School Choice

Teachers Union President Thinks You're a Racist if You Yank Your Kids from Their Crappy Schools

Tell it to all the minority children in charter schools across the country.


Randi Weingarten
Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Ethnically diverse Los Angeles boasts a population that's nearly half Latino, 10 percent Asian, and 10 percent African American. The metropolitan area is also the home of the largest charter school program in the country. In May, Los Angeles voters put school choice supporters in charge of the Los Angeles Unified School District board, a show of support for parents' right to decide where to send their kids for an education.

Demographic data across the United States show that charter schools are remarkably ethnically diverse. As of 2014, 27 percent of the charter school population was African American and 31 percent was Latino. These are parents who let the public school system know how they feel about the state of education by choosing to send their kids elsewhere.

So it may seem absurd to try to paint school choice as a racist construct. Yet here we are: In what seems like an awfully desperate attempt to rally the public school establishment, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is attacking the school system's own customers. In a speech before the union, she dismissed school choice as a tool for racist parents to avoid desegregation:

After the Brown decision, many school districts, especially in the South, resisted integration. In Virginia, white officials in Prince Edward County closed every public school in the district rather than have white and black children go to school together. They opened private schools where only white parents could choose to send their children. And they did it using public money.

By 1963, African American students had been locked out of Prince Edward County public schools for five years. AFT members sent funds and school supplies. And some traveled from New York and Philadelphia to set up schools for African American students in church basements and public parks, so these students could have an education.

And what about the schools Betsy DeVos appallingly called "pioneers of school choice"—historically black colleges and universities? HBCUs actually arose from the discriminatory practices that denied black students access to higher education. HBCUs are vital institutions, but that doesn't change the truth of their origins: They were born of a shameful lack of educational choices for African American students.

So, let me see if I understand this properly: Racist government officials shut down access to schools, and as a result black children had fewer choices for eductation, she argues. Black colleges arose as a way of giving educational choices to black students they might not have had otherwise.

So the problem here is private school choice? This was clearly a result of government officials being able to control which schools students were able to attend! In Weingarten's upside-down world, public schools need to be protected from choice, even though historically alternatives to government-run education systems actually helped minorities get access.

Well, it's a good thing public schools have gotten rid of their segregation, right? Except they haven't. If anything, public schools are becoming more and more segregated, according to a Government Accountability Office study last year. And with school choice options, more poor and minority students are opting to leave, rendering them even less diverse.

Let's not mince words: School choice is a boon for poor and minority students, giving them more possibilities that wealthy whites take for granted. It also represents a threat to the interests of Weingarten and the AFT, who have a significant financial stake in protecting their monopoly. Despite the tremendous power, finances, and political influence of education unions, she presented the school choice fight as an actual "David vs. Goliath" scenario where she and the AFT are "David."

In 2016, AFT spent $20 million in contributions to political races, $7.3 million on outside political spending, and $1.3 million on lobbying. Open Secrets ranked them 21st out of more than 18,500 political donors.

But there's something even more telling in that Weingarten sees the AFT as the "David" vs. the "Goliath" of privatization interests: She inadvertently acknowledges that it's a battle for control over the system itself and leaves the parents completely out of it.

It's the parents who are the "Davids" in this half-baked metaphor. They're the ones who are fighting a massive system designed to thwart their desires in favor of those who control it (the very people Weingarten represents).

The AFT is fighting a losing battle, and they know it. Parents, the actual customers of the education system, are desperately looking to take their money and business elsewhere. They're even suing school districts to try to turn their public schools into charters. School choice advocates can very easily trot out any number of students who have benefited from leaving the public school system—and they're not all rich, white kids.

Black students in charter schools have been shown to outperform their public school counterparts. Voucher schools took a hit recently due to reports that students underperform, but a longer view suggests that, over time, these students recover and even score better than public school counterparts in some areas.

Establishment representatives like Weingarten simply cannot acknowledge that they're the villains of this story, and that they've chosen to cling to control of a system that benefits government employees over the needs of the parents and students. Don't try to convince the public that you care about the fate of poor and minority public school students when teachers' union contracts keep schools in those very communities from getting rid of bad educators.

