Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice is all but daring American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten to defend public education in light of abysmal reading scores across the country.
“Only one-third of kids in America’s public schools are reading on grade level in fourth grade,” Justice, herself a former school board member, tells American Family News.
“There are discipline issues across the country, and teachers are leaving classrooms for a multitude of reasons,” Justice continues. “So I just think it's time for Randi and for parents to come together and have a conversation."
Anyone paying attention to public education knows how that conversation would likely go. Weingarten will insist the teachers’ union cares deeply about students and test scores, but America’s public schools need more “investment” – meaning more tax dollars – to improve the learning environment, hire good teachers, and reduce classroom sizes.
Weingarten made those claims and more in a March 2023 speech at the National Press Club, where she called public schools a “manifestation of our civil values and ideals.” The words “test scores” and “reading” did not appear in the 50-minute speech.
Meanwhile, on the AFT website, the teachers’ union also promises new members perks that include dieting plans, a home mortgage program, discounts with hotel rooms, air travel and car rentals, and even pet insurance.
Weingarten, who is likely unknown to most Americans, is no stranger to public school boards and superintendents since the AFT claims to represent 1.7 million public school teachers. When negotiations begin for a new contract, the teachers' union uses its collective bargaining power to demand better salaries and benefits for its members on the premise that improves students’ test scores.
In light of that bargaining power, Justice said this week Weingarten deserves to defend her record on live television on a news network of her choice.
“I will be in New York City on January 18th,” Justice said in a statement announcing the debate challenge, “and I will be happy to debate Randi Weingarten at any news station of her choice – even her favorite MSNBC.”
Weingarten and AFT did not reply to AFN when asked for comment about the debate challenge.