American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten says there's been nothing hush-hush about her organization's role in helping the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) in its contract negotiations.
Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said Friday that the AFT has been "disingenuous" in claiming no involvement, even though it has detailed a national representative to the WTU office, funded a poll of teachers and is working with WTU president George Parker on ideas to bring to the bargaining table. Weingarten said that while the AFT "has not been directly involved" in talks, it has a responsibility to support Washington teachers.
"We are proud of that work and are surprised that anyone thought it was being kept a secret," Weingarten said in a statement Monday. "Unfortunately, Chancellor Rhee seems more concerned with who advises the union than what is really at stake--raising academic achievement for D.C.'s students."