Randi Weingarten is not all that's wrong with the United States, but if you happen to be looking for a poster girl for the fubarity of our schools, she might be on your short list.
Randi is president of the American Federation of Teachers. She appeared on C-Span today to explain away why her 1.5 million union educators can't educate kids. As you might expect, it's because they don't get paid enough and don't get enough respect.
There's nothing unusual about that sort of nonsense from AFT or the other teacher unions. The striking thing is this woman's analytical and rhetorical approach. In essence, she rilly rilly rilly cares, and her wise and sincere concerns are products of her autobiography.
A reporter asked a how schools might reduce bullying. Ms. Randi responded that she is gay and that makes her an extra-caring expert on bullying.
Another reporter asked about the impact of city bankruptcies on teacher pensions. She revealed that her father was an engineer and didn't get a very good pension.
Near the end, a crusty old guy tried to cut through the crap with a question about "zero tolerance" for most everything public school drones find politically incorrect. (Jack gives Jill a little hug at the bottom of the hill and is expelled for sexual harassment.) Ms. Randi explains she understands the issue because she can remember being a high school teacher. And because "...I sometimes close my eyes and think." ( About half right there, Ms. Randi, if you ask me.)
It's all accompanied by great body language of engaged emotion. Her head blurs from the motion. Her neck stretchs and retracts beneath a visage well-practiced in broad, dramatic segues from smiley to frowny to amazement to just plain querulousness.
I blame public eduction for that, too. I'm all but certain her high school speech teacher told her class that the key element in exposition is enthusiasm (!). "Say it like you mean it, kids, and everything else will fall into place." Yeah. everything except a useful contribution to an important discussion.
I repeat. This woman leads the American Federation of Teachers. It's as though we still have the student on one end of the log but sent Horace Mann off to sell insurance and replaced him with Phyllis Diller.