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Video: Teachers Unions' Presidents' Interviews


NEA President Reg Weaver and AFT President Randi Weingarten spoke with Education Week reporters, shortly after they each addressed the Democratic National Convention on Monday.

AFT President, Randi Weingarten spoke with reporter Michele McNeil after her speech at the DNC. Weingarten spoke about what she hoped delegates took away from her speech and what it was like participating in such an historic event.

Randi Weingarten, AFT President:

Reg Weaver sat down with reporter David Hoff, and spoke about National Education Association delegates at the convention, his support for Sen. Barack Obama, and what it was like to speak in front of such a large crowd.

Reg Weaver, NEA President:


The Real Issues are: Selection of good and dedicated teachers/ smaller class sizes/ well rounded curriculum that emphasizes more than 3 subjects (i.e. history, physical education, music and fine arts, political science, history etc. etc. etc. The issue is not the failed and flawed No Child Left Behind that is a testing program with money diverted towards private schools and private tutorial programs that in many inner cities do not work. Since No Child Left Behind, there are more dropouts in many cities, far more than at anytime during the Clinton Administration. Concluding: A McCain Administration will be more of the same especially since he does not have a pulse on national issues that affect education.

I would like to agree with, elaborate on, and respond to "Real Issues," especially regarding "selection of good and dedicated teachers." I'll share a message I wrote recently:

Let's widen our lens to see children and adolescents as teachers from pre-school age through high school.

It takes more than a few years of college to "train" a teacher. College is a vital, yet middle step in the process. Our youngest children have teaching skills--they naturally share what they know. When K-12 teachers notice this, we can encourage all students to help their peers learn with practice and challenges. We must give K-12 students many opportunities to grow their teaching skills as they explore and master different subjects and classroom activities. Teaching skills are too important to remain invisible, or leave to chance.

We support all kinds of abilities in kids, why not teaching? Teaching skills are so valuable regardless of what line of work the student eventually chooses. Some students will experience the intrinsic rewards gained by helping other students learn. We will welcome and recruit them into the teaching profession!
From two veteran teachers who taught K-16+ students for 35 and 43 years respectively, PEACE. Mary and Terry of the Hoenny Center

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