In “Waiting for Superman,” the new education documentary, the union leader Randi Weingarten is portrayed, in the words of Variety, as “a foaming satanic beast,” the New York Times reports. At a two-day education summit hosted by NBC News recently, the lopsided panels often featured Weingarten on one side, facing a murderer’s row of charter school founders and urban superintendents. Even Tom Brokaw piled on. It’s nothing personal, really. Weingarten happens to be the most visible, powerful leader of unionized teachers, and in that role she personifies what many reformers see as the chief obstacle to lifting dismal schools: unions that protect incompetent teachers. A combative labor leader who does not shrink from the spotlight, Ms. Weingarten has been fighting back. She issued a written rebuttal to “Waiting for Superman,” and she has publicly debated the film’s director, Davis Guggenheim, arguing that teachers have been made scapegoats. More to the point, the portrait of Weingarten as a demonic opponent of change — albeit one more likely to appear in a business suit and cashmere V-neck sweater, with a Cartier Tank watch and a red kabbalah string around her wrist — is out of date, according to many education experts…

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About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura