Unions Advancing in NYC Charter Schools Raise Compelling Questions
Update: In a column for the New York Post, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Marcus Winters explains in more detail the potential problem posed by unionizing charter schools.
Yesterday brought a report in the New York Times that the teachers union – namely, the American Federation of Teachers – is seeking to organize two New York City KIPP charter schools. In the article, a friend of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center brought up the problem with that development:
“A union contract is actually at odds with a charter school,” said Jeanne Allen, executive director of the Center for Education Reform, a Washington group that supports charter schools.
“As long as you have nonessential rules that have more to do with job operations than with student achievement,” she said, “you are going to have a hard time with accomplishing your mission.”
To elaborate on this point, and to look at the development in the broader context of charter schools and unions, syndicated columnist and former Colorado education commissioner William Moloney joined Ben DeGrow for a 10-minute iVoices podcast discussion:
Meanwhile, the Eduwonk tries to take a more “middle-of-the-road” approach in dealing with the conundrum of charter schools and unionization (H/T Alan Gottlieb). He comes to the conclusion that “the issues are more complicated than they seem”.
Yes, but not so complicated to reject the basic insights of experts like Allen and Moloney. I hope you take time to read the article and listen to the podcast.