Brown V. Weingarten Round II

As noted below in this morning’s post, today Twitter is alive with sounds of back and forth between journo Campbell Brown and AFT head Randi Weingarten.  You can get a taste via this link and the handles of the two are below. A few random thoughts:

#1 On the substance, I think what may really have the teachers unions pissed off here is that in her op-ed Brown called out the ridiculous way arbitrators are selected. It’s one of education’s dirty secrets and it’s unlikely they want a lot of attention on that.  Not much else in the op-ed is new.

#2 On the charge that Brown is compromised because of her husband, I did some poking around and it turns out that he, Dan Senor, is on the board of the New York chapter of Students First – the Michelle Rhee led organization.  That hardly disqualifies Brown but should have been mentioned in the piece, in my view, it’s an easy disclosure and given the focus of the op-ed it seems relevant.  On the initial charge that Brown should be disregarded because her husband works for Romney, that’s exactly the kind of intellectual McCarthyism that poisons education debates and should be treated as such.

#3 Overall I’m not sure though that this was a smart fight for Weingarten to pick.  First of all, it’s not winnable, there is a problem with removing dangerous teachers from classrooms and anything less than absolute zero-tolerance for it won’t play well on main street – especially given recent events. And in this case, the famed “Feinberg reforms” that the AFT championed to address this amounted to little  and even Feinberg distanced himself from the effort. Not sure why you’d want to call attention to that. What’s more, I don’t know Brown personally but do know plenty of media types who are quite fond of her so bottom line: Picking a fight with Miss Congeniality over sexual abuse of children might not be the most inspired public relations strategy.

6 thoughts on “Brown V. Weingarten Round II

  1. PhillipMarlowe

    Campbell Brown: Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators
    Wasn’t there a call for civility recently?
    In Maryland, suspected child abuse is to be reported.
    No if, and or buts.
    Failure to do so can lead to criminal prosecution of the teacher who was told by a child or had reason to suspect.
    Am I to understand that is not the case in New York, that teachers can ignore abuse, and that the teacher unions fight to change laws.

    Maybe Randi should have called Campbell a liar and left it at that.

  2. PhillipMarlowe

    carolcorbettburris
    August 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm
    Not only Ms Brown, Diane, but three other experts…from TFA, E4E and Students First NY were allowed to testify while practicing principals and teachers were not. All called themselves CEO’s. their average age was about 32. Yet the principal of Francis Lewis HS, a principal from Rockland county and I could not even testify during the open remarks (which werecancelled). I “signed in” at exactly the same moment as Ms Brown. All three principals had requested to testify on teacher/ principal quality, as had two of the teachers from my school.
    Why Ms Brown was placed on the panel is odd, because her testimony did not fit the description. We all had to send in our testimony ahead of time.
    My teachers learned a lot that morning about the so called reform agenda….

  3. PhillipMarlowe

    Great.
    The invitation has its critics. Michelle Rhee suggested that the summit might have a negative impact on education reform. “Quite frankly, we don’t want union leaders to be seen eating in public. It is not in our best interests that they be perceived as human.”

    But no Andy, who helped fan the flames and still can’t provide evidence.

    Maybe he trying to outdo Michelle Rhee for the Lillian Hellman award.

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