Why Aren't Union Leaders Listening to Montclair's Request to be Free?
Last week I gave a “cautious hooray” to the new Innovation Schools Act, which makes it easier for individual schools to free themselves from the red tape and union rules that crush reform efforts. The movement came to life last December when Bruce Randolph School asked for autonomy.
Bruce Randolph and Manual High School have had a hard time getting the local teachers union to approve their requests. Now another Denver school – Montclair Elementary – has come forward, reports the Rocky Mountain News, only to face similar obstruction:
Montclair teachers voted 22-1 in favor of seeking autonomy, and the staff sent the request to DPS and to the teachers’ union on April 18. DPS board members unanimously approved the request on May 15.
But Kimmal and his principal, Shannon Hagerman, say they’ve had no response from the union. So Friday, the last day for teachers in DPS, Hagerman, four parents and 21 teachers went to union headquarters downtown.
“We don’t want to go through the summer without any agreement with them,” Kimmal said.
Union leaders, including Denver Classroom Teachers Association President Kim Ursetta, were out, attending a Teachers Union Reform Network conference in Vail.
At least they weren’t sick in bed.
Let’s hope that the teachers and leaders at Montclair get the freedom they need soon so they can better help serve the needs of their students.