Randi Weingarten and the Teachers Unions Threaten America’s Future
America’s educational system is in desperate need of fundamental change. We must orient our education policies around putting students and their parents first, ensure always that good teachers are rewarded and supported for their excellent work, and keep toxic, woke ideology out of our schools. We must begin by confronting the entities who stand against these basic priorities, foremost among them being the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) led by Randi Weingarten.
Weingarten and her fellow travelers are responsible for persistent failures in our system of education, putting America on a path to self-destruction. This is why I’ve said that the danger she presents to our nation exceeds that of all of the bad guys I battled abroad for four years as Secretary of State and CIA Director. We will find a way to confront Xi Jinping, deter Vladimir Putin, and handle Chairman Kim and Ayatollah Khamenei. But if our students are not taught that America is exceptional, if they do not comprehend the legacy they have inherited, then America will crumble from within. This is the true danger to our country, one that was recognized by Abraham Lincoln many years ago.
The shifting priorities of our educational system have already had terrible consequences for younger generations. Students in China now outscore our children across the board. America’s students are severely deficient in mathematics and science, vital in our technological age. Nations that spend a fraction of our per-pupil costs outpace the United States in educational attainment. More than 70 countries were evaluated recently by the Program for International Student Assessment: American students ranked 35th in mathematics, 16th in science, and 11th in reading, behind China, Estonia, Poland, the Republic of Korea, and other nations. All of this on Weingarten’s watch.
And it’s now worse. That assessment was conducted before the school lockdowns Weingarten helped engineer. The National Assessment of Educational Progress released the Nation’s Report Card for 2022: It recorded the largest-ever drop in mathematics scores. Interminable lockdowns and curricula focused on wokeness led to the most significant decline in test marks since records have been kept. Our students were deprived of crucial in-person support.
But as living rooms became classrooms during the pandemic, Weingarten demanded more obedience. Parents witnessed the failures of an educational system that allows students to be placed last. Instead, we should place students and their parents first.
We must reward excellent teachers and fire those who are deficient. This point is crucial: Our nation’s teachers do not wish to fail their students. Most are wonderful, hard-working individuals who take great joy and pride in developing and teaching the boys and girls who fill their classes. Most would prefer to make this the focus of their work, not woke issues prized by activists. There is a clear distinction between teachers and teachers unions, and we should never lose sight of that distinction.
Critical Race Theory and The 1619 Project derive from Marxist precepts; they do not reflect the greatness and the power of the American experiment. Today, only one in three Americans could pass the citizenship test. The absence of the “reverence for the Constitution and its Laws,” to quote Abraham Lincoln, risks what he called “mobocratic” rule. These repudiations of our nation foster division and ignorance, not reconciliation.
Students will not fulfill their ambitions through diversity training based on the color of their skin or their religion. They will realize their dreams, in the world’s interconnected economy, by being able to compete successfully with young people in every other nation. To do so, they must comprehend the legacy they inherit.
America’s Founding was a watershed in world history. Our nation is exceptional. China, Russia, and Iran destroy human initiative; America allows it to flourish.
President Biden should demand a renaissance in America’s schools, but he is too indebted to Weingarten, her union, and other special interests to do his job. The result is a circus of malpractice that is robbing our children of their future and puts the very concept of America as laid out in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution at risk.
Who are the beneficiaries of Weingarten’s vision of education? Union bosses. Bureaucrats who have multiplied beyond function – and our adversaries. What Xi, Putin, and Khamenei could never accomplish on the battlefield, they are reaping in our classrooms. If Weingarten and her ilk continue to control our schools and universities, we will lose our country, for it will become indefensible.