Addresses 3,500 members of the American Federation of Teachers
LOS ANGELES — Addressing more than 3,500 members of the American Federation of Teachers at its national convention, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile announced the formation of a new group that she will co-chair called Democrats for Public Education, which will focus on uniting the vast majority of Democrats, who believe in the promise of public education.
In confronting her political opponents, Brazile asserted, “The very premise of ‘market-driven education reform’ rests on the fallacy that the public school system is in crisis, and that the only solution is to let the market pick winners and losers.”
She expressed the desperate need for classrooms to focus on "educating character, teaching skills, creating an environment of dialogue and inquiry, establishing a community from a diversity of cultures, nurturing potential and empowering people in the pursuit of happiness."
On Friday morning, AFT President Randi Weingarten remarked on Brazile’s new group. She said, “The promise of America is being undercut by people who devote their fortunes to decreasing our strength, to advancing the politics of division, and to promoting economic policies that redistribute more income to fewer people. And they’ve been aided and abetted by some lawmakers, judges and even some Democrats. Some—like those who call themselves Democrats for Education Reform—mimic the Jeb Bushes and Eli Broads of the world, promoting competition and test-obsession.”
She continued, “But a new group of Democrats is emerging: the Democrats for Public Education, led by Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who want to stand up for our students, for our educators and for public education.”
As the weekend progressed, delegates listened to elected officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Reps. Judy Chu, Michael Honda and Mark Takano, as they shared their ideas on how to fight back against divisive politics and lopsided economic policies, and fight forward on behalf of students, families and communities.