Just when they thought they had weathered the storm brought on by the powerful documentary "Waiting for Superman", teachers unions once again say they come out looking like the villain in the upcoming major Hollywood movie "Won't Back Down".
Mega-stars Maggie Gyllenhal and Viola Davis portray the hero parent and teacher who vanquish the obstructionist union by taking over a failing public school and turning it into a charter school.
The movie will not be released until September 28, 2012 but it was screened at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions to rave reviews. Well, rave reviews from everyone but the teachers' unions. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten who was demonized in Waiting for Superman is spitting mad.
She says quote: "Unfortunately, using the most blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen - even worse than those in '"Waiting for Superman" - the film affixes blame on the wrong culprit: America's teachers unions."
Weingarten wants to maintain the status quo. She thinks her friends in Hollywood have turned against her.
The director, Danile Barnz, is a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat whose parents were both public school teachers. He says he went out of his way to celebrate teachers and he also went out of his way to be fair to the Union. What's really happening is that once staunch union supporters are getting tired of the union lip service.
The union claims to serve the children but in reality they are just protecting the adults. Good teachers are valued by everyone but time and time again the union has blocked reform efforts and made it difficult to get rid of bad teachers. In New York City the union has been without a contract since 2009 because they refuse to negotiate.
And in Chicago, the public school teachers have gone on strike against the best efforts of their friend Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Won't Back Down" should serve as a wake up call to the teachers unions.
When your friends sit you down for an intervention it's probably a good idea to listen, accept their help, reform your harmful practices and make changes that are in the best interest of schoolchildren.
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