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  1. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is attacking the school system’s own customers.

    Sarcasm, i assume. “Customers” implies that a person is choosing a service and receiving value.

    1. What if the value is negative?

      1. A forced Giffen good?

    2. You nailed it. It reminds me of the VA, where appointments are scheduled largely for the convenience of administrators – doctors and the sick be damned. I know a guy locally waited two months for an MRI – a procedure the private sector arranges same day more than 90% of the time in most any major city.

  2. Union boss is a mendacious cunt? Stop the presses! That’s never happened before!


    1. There is an argument to be made that she is more mendacious and cunty than most.

      1. I find the word “mendacious” problematic. Can we use “persondacious” instead, please?

          1. Second the motion. In fact; oh FUCK no!

      2. She also likes cunty herself….She has been a lezbo a long time & her partner now is a female rabbi….So, she loves the fact that Public Schools shove that LGBT agenda down the kid’s throats!!!

  3. So it may seem absurd to try to paint school choice as a racist construct.

    And your point is?

  4. An Idiot leftist scumbag thinks you are a racists if you challenge his obvious scam.

    Brak Obama thinks you are a racists if you challenge his obvious scam.

    1. Go back to Narn, Brak!

  5. We have to bus white kids to black neighborhoods because black kids can’t succeed unless white kids are sitting next to them in school!

    1. If you’re not cheating off the Asian girl’s test you are doing it wrong.

      1. ‘you are doing it Wong’


        1. If being wong ain’t white I don’t wanna be…wait, no, gimme a sec, I can do this

          1. I got it! Two Wongs don’t make a White, or something.

      2. My wife is Asian. Cheating off of her wouldn’t get you the results you would expect.

        1. Wow, an engineer comes in and maligns women. What a surprise.

    2. But by all means don’t dare address the real causes of the results gap.

  6. She inadvertently acknowledges that it’s a battle for control over the system itself and leaves the parents completely out of it.

    Power is the end, not the means.

    1. “Power perceived is power achieved.”

  7. If I could have a list of approved thoughts and behaviors so as not to be painted with the brush of racism, that would be great.

    1. If I could have a ripped bod and super model girlfriend, that would also be great.

      1. If you have all three of these things and you are a SJW climate change activist actor, you can lynch a black person on the street and the minions will praise you.

    2. You won’t, because it’s whatever they want it to be whenever they want it to change. Just like how they will never answer how much taxation is enough.

    3. If I could have a list of approved thoughts and behaviors so as not to be painted with the brush of racism, that would be great.

      You’ll never get that. They don’t just want your obedience, they want your guilt and submission to beatings.

  8. “After the Brown decision, many school districts, especially in the South, resisted integration.”

    Jesus, why not cast your arguments in an even more historical context; like, “during slavery black children didn’t even have the CHOICE to persue education, so they definitely can’t have that choices now either…! Wait, that sounds wrong *cough* nope I double checked my notes and that is the position in arguing.”

  9. “Each January, parents across San Francisco rank their preferences for public schools. By June, most get their children into their first choices, and almost three-quarters get one of their choices.
    “Since 2010, the year before the current policy went into effect, the number of San Francisco’s 115 public schools dominated by one race has climbed significantly. Six in 10 have simple majorities of one racial group. In almost one-fourth, 60 percent or more of the students belong to one racial group, which administrators say makes them “racially isolated.” That described 28 schools in 2013?2014, up from 23 in 2010?2011, according to the district”…..esegregate

    1. excellence and diversity go hand in hand

      It is amazing they swallow this without any critical thought whatsoever. As long as they don’t pay any attention to the all-Chinese schools…

      1. This mirrors the claim that democracy, qua democracy, is universally good.
        No, it isn’t. Mob rule is not good.

        1. The teachers’ union leadership sees democracy as good sometimes, bad sometimes. And they are not always against segregation. They do not always favor diversity. Historically black colleges are valuable and vital. Segregated graduation ceremonies = ok under certain circumstances.

