Randi Weingarten wrote a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, criticizing his sympathetic response to the Vergara decision, which held that tenure and seniority were unconstitutional in California.

She wrote:

“This week, we needed your leadership; to demonstrate that teacher and student interests are aligned; that we must press—60 years after Brown v. Board—for educational equity; that it takes more than a focus on teachers to improve public education; that, when it comes to teachers, we need to promote strategies that attract, retain and support them in classrooms; and that, of course, removing teachers who can’t do their job in quick and effective ways is important, but so is due process, so teachers can take creative risks that enhance teaching and learning.

“But instead, you added to the polarization. And teachers across the country are wondering why the secretary of education thinks that stripping them of their due process is the way to help all children succeed.”

But Arne Duncan showed that he IS a leader: a leader in the effort to strip teachers of due process and a leader in the well-funded campaign to erode public confidence in public schools. He befriends the privatization movement. He likes to close public schools and turn them over to private operators. He is a cheerleader for charters. He admires those like Michelle Rhee who spend vast sums of money to remove any job protections for teachers. His silence and inaction on the subjects of poverty and segregation are notable. Yes, he is a leader, but on the other side.