelby raining hellfire on our adversaries on her best day of collaborating and colluding with every ed reformer and Pearson rep under the sun.
This blog is not only about exposing the negative. We hope for a brighter future. Stronger Together Caucus leader Beth Dimino reacted to the BLO EdScene piece on Facebook;
Weingarten does not represent students, teachers or public education and therefore needs to be replaced. AFT Delegates: the election is this July...Please be there to vote for new leadership!
It's always hard to argue with Beth.
The ICEUFT blog asks: Who has been worse for public school teachers and students: Barack Obama or Randi Weingarten?
Please note that I write this as a Democrat who voted for Obama and thinks he has made some good appointments as well as pushing through and signing some decent laws. I am also someone who worked closely at times with Randi when she was UFT President. I like Randi personally and think she can be very effective when she advocates for a school, a teacher or a cause. I really respect that she actually responds to emails and tries to help even dissidents like me. It is the overall record we are talking about here.