Teachers’ unions are losing their allies, writes columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr.
. . . journalist Carl Bernstein, who, in a cable television exchange that went viral on the Internet, verbally pummeled American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. The confrontation took place after New York flunked out of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition for hundreds of millions of federal education dollars because teachers unions refused to sign on to the state’s action plan.
“The perception is that you all, over the years, have put job security in front of the welfare of kids,” Bernstein told Weingarten. “There is something to that perception.”
Yes, there is.
Many Americans are losing their jobs or taking pay cuts, writes Navarrette.
There is little sympathy for organizations that — by virtue of brute political force — keep demanding more public money and less accountability without giving an inch.
. . . The public schools operate on our dime. The students are our kids, and whether they succeed will help determine our country’s future. This makes us major stakeholders who deserve to have a voice in how this enterprise goes forward.
Indiana won’t apply for second-round Race To The Top funds because the teachers’ union won’t support the reform plan, State Superintendent Tony Bennett announced yesterday. Rick Hess hopes Arne Duncan will make it clear that union support isn’t a make-or-break for RTTT applications.