Sunday, March 9, 2014

Some Thoughts on Randi Weingarten and BATS

I have no problem with people on our page critiquing Randi Weingarten's leadership of the AFT. I have a HUGE problem with anyone asking to remove her from BATS. We only remove people from the organization for violating our posting policies- or for being persistently divisive on our pages- not for their actions outside of BATS. To do so would set a terrible precedent and turn us into intelligence officers invading people's privacy
Also, I think we cannot reduce Randi Weingarten's leadership strictly to the way she approaches CCSS, Teachers unions are dealing with many life and death issues for their members, including pension theft, school closings, attacks on teacher tenure, threats of decertification etc. and local union leaders and members have every right to evaluate Randi on how she helps them deal with those issues as well as Common Core
I personally disagree with Randi W's approach to many issues Mercedes Schneider has identified, but I have also seen her come to the defense of teachers under attack in Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark and many other places.
I think the teachers in those cities, as well as teachers in other cities facing similar issues, have the right to evaluate Randi's leadership without pressure from people outside the union who are not walking in their shoes, and to make their own decisions in an atmosphere which takes into account everything they are dealing with
BATS will go head to head with Randi W on Common Core and her connection with the Gates Foundation, but we will leave it to members of her union to decide just where they want to go with these issues.
We encourage debate, but will not respond well to pressure from people who are not inside the union to press BATS to ban her  or launch a campaign for her removal.