American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten is about to join Osama bin Laden on the list of Most Despised People in America. And if even one tenth of Guggenheim's film is to be believed, then this distinction is well earned and well deserved.
Even without seeing this film, anyone with half a brain knows that our country's education system is not working. But while most adults can agree that the system is failing too many of our kids, we have long been unable to come to an agreement on why. But Waiting for 'Superman' seems to settle the debate once and for all. Making it crystal clear just who and what is most at fault for depriving so many American kids of their rightful shot at the American Dream: It's not class sizes. It's not teachers but it is the union bosses who lead them.
As I watched American Federation of Teachers union president Randi Weingarten deflect question, after question about failing and at times abusive teachers (in the film and on MSNBCs recent education special), I found myself overcome by a feeling of deja vu. Her denial, sense of entitlement and talking points all felt awfully familiar. Then I realized why. It was as though she and Pope Benedict, head of the Catholic Church, are operating from the same playbook; a playbook that has hurt untold numbers of children while the adults entrusted to protect them shamelessly cover their own backsides. A playbook in which the primary play is this: Defend and protect the very worst in our profession at all costs, even if it costs all of us our reputation and the trust of the masses in the long run.
Wow - this is what passes for enlightened discourse at Ariana Huffington's salon/blog Huffingtonpost.
This is also what passes for enlightened discourse among some in the education deform movement.
Nice job, Keli Goff!
But why stop at comparing Weingarten to Osama?
Why not Hitler?
Hell, compare the bad teachers to the Gestapo to boot.
Makes for a nice "Nazis/teachers and teachers unions are killing our kids" metaphor.
It's not true, of course.
In fact, if this Keli woman could actually read, she would know that NOBODY in the union movement has given more on labor issues to the ed deformers than Randi Weingarten.
Hell, Rod Paige said Randi is his favorite labor leader.
Secretary Arne loves Duncan too.
For that matter, so does Joel Klein.
They all love Randi because she is, in Klein's words, willing to deal on everything - from merit pay to work rules to tenure and seniority (see Washington D.C. contract for that sell-out.)
But apparently this Keli woman, not too bright, not too informed, and not trying to improve upon either of those scores, is content to buy the demonization of Weingarten from the Waiting for Superman movie and spew that meme wide and far.
That she has a platform at whatever little blog she writes at is bad enough.
That Arianna Huffington gives her a larger platform from which to regurgitate the half-truths and silly jive she saw in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon is really problematic.
Come on, Arianna, I know you hate teachers and teachers unions.
But allowing somebody to use the Osama and pedophile comparisons...
Seriously, that's just too much.