          Only one idea is common to all their views.

    2. Has anyone done a statistical analysis to determine if this is actually unusual, in terms of what one would expect to happen even students were allotted to schools randomly?

      1. Any reason it wouldn’t mirror the population distribution?…..-Ethnicity

        1. Geographic distribution seems like it would be a larger factor in an individual school than overall population ethnicity distribution. People tend to live near other people that look like they do within their same affluency quintile.

          1. This is what I was thinking. The fact that most schools are predominately o embrace doesn’t demonstrate racial self-segregation; if also like to see what the stars were before this policy was implemented.

  10. Those dumb minorities don’t know what’s good for them.


  11. This is not all that different from the squirrel head calling people names when he is called out for bullshit or just for everything he does. Not unlike Brak calling people names the one time anyone dared challenge him for 8 years.

    Scam artists have a tendency to retreat to childish stupidity when there is no substance.

    Unions usually retreat to violence though so shit’s going to get real interesting when all of these charlatans are finally ousted from their bullshit jobs. .

    1. School teachers aren’t exactly the Teamsters when it comes to violence, unless they’re going to hire some union brothers to help them out.

      1. Oh, they’ve got each other’s back, believe me.

      2. Give them time. Every union employee can be incited to violence. That is one of their core creeds.

        To generalize the entire movement and its history, unions are rooted in thuggery, violence, and ignorance. There is no need for them whatsoever and there was probably never really any real need for them.

        They exist to extort money for the producers under the auspices of fair and safe working conditions. Even workers at the shirt-waste factory could have voted with their feet if they did not like the job.

  12. So as before Democrats are upset people are setting their captives free from bondage!

  13. Evil bitch. May she get the gray scales.

    1. Then painfully cured of the the gray scales?

    2. Grayscale makes me crave meat pies these days.

      1. May she eventually be keel hauled by her mob supporters when her bullshit fails.

  14. Well, of course not. The point of a union is to protect its members. They only care about the quality of the product or service their members make if that puts them at risk. Working to shield members from the consequences of putting out a bad product is the easiest way to do that.

    1. That and a break every 40 minutes to sit around and talk about how tough their working conditions are.

    2. “The point of a union is to protect its Dues.”

  15. You guys simply don’t understand.

    If the government restricts your school choices but those schools are rich with diversity, you are racist for trying to go somewhere else.

    To put it another way – if the government can force you to live in a ghetto but you cry out “I want to live in that suburbs over there”, you are racist, because there are lots of white people in the suburbs.

  16. Everyone who disagrees with me is racist. This is known. Would I disagree with someone, if they weren’t racist? Of course not! What, you think I’m racist?

  17. So she thinks people like me are racists… Well, I think she is a lying, sociopathic scumbag with no motivation beyond covering her ass and those of her dues-paying members regardless of what damage that can do to the educational development of the kids in her charge.

    Guess whose opinion is closer to the truth?

  18. “Let’s not mince words: School choice is a boon for poor and minority students, giving them more possibilities that wealthy whites take for granted.”
    I hate to break it to the white privilege myth promoting author but wealthy Black, Hispanic and Asian’s have the same options as wealthy White people. It didn’t seem like the Obama’s were stuck sending their kids to the failing public DC schools. Poor white people have as few options as poor minority people. It has nothing to do with race, it’s a shame to see the authors of REASON lacking… well… reason.

    1. Irritated me as well….pandering to disillusioned lefties imo.

  19. I’m surprised she didn’t jump on the Buchanan-the-Nazi bandwagon.

  20. So she’s upset because kids want to leave the plantation. How shocking.

  21. You know things have gone astray when having ‘choice’ is considered a threat to the progressive plantation. When you’ve got nothing you got nothing to say except, ‘rrrracist!’

    Who could forget Granpa Gulag’s ‘who needs 23 types of deodorants’?

  22. I wonder how “unfair” it is that my white kid is only one of six (among ALL grades) at the private school she goes to? NOTE: the private school is 90% East Asian (Vietnam / India) and rest is Chinese, Japanese, and SIX white kids.

