TNTP called out American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten for not “playing by her own rules” when it comes to fostering collaboration with school districts.
The blog post noted the irony of Weingarten’s call for civility in her speech last week, in which she urged education leaders to “embrace a strategy of quietly, slowly and steadily turning foes into allies with one aim—partnering for student success.” TNTP Chief Executive Officer Ariela Rozman goes on to write:
It’s a nice sentiment, but here’s the problem: Weingarten gave this speech even as her union is bankrolling nasty, deceptive attack ads that clearly attempt to “punch the living daylights” out of Marshall Tuck, a candidate in a neck-and-neck race for Superintendent of Public Instruction—in California, no less. I’d be interested to hear Weingarten explain how a website featuring a fake rich guy lighting a cigar with a $100 bill (really) and a tv ad featuring fake Wall Street tycoons stealing a kid’s sandwich would promote “collaboration” with Tuck if he becomes superintendent. (Tuck’s big transgression, by the way, is that he once worked at an investment bank, years before operating some of the most successful public schools in Los Angeles.)
We all know that education politics can be a nasty business. But we agree with TNTP—you can’t decry the notion of “punching the living daylights” out of education leaders, and then turn around and do just that.
Randi, you can’t have it both ways. Talking it, but not walking it, will just invite even more cynicism from the folks who have the greatest stake in our schools—parents and teachers.