Tag Archives: power-brokers

NEA: Charter Schools Are Okay … If They're Not Really Charter Schools

The teachers unions have a delicate dance to do when it comes to public charter schools. In the not-too-distant past, when charters were a new idea and still very small in number, outright opposition to nip them in the bud. Charter schools are largely non-unionized (with exceptions) and provide competition from within the public education system. But over the years has come a gradual evolution. In many states the unions have grudgingly accepted charters as part of the landscape, while working quietly to limit their successful expansion. Then along have come a Democrat president and secretary of education who advocate more charter-friendly policies. Union officials aren’t about to give in to the more radical anti-charter elements of their membership, but they decided they had to do something to make a statement and quell the growing tide of charter school opportunity and innovation. As explained by Nelson Smith of the National Association of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), the just-ended big to-do known as the NEA Representative Assembly provided the perfect opportunity to do precisely that:

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