Reform-Loving Randi

By Vaishali Honawar — July 07, 2008 1 min read
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Everyone knows Randi Weingarten, who will be the AFT’s next president, has forged numerous partnerships with the tough-as-nails New York City school district and has even started union-run charter schools in the city.

Many expect her to follow in the footsteps of Al Shanker, the legendary AFT leader who, like Weingarten, led the UFT and then both the UFT and the AFT, as she will, and who was an outspoken advocate for unions participating in transforming public schools.

But after four years under the labor-savvy but not exactly change-oriented Edward McElroy, the AFT—unlike its bigger counterpart the NEA—wants to leave no doubts in any minds as to where their next president will steer the union: Its latest press release calls her a “reform-minded advocate who represents the next generation of labor leader.”

Now was that a sigh of relief we heard from all those union-watchers who cannot stop talking about the pre- and post-Shanker eras of the AFT?

A version of this news article first appeared in the NEA & AFT: Live From the Conventions blog.