Politics, taxpayer funded K-12 systems and Teacher Unions

Jack Elbaum:

There is a reason why you know who Randi Weingarten, the leader of the second-largest teachers union in the country, is. 

She’s the one who threatened to strike if schools did not close in 2020. She is the one who said that school closures were not that big of a deal because “kids are resilient.” She is the one who influencedthe CDC to change its COVID-19 guidelines using almost her exact language. She is the one who introduced a campaign to bring Ibram X. Kendi’s simplistic ideas on race into “every classroom.” In other words, you know who Randi Weingarten is because she is a left-wing culture warrior — and she is proud of it. 

But now, Weingarten wants you to believe that she is completely opposed to “culture wars,” particularly in education. On Sunday, Weingarten published a piece on the American Federation of Teachers website titled“Culture wars harm education.” 

The issue is not so much the basic statement, which seems to be self-evident. Of course, it is preferable for schools to be places of learning for the benefit of children instead of the centers of culture wars that win political points for adults. Rather, the issue is her premise that the culture war somehow just appeared in a vacuum. This assumption is reflected in her decision to focus the entire piece on Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) education policy. But to believe that the culture war over education only emerged because conservatives needed a new boogeyman would suggest a total lack of self-awareness on Weingarten’s part.