American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten was criticized on Sunday for saying “remote education didn’t work” and for emphasizing the importance of “relationships” and building trust.
“What we have seen in public education is that technology can’t replace teachers. Remote education didn’t work, in part because you have to have relationships. You have to build trust,” she wrote in a tweet on Friday.
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The American Federation for Children’s Corey DeAngelis reacted to Weingarten’s tweet on Saturday and said “you fought to keep schools closed.” Several others called out Weingarten for “forcing” remote education during the pandemic.
Weingarten recently called out critics who blamed her for school closings in a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal. She was responding to a piece written by the Journal’s editorial board headlined, “Randi Weingarten Flunks the Pandemic.”
“No teacher I know enjoyed remote and hybrid learning—which, pre-pandemic, was championed by Betsy DeVos,” Weingarten wrote, blaming the Trump administration. “Not one teacher relished teaching art class via Zoom to 40 pupils, 20 of them in a classroom and 20 at home.”
“Remote education can work, for some. It may not have worked here because you forced 1000s, if not millions, of students and families to adopt remote against their will,” Jeremy Cady, the state director for American’s For Prosperity Missouri said.
Chief economist at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and former associate director for economic policy of the Office of Management and Budget Vance Ginn advocated for school choice in response to Weingarten’s tweet.
“Forcing one mode of education on students and teachers clearly doesn’t work,” he said.
Radio host and director of the Independent Women’s Network and the Independent Women’s Forum Center for Progress and Innovation Julie Gunlock called out Weingarten for her emphasis on “building trust.”
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Moms For Liberty also criticized Weingarten for saying “you have to build trust.”
“Randi, is that what you are doing in schools? By lying to children about their parents, their country & the quality of their education. Telling teachers to lie to parents. This is how you build trust?”
“Also.. Water is wet,” Aliscia Andrews, deputy secretary of Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia, mocked.
Weingarten blamed America’s teacher shortages on “culture wars” in a tweet posted on Jan. 3.
“The truth about America’s teacher shortage -it worsened during the pandemic-because of burnout & “the culture wars that put teachers and staff under constant scrutiny over any conversations involving history, racism and sexuality,” Weingarten wrote.
“We knew this by September 2020. Why did your union push for another YEAR of remote learning, including 6 months post- teacher vaccine access?!?!?” Justin Spiro wrote.
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Weingarten recently hit back at former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during an interview on “Morning Joe” after he called her one of the most “dangerous” people in the world in an interview.
Weingarten claimed Pompeo was “hurting kids” and making it harder for teachers to teach.
“What he’s doing is making it harder for teachers all across America to teach kids. To bring parents and teachers together. That’s what is pathetic about what he’s doing. He knows better. He’s a West Point boy. He knows better, but he’s doing this to try to win a Republican primary, and he’s hurting kids, and the effort of teachers to bring the country back together,” Weingarten said in November.