Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Green Dot Charter and UFT Update

In case you missed it, Yoav Gonen in the NY Post wrote a piece on Green Dot and the UFT. I posted it at Norms Notes.

Some excerpts:

He's a former Democratic fund-raiser who said he founded the organization in 1999 not to advocate charter schools, but to reform public schools.

The United Federation of Teachers, which had long resisted privately operated charter schools, eventually opened two of its own. As its own boss, the union gave the teachers the same seniority rights and tenure they got from the city.

But instructors at Green Dot New York are giving up both in exchange for salaries 10 percent above what the city pays and more say in how to run the school.

They're also working longer hours and may eventually give up overtime pay.

Several national education groups gave