You don’t have to be a teacher to recognize that the attacks levelled at Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, are overblown (“Who’s Afraid of Randi Weingarten?” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 7). That’s not to say she hasn’t stumbled badly during the pandemic. Instead, it’s to try to understand why anyone in her position will be vilified.
Traditional public schools in this country must enroll all young people who show up at their doors anytime during the school year regardless of their motivation and ability. Charter, religious and private schools do not have that same right. As a result, the teachers whom Weingarten represents are saddled with unique responsibilities. If they were like their colleagues in other schools, they wouldn’t need any leader at all.
By virtue of the realities she faces, Weingarten must take unpopular positions on highly controversial issues. Not surprisingly, she or anyone else in her shoes would be subject to the same attacks.
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