People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

Scarborough and Bernstein In Heated Exchange With Teacher Union Head On "Morning Joe"

CJW, March 10, 2010 12:49 PM


By C.J. Westerberg

The scene was Randi Weingarten, head of the AFT (teachers union), with Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe, journalist Carl Bernstein, and Willie Geist, host of Way Too Early.

You could sense the restraint used by everyone at the table but that couldn't hold back the sparks and impassioned quips that made their way to the camera.

It mainly seemed as if there were two different conversations going on at the same time, where the answers to questions never seemed to quite correspond.  Here are a few money quotes (taken out of order).  Still, quite the disconnect.  Or, cut to the chase and watch for yourself - video below:

Scarborough:  "Unions killed a bill that would have given NY kids (schools) $700 million".

Scarborough:  "Teacher unions have put job security ahead of students well-being."

Weingarten:  "We need to help all of us take more responsibility to help make sure all our kids get a decent education."

Weingarten:  "Teachers want to help kids succeed".

Bernstein:  "You've fought it all these years".

Scarborough:   Harlem Village Academies are at at 8th 100% proficiency level in Math after entering school a few grades behind.

Weingarten:  One charter school run by the union:  "95% did great in 5th Grade Social Studies". 

Watch for yourself in this 12 Below (first 10 are the main event).

Click here for the story about Harlem Village Academies, as reported by The Daily Riff last week.

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I have not yet heard Randi Weingarten answer a question directly. Instead, she talks around them like a seasoned politician. Don't expect her to concede that teachers' unions should step up and take at least some of the responsibility for America's failing schools (which, of course she should). But, until teachers' unions are cut down to size, when they don't have negotiators on both sides of the table, our schools will continue to churn out mediocrity. Teachers' unions are self-perpetuating, self-verifying and self-congratulating entities that should have no place in the education of our children. When it's more expensive to fire a bad teacher than it is to hire and keep a good one, where's the incentive?

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