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Weingarten: Bad Teachers Need Another Profession

LA School Report | July 23, 2013

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Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, delivered a hard-charging speech at the union’s convention in Washington on Monday (transcript here), asserting that ineffective teachers should find another line of work.


“If someone can’t teach after they’ve been prepared and supported, they shouldn’t be in our profession,” she said, winning loud applause from more than 2,000 union members. “We want people to be prepared and supported.” She went on to say, automatic tenure is not “an excuse for managers not to manage and not to cloak incompetence.”

Weingarten also used the forum to criticize those supporting the use of student test scores to hold teachers accountable. She issued an emotional call to action, asking the 1.5 million rank and file members to get involved, using the recent school board elections in Los Angeles as a model for activism.

She applauded teachers who were elected to the school board: “Steve Zimmer was the first, then Bennett Kayser, and just recently Monica Ratliff, a fifth-grade teacher. Her biggest expense against her opponent’s $2.2 million war chest? Refrigerator magnets. L.A., stand up.”


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