This week, parents, elected officials, students, and communities are engaging in National Teacher Appreciation Week. For one week every year, teachers across the country are acknowledged for their often selfless contributions and thankless efforts.
In May, I continued my conversations with thought leaders from China to New York who sketched out for me the conflicting overlaps between creativity, innovation, reform and testing, and shared their efforts to create coalescence between them.
I think Weingarten is positioning AFT to be the key in the AFL-CIO endorsement of Cuomo for Democratic candidate for president. Sure, he's playing coy with the press for now by not openly declaring his candidacy, but stay tuned. I think it's Coming To A Theater Near You.
Bill Gates is paying a "nonprofit" already overly involved in federal affairs to "help" the USDOE "improve" its operations -- and no doubt those "improvements" will coincidentally serve the lucrative, privatizing purposes of the nonprofit-affiliated "improvers."
Last week the Center for Union Facts (don't believe the name) sponsored a full-page ad in the Times attributing the "high school slip in global rankings" to a single issue: the failure of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to promote merit pay for teachers.
For many years the American Right -- and many of the most powerful elements of corporate and Wall Street elite -- have conducted a war on public employees. It's time for Progressives -- and Americans of all stripes -- to wake up and smell the coffee.
Some on the political right see the CCSS as federal intrusion. Some on the political left may see these new standards as infringements on teacher autonomy. But many are just fed up by the botched implementation and lack of resources.
I have been told that "the unions" are the major forces on the side of classroom teachers in this fight against the corporate takeover of American public education. I want that to be true -- but I cannot ignore what I am seeing.
My letter is pointed and confrontational. It honestly captures my concerns about Weingarten and AFT. Rather than offering any comments on Weingarten's response, I wish to simply allow readers to read both letters and form their own opinions.