Dear Commons Community,
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Friday that Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama’s education chief, has turned his back on the concerns of educators and parents, but did not go as far as the NEA in calling for his resignation. As reported in The Huffington Post:
“Teachers unions have been clashing with the administration over its support for charter schools and its push to use student test scores as part of teacher evaluations, a relationship that further frayed after Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke in support of a California judge’s ruling last month that struck down tenure and other job protections for the state’s public school teachers.
“We need a secretary of education who walks our walk, and fights our fight for the tools and resources we need to help children. And we are deeply disappointed that this Department of Education has not lived up to that standard,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a speech at a union convention in Los Angeles.
She said the judge’s decision in the California case “presupposes that for kids to win, teachers have to lose. Nothing could be further from the truth.” She added that Duncan needs to listen to parents and teachers “rather than dismissing their concerns.”
Earlier this month delegates of the largest teachers union — the National Education Association — called for Duncan to quit. That action underscored the long-standing tension between the administration and teachers unions — historically strong Democratic allies.”
It is becoming apparent that Arne Duncan and indirectly President Obama have lost the confidence of educators and it will be interesting to see how Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic candidate for president responds in 2016.