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Campbell Brown's abusive-teachers war preceded Twitter spat

Campbell Brown testified before the state's Education Reform Commission on the issue of teachers found to have abused children last week. Campbell Brown says she's done using Twitter to provoke union leaders into a debate. After a furious 48-hour exchange this week with AFT President Randi Weingarten, in which the 140-character messages quickly elevated into charges of sexism and conflicted interests, Brown said she wants the next showdown to be face-to-face. "I'd love to sit down with Randi and have a real debate," Brown said this morning in a phone interview. But she added a caveat. "There's nothing to debate." In less than a week, Brown, a former NBC White House correspondent and CNN anchor, has gone from largely unknown in education advocacy to the center of a heated war of words with union leaders over how to handle teachers suspected of — and found guilty of — sexual misconduct with students. She outlined her case in a provocatively headlined column in Sunday's Wall Street Journal. But the op/ed wasn't Brown's first public statement about the issue of sexual predators in schools. A week ago, she delivered a surprising testimony on the issue before Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Education Reform Commission during its New York City meeting. Not everyone who asked to speak was given a chance to. But Brown had been given the top speaking slot on the "teacher quality" panel with testimony that coupled concern about sex abuse with statistics about low student test scores and college-readiness rates. The speech she delivered was significantly different.