Parker says Rhee not to blame for ouster
Here are some other points that Washington Teachers' Union president George Parker made last night after he was defeated by Nathan Saunders:
Michelle Rhee's role in his demise: "I'm not blaming the chancellor. The decisions I made as president of this union I made based on what I felt was in the best interests of our teachers and children. So I don't blame anyone."
On the union's future: "We have a younger segment of our union membership that does not see unions as having meaning or purpose. Some kind of way we have to be able to embrace all of our teachers, both our veteran teachers and young teachers. We have to find a way to get more of our younger teachers active in the union and move the union in a direction that it understands that younger teachers have different goals and objectives. Some of younger teachers, for example, felt the union should have supported more of the chancellor's and the mayor's programs But I think right or wrong, as our baby boomers retire, if the union is going to survive it is going to have to adjust to what its [younger] members believe."
What he'd have done differently: "I understand clearly that leading a union and making decisions on behalf of a union is a lot different than winning an election. I spent all of my time pretty much working on issues. I think I would have spent more time out in the schools, getting people to understand what we were doing, getting people to understand the decisions that we were making."
What Saunders should do first: Nathan's immediate priority is going to have to be relationship building. What he will be able to accomplish as a union president will depend greatly on the relationship that exists between the union, DCPS and the mayor. Clearly I think the second biggest thing is to develop a real understanding of the climate, not just locally but nationally in terms of education reform and how to find a way to embrace it in a way that we can help lead it."
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