  23. Is it me or does that parasite look like Garry Shandling?

  24. This is a pretty reusable headline

    (insert progressive) thinks you’re a racist if you believe (insert disagreement)

    1. Needs a pull-down menu for racist/sexist/speciesist/misogynist etc….

      1. Now that’s being inclusive.

  25. In 2013, mrs weingarten’s salary from the aft was over 500,000. Good work if you find (a government to hold a gun to the head of its constituents and force them to pay you for) it.

    1. That is fucking disgusting.

  26. Wonderful, honest woman right there. Regarding the likes of her, Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, Pelosi, etc., I vacillate between thinking they are (i) dumb enough to sincerely believe the sht that comes out of theirs mouths and (ii) simply, woefully, disingenuous.

  27. I live in a Southern city that’s still under a desegregation order. Because of that, the housing price difference between good and bad school districts is huge, and causes de facto segregation. Since we homeschool, i.e. exercised educational choice, we also live in a less expensive, more diverse neighborhood than we would have chosen if we had to attend the neighborhood public schools. Want to fix “white flight?” Go all in on school choice. Bureaucrats never consider the unintended consequences of their policies.

  28. Hillary Clinton, the democrat progressive socialist war monger and sworn enemy of individual liberty will NEVER be president !!!

    1. In 1996 after a long campaign tour Bill Clinton was overheard saying to Al Gore, “I can’t wait to get back to the White House, I’m gonna tear off Hillary’s panties!” Al replied, “Wow, you must be really horny?”, Bill says, “Ah, no the dam things keep riding up my butt crack.”

      Which implies she has already served two terms.

  29. She is as big a friend to minority Americans as Sanger, lol.

  30. to the corrupt and perverse anti-American Teacher’s unions, everything they don’t like is ray cyst. Surprise?

    What I think is racist is the way so many of those persnickety white folk running that self-aggrandising “union” work a few short years then “retire” into their second careers whilst collecing a “pension’ larger than their salary was.

    When they end that greedy practice, perhaps I’ll listen to their charges of “ray schism”.

  31. School teachers aren’t exactly the Teamsters when it comes to violence, unless they’re going to hire some union brothers to help them out.


  32. I suppose it is rude to ask how diverse the school her kids go to is.

  33. This lady is great at destroying whatever reputation the teacher’ unions have left. I do think a teacher’s union is useful to protect the members from the tyranny of school administrators and whiny parents. Having said that, the teachers union is guilty of overreach. They crossed a line when they start to demand what choices kids should have. You know what teachers union lady. Just focus on protecting anyone shafted in a real way by some local school administrator.

  34. Somebody take this evil bitch behind the woodshed and give her a going over with a horsewhip. Please.

  35. Why public unions are among the worst things the West came up with, and they make it so absurdly easy to hate them, there’s not even an iota of personability within them.

  36. These people are insane!!!

    Is it possible to find a more anti-student organization than a teacher’s union? I actually think the most teacher are great and do an excellent job. Many probably deserve raises. Teacher’s unions on the other hand are, at best, awful. And combine that with the typical far left district administrators and it is no wonder the quality of education sucks.

  37. “The Left calls their enemies racists.”

    What else do they do? Complete “dog bites man” headline.

  38. I really love US’ education and I am going to study here, but I’m quite worried after all because I’m a black woman

  39. Diversity is a function of freedom. Use any other device, and… it all goes to hell, as putting the cart in front of the horse has a mortality rate of 100%. The only thing I love about teachers unions is… when they put out voters guides or endorse candidates, I know exactly what to vote against. It’s astounding that once “process” and a governing body is created, the amount of bull people put up with increases exponentially – there isn’t a union left in the US truly serving it’s members on balance. Horrible costs on investment funds, funding candidates the rank & file oppose, abusing the Beck decision with crooked accounting practices, etc they universally stink.

  40. It’s so unfair! people should choose on their own what to do. For example, I always loved writing different stories and essays, I even did it when I wan in high school and college ( for money of course), and because of people didn’t laugh at me, I started to write essays for essay service PaperHelps and now I’m truly happy!

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