The meeting came on the heels of the announcement that CPS was cutting over $50 million from neighborhood schools and diverting it to politically connected charter school.
The AFT convention has a blunt message for Education Secretary Arne Duncan: You flunk the test of helping the nation's schools and kids, so leave.
"No commercial, mass-produced, industrial-strength standardized factory test should ever be used as the determining factor for any student or adult."
Hundreds of students spontaneously, and without permission, left their schools at high noon and marched peacefully to the Camden School District headquarters where they met in protest.
Madeloni ran on a platform of maintaining and strengthening union rights, labor solidarity, organizing, and opposition to the privatization of public education and to high-stakes testing.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, a Phoenix secondary school teacher, said it subjects minority group students to "separate and unequal political processes that put undue burdens" on them.
The "polarization and anger" running through U.S. society, as a result of the collapse of the American Dream, "is playing out in the schools as well."
Weingarten was one of several panelists who challenged the prevailing mythology about schools, including the teach-to-the-test goals the right wing has imposed on U.S. schools.
Today only a few universities are faculty drive. Harvard and the University of Chicago are among them and are among the best institutions in America. So what happened?
Philadelphia's families, teachers unions and other school worker unions as well as students have responded with a rousing "Hell no, our schools are not for sale."