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Teacher union boss bends to school reform winds


In the maelstrom of criticism surrounding America’s unionized public teachers, the woman running the second-largest educator union says time has come to collaborate on public school reform rather than resist, Reuters reports. Randi Weingarten, re-elected this week for a third term as president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) with 98 percent of the vote, wants her 1.5 million members to be open to changes that might improve public schools. That willingness to engage, she says, could win over parents, taxpayers, voters, well-funded pressure groups and cash-strapped cities that have blamed unionized teachers for high costs and poor performing schools.

“We have to unite those we serve and those we represent,” Weingarten said in an interview with Reuters at the AFT convention in Detroit. “And we have to think … what’s good for kids and what’s fair for teachers?”

Weingarten rebuffed her critics in the union for mistaking collaboration with surrender and said her overwhelming victory in the election showed rank-and-file members supported the move…

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