Teacher’s union president says anti-CRT advocates’ efforts spell ‘the demise of public schools’

Kendall Tietz, DCNF

A prominent teacher’s union president said “the real agenda of the right” is “the demise of public schools,” according to an email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten criticized anti-CRT advocates like Chris Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in an email to members of the teacher’s union.

“The real agenda of the right, as Betsy DeVos, Christopher Rufo and others make clear, is the demise of public schools and the fracturing of our neighborhoods,” Weingarten said in the email.

Rufo has been one of the most prominent critics of Critical Race Theory (CRT), revealing examples of the theory and its fallout in school curricula across the country.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

DeVos has been a frequent critic of teacher’s unions and Weingartnen in the past. “It’s time for a lesson on accuracy,” DeVos tweeted back at Weingarten in 2019. “Parents don’t ‘choose’ to send their student to a government-assigned school – they actually don’t have a choice at all! In fact, 69% say they’d prefer to send their student elsewhere.”

The National Education Association, the AFT, and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which serves as an umbrella organization for many teachers unions, all fought against DeVos’s nomination as education secretary in 2017.

Weingarten’s email emphasized the “anti-public education forces will continue to try to divide us” by “stirring up controversy,” “lying about what we teach” and “exploiting the frustration everyone feels about the pandemic to try to pit parents and educators against each other.”

“Plus, thankfully, we have a White House that is willing to work with us and support us—providing testing and ongoing guidance—rather than make our lives harder,” Weingarten wrote.

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