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Teachers Say No Freaking Way to AFT Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Ohanian Note: Read the AFT endorsement of Hillary for yourself. It says "the executive council of the American Federation of Teachers voted overwhelmingly to endorse Hillary Clinton. . . ."

By all reports, AFT dues-paying members are overwhelming--in their outrage at this bizarrely premature endorsement.

For starters,ever since she was Arkansas first lady and sitting on the Walmart board, Hillary has supported a corporate view of education. Her husband's Goals 2000 is the precursor of NCLB. Republicans prevented him from getting the national test he wanted.

Randi Weingarten's premature endorsement of Hillary has provoked a firestorm of protest on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

Here's the view from Chicago.

Fourteen months before Democratic Party nominating convention... American Federation of Teachers Executive Council endorses Hillary Clinton!

by George N. Schmidt, Substance News, July 12, 2015

Five years after Randi Weingarten, the national president of the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT) shared the stage at the union's July 2010 national convention with Bill Gates (while snubbing Gates's union critics in the Pacific Northwest), Weingarten shocked many of the union's members by announcing that the union's leadership was endorsing the candidacy of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten spoke to the Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates meeting on April 3, 2015, but refused to take questions from the delegates after her brief remarks.

The AFT announcement came in a press release on July 11, 2015, following a meeting of the AFT Executive Council. The AFT Executive Council consists of 42 members plus the union's national officers. Chicago's Karen Lewis is among the members of the AFT Executive Council.

There's a petition on Change.org: Contact the AFT and demand they rescind their endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

And here's the view from Washington, D.C.

By Candi Peterson, WTU General Vice President

On Saturday, July 11th -- the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President, Randi Weingarten came under fire after her executive council voted overwhelmingly to endorse Hillary Clinton for the democratic primary for President of the United States. AFT is the parent organization of Washington Teachers' Union, Local 6.

In an AFT press release, President Weingarten said "Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities. That fight defines her career."

Weingarten added that Clinton is a "product of public schools and believes in the promise of public education.... Hillary understands that policymakers need to work with teachers and their unions. She's ready to work with us to confront the issues of children and their families today, including poverty, wage stagnation, income equality and the lack of opportunity."

Even though AFT's press release explained the process of how members were polled, including several town hall meetings, multiple surveys and a "you decide" website, the announcement of the endorsement erupted a firestorm of outrage from AFT teacher members nationwide on twitter.

In the course of hours, many teachers hurled questions at @Rweingarten and @AFTunion twitter accounts asking, when was there was a poll of the membership and requesting links to all of the polls.

Renowned NY Teacher *blogger, Arthur Goldstein (known as NYC Educator) said "...AFT Link says they used telephone town halls and a web-based survey, I didn't even know existed."

Katie Osgood, a special education teacher from Chicago said "I know many AFT members too and have not heard one person polled either." Mary Ahern called it "B.S. and queried how many of the over 1 million members responded?â

Activist teacher members and others lamented that the AFT endorsement of Clinton was a clear reminder of President Randi Weingarten's autocratic leadership style that treats teachers like passive herd-driven professionals rather than independent thinkers with a voice.

Phil Soreneson tweeted to President Weingarten, âglad Iâm NEA, u donât speak for me, u just made teachersâ look politically inept. Thanks for nothing.â

Naturewoman tweeted to AFT, "guessing you did not poll your members! No to Clinton who promotes Teach for America and charters!" Mr. Stevens echoed "Clinton endorsement is a joke & local union voices are being silenced to retain AFT union funding."

Minnsanity added, "AFT tried to shove NCLB, common core, PARCC and now Hillary on us - we ain't buying." Barmak Nassirian âsummed it up best in his tweet, "sad day when political expediency trumps legitimate representation of members' real priorities."

Within hours teachers demanded fellow members to contact AFT and demand they rescind the Hillary Clinton endorsement. Teachers began adding their comments to Diane Ravitchâs education blog where she posted AFTâs press release on the Clinton for President endorsement. So far 147 comments have been posted, to date.

Given no one could locate AFTâs poll of members', the Badass Teachers Association (BAT) took matters into their own hands by conducting a poll on Face Book. So far 1240 teachers endorsed Bernie Sanders and only 84 endorsed Clinton. One teacher said "Weingarten has this thing about giving false information via polls... It's scary."

Some of our AFT members are taking matters into their own hands and have created a petition to demand AFT rescind their Hillary for US president endorsement. Click on LINK for the petition. So far 1,109 had signed on.

I too was up in the wee hours of the morning watching all of this unfold. Right here in DC, as an active member of WTU local 6 and elected General Vice President- I wondered how I had never been polled or invited to participate in AFTâs web based town hall or knew of members who had?

I concur with Alxa Rodriguezâs tweet, âit is 2:23 am and I am so mad at AFTâs âª#prematureendorsement I cannot sleep. And so I tweet. And.all my friends are up tooâ¦.â

Donât get this twisted, in the words of Lace to the top, âThe story isn't âªRandi Weingarten and AFTâ's endorsement of âªHillary Clinton. The story is all the amazing teachers saying no freaking way!!!!â

© Candi Peterson 2015

— Candi Peterson
Washington Teacher blogspot





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