Union boss: America abuses its teachers

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Teachers,American Federation of Teachers,Randi Weingarten

America is demanding too much from its public school teachers and then demonizing them when they push back on new classroom chores, according to the president of the American Federation of Teachers union.

Randi Weingarten said that with the new requirements on teachers, pay should also rise, but isn’t, and she suggested that other nations treat and respect their educators better than America.

“We are in a really odd place in the United States of America,” she said with passion during a media breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“Teaching is so respected in other places," she said. "We are who unlocks a future for kids. And yet, we’re still in a space where we get demonized and denigrated and where somebody attempts to split the union from teachers,” she added.

Part of that disrespect, she suggested, comes with all the requirements being put on teachers. “What we’re seeing now is that teachers just get piled on, piled on, piled on. Any new thing idea, just throw it at teachers. And when they say, ‘I can’t do this and the 500 other things you’ve asked me to do,’ then people say, that’s an excuse,” said Weingarten, who’s led the 1.5 million-member union since 2008.

“We need to actually stop the deprofessionalization, and actually start giving teachers the autonomy and the authority that they need as well as the tools and conditions that they need as well as the respect, including pay, that they need if we really do believe that they are the key to our future,” she added.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at