Randi Weingarten : biography
Randi Weingarten (born December 18, 1957)Who's Who in America, 2007. is an American labor leader, attorney, and educator, the current president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a member of the AFL-CIO, and former president of the United Federation of Teachers. New York magazine called her one of the most influential people in education in New York state."The Influentials: Education", New York, May 8, 2006. Crain's New York Business, an influential business publication, called her one of the 25 most powerful women in New York City business.Traster, "Crain's 100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business - The Power 25: Teachers' Favorite: Randi Weingarten, United Federation of Teachers", Crain's New York Business, September 30, 2007. On June 24, 2009, Weingarten announced she would step down from her post as president of the United Federation of Teachers effective July 31, 2009. In an editorial on July 3, 2009, titled "Head of the class: Outgoing UFT chief Randi Weingarten did right by her members", the New York Daily News said, "Randi Weingarten will be remembered as one of New York's most formidable union leaders—one with toughness, savvy and smarts to spare"."Head of the class: Outgoing UFT chief Randi Weingarten did right by her members", New York Daily News, July 3, 2009
Steven Brill's book, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools (2011) described the success of charter schools, using the Success Academy Charter Schools (then known as Harlem Success Academy) as an example, and profiled teacher Jessica Reid as a model of what could be done without union restrictions. He described how unions, particularly the United Federation of Teachers and Weingarten in New York City, protected incompetent teachers, and were opposed to pay-for-performance, and obstructed necessary reforms,, The New York Times, Nov. 7, 2011. a system he previously exposed in The New Yorker. by Steven Brill, The New Yorker, August 31, 2009
But by the time Brill came to the end of the book, Reid quit. The long hours and stress of her job, with nightly calls to parents, and constant prodding of students, were affecting her marriage. Brill changed his position on charter schools and unions. He said that after two years of researching school reform, he understood the complexities. He reversed his view of Weingarten, and proposed that Bloomberg appoint her chancellor of the school system.
Political activity and other roles
Although personally "progressive", Weingarten and the UFT endorsed George Pataki for re-election as Governor of New York in 2002.Lueck, "As Expected, New York City Teachers Union Endorses Pataki", The New York Times, October 10, 2002. Weingarten is very active in city politics as well, and has been described as a "kingmaker" in New York City mayoral politics due to her union leadership position."Randi Weingarten Becomes Something of a Kingmaker", New York Sun, February 1, 2005.The New York Times The New York Times The New York Times
A lifelong Democrat, Weingarten is a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She was an early and critically important supporter of Howard Dean as Chairman of the DNC.Nagourney, "Leaders Back Dean to Head Democrats Nationally", The New York Times, February 1, 2005. She is a superdelegate who was pledged to Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential primary.Gallagher, "Some NY Super Delegates Still Undecided", Poughkeepsie Journal, February 21, 2008; Nagourney and Hossain, "Old Clinton Ties and Voters' Sway Tug at Delegates", The New York Times, February 17, 2008. In January 2009, she was mentioned as a possible candidate in the appointment process to replace Clinton's U.S. Senate seat.
Weingarten is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert Shanker Institute.
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