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Policy: Labor

Teachers' union head not in line to run New York City schools: Bill de Blasio

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Beltway Confidential,Education,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,New York City,Analysis,Bill de Blasio,Teachers,Randi Weingarten

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio denies claims that he is vetting American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten as the next NYC schools chancellor.

"I have never had that conversation with anyone," he told reporters Tuesday. "I don't know where you're getting that from."

That's good news for the city. Should Weingarten get the job, it will be the death knell for any form of education reform.

Weingarten has roots in the city, having been president of AFT's New York branch prior to ascending to the top of the union.

Since then, she has been a fierce foe of any attempt to bring accountability to schools, opposing vouchers, charter schools, merit pay and firing low-performing teachers.

A New York public school principal once told the New Yorker that Weingarten "would protect a dead body in the classroom."

When former Washington, D.C., schools head Michelle Rhee tried to institute sweeping reforms, AFT spent heavily to defeat her patron, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty, in 2010 in a naked attempt to force her out.

The effort succeeded but Weingarten didn't stop there. She mounted numerous attacks on Rhee long after she entered the private sector.

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