Don’t lay blame with AFT leader

Los Angeles Times - - Calendar -

Your ar­ti­cle on the ed­u­ca­tion re­form doc­u­men­tary, “Wait­ing for Su­per­man” (“Warm­ing Up to U.S. Ed­u­ca­tion Re­form,” Sept. 19), points out that the film and the me­dia have la­beled Randi Wein­garten, the pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers (AFT), a “bul­wark against re­form.” It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber, how­ever, that the AFT, un­der Wein­garten’s lead­er­ship, is the only na­tional teach­ers union that has been open to any de­gree to mak­ing sys­temic changes that sup­port teach­ers and stu­dents. Only the AFT has been will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate mod­ern-day agree­ments with school dis­tricts, as it did in Washington, D.C., that fairly hold teach­ers ac­count­able for stu­dent per­for­mance while giv­ing them the tools they need to im­prove.

We don’t al­ways agree with ev­ery­thing that Wein­garten es­pouses, and we hope that the AFT takes on a greater lead­er­ship role in ed­u­ca­tion re­form, but we be­lieve it’s only fair to give her credit for be­ing open to change — in con­trast to the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Assn. — and for be­ing will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in de­bates around the film.

Gre­gory McGin­ity

Re­dondo Beach

McGin­ity is co-man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foun­da­tion.

ED­U­CA­TION DOC­U­MEN­TARY:

Daisy does home­work with her dad in the back­ground in “Wait­ing for Su­per­man,” about the cri­sis in Amer­i­can schools.

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