Randi Weingarten Responds to TIME’s Cover


This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

America’s teachers aren’t rotten apples, as Time’s cover suggests, that need to be smashed by Silicon Valley millionaires with no experience in education. Far from it. America’s teachers are national treasures, doing the most important job in our country—educating children for today’s democracy and tomorrow’s economy. They are making the promise of public schools a reality. Unfortunately, too often, they’re making it happen without the resources, support or trust they need to get the job done.

Yes, there is a real problem facing America’s teaching profession, but it has nothing to do with tenure. The problem is in recruiting, retaining and supporting our teachers, especially at the hardest-to-staff schools.

Every time we lose a teacher, it costs us. Literally. More than one-third of teachers leave the profession before they’ve taught for five years. The National Commission…

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