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letters | combatants in battle over ed reform

Barbara Madeloni’s fighting words are more than just ‘adversarial’

Barbara Madeloni last month was elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
Barbara Madeloni last month was elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

In Michael Levenson’s June 6 profile of Barbara Madeloni (“New teachers union chief is unapologetically adversarial”), I was struck by two quotes.

Levenson, citing an interview with Commonwealth Magazine, writes that the new president of the Massachusetts Teachers Union “wants to wrest the education debate away from ‘rich white men who are deciding the course of public education for black and brown children.’ ”

He also cites a conference at which Madeloni, arguing how standardized tests “get rid of difference,” said, “In our culture, which is infused with white supremacy, that’s what white supremacy is.”

I take exception. Madeloni is using the rhetoric of gender, class, and race warfare to further her agenda. This is the last thing our schools need. As a “rich” white man with two sons in public school, I consider that beyond “unapologetically adversarial.” I find it to be bigoted.

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If this is the belief system of one of the state’s leading educators, is it any wonder that so many families opt out of the public school system in favor of charter, parochial, and private school options?

Dean Scarafoni
Manchester-by-the-Sea