Last Thursday, July 20, USA Today reported on a strongly worded speech that same day by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, criticizing U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The speech criticized her for refusing to acknowledge “the good in our public schools and their foundational place in our democracy.” Weingarten said the Trump administration’s school choice plans were intended to starve funding from public schools with vouchers, tax credits and private for-profit charter schools.
On Wednesday, the Center for Education Reform came back with condemnation of Weingarten’s comments as deeply offensive, hateful and crossing a line. The center is an education advocacy group that favors school choice and charter schools.
Center founder and CEO Jeanne Allen said, “AFT president Randi Weingarten’s characterization of education reform parents and advocates as racists akin to the Southern segregationists of the past, is not just ill-advised hyperbole, it is a deeply offensive, highly inflammatory insult to all the parents and people — of all races, backgrounds, and regions — who have worked to bring options, opportunities, and reforms to an education system that has failed them for generations.
“Weingarten’s allies should disavow these comments, and America’s teachers should look into their hearts, consider whether this is the type of language and leadership they want as being representative of their views and voice, and consider inviting Weingarten’s resignation.”