I'm disturbed because, although I sympathize with unemployed parents, I think he (NEA President Reg Weaver) disempowers teachers and underestimates the power of schools to teach kids--all kids. I think we can do a better job, even if Dad is unemployed, even if the family is poor, even if the kid has lots of challenges. I think we can. I don't like to hear a union official saying his members have no agency, no self-efficacy, no power to make change.
This jibes nicely with something I wrote years ago for my local union newsletter:
Additionally, I worry that we seem to feel that we’re not at all responsible for student learning. If we have no impact at all, then perhaps we truly do deserve the slings and arrows that have come our way of late.