Sunday, August 03, 2008

D.C.'s Teachers Can Make Their Own Decisions

Sunday, August 3, 2008; B06

Regarding the July 23 editorial "Teachable Moment":

I dismiss the reasoning in this editorial as that of the right-wing, rich and powerful, politically connected and corporate leaders who seek to control political thought in Washington. But if I fail to respond to The Post's anti-union, anti-teacher discourse, the public just might accept your version of reality, which suggests that teachers unions oppose educational progress and have no right to advocate for teachers. I object to your comments defining me as a hardliner because I am an advocate for teachers, students and schools.

Teachers should be respected as professionals capable of discussing their contract in private without the interference of political lobbying from our bosses and newspapers. Having outsiders present at our informational sessions is totally inappropriate. Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker caused a controversy when he failed to consider input from the union's executive board and membership regarding whether we should invite Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to our informational sessions.

The Post was simply wrong to weigh in on the decision-making processes of our members. It is time for The Post to stop putting political ideology ahead of equitable coverage of the other side of the public education reform story.

Member, Board of Trustees
Washington Teachers' Union

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