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Steven Singer: It Is Time for Senator Warren to Make Her Education Views Clear

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Let me make clear that I have enormous respect for Senator Warren. I met her in her office in 2015, gave her a copy of my book, Reign of Error, and was greatly impressed by her thoughtfulness and intellect. A few months ago, I attended a fundraiser for her at the home of a mutual friend in Manhattan and was again wowed by her fierce intellect and passionate critique of the status quo.

But I want her now to come out strongly against every aspect of the Trump-DeVos education agenda of privatization, including both charters and vouchers. I want her to support the right of teachers to bargain collectively. I want her to endorse the importance of having well-prepared, credentialed teachers in every classroom.

In this post, Steven Singer criticizes Senator Elizabeth Warren for her unclear signals about K-12 education policy.

When she recently spoke in Oakland, she was introduced by a former charter school teacher who was affiliated with an anti-union, pro-charter group (ironically) called GO Public. Oakland had just gone through a teachers’ strike, prompted in part by the rapid proliferation of charters supported by that same deceptively named organization.

Some defenders on Twitter said that Warren didn’t decide who introduced her.

True. But more worrisome is that her senior policy advisor is a TFA alum with two years of teaching experience.

Teachers don’t want a Michelle Rhee or John White as Secretary of Education. They want someone who supports them, not chastises them as “bad” because they teach the most vulnerable students.

In 2016, Senator Warren supported the “No on 2” campaign to block charter expansion, but she did so while praising charters.

She said at that time:

””In a statement sent out by the campaign organized against the question, Warren, a Cambridge Democrat, praised charter schools in general while expressing concern about the proposed charter expansion’s effect on school districts’ bottom lines.”

If she thought well of charters “in general,”  why oppose their expansion?

Please, Senator Warren, make clear that you stand with fully public schools, not privately managed charters funded by the Walton-Gates-Broad combine, and professional teachers.

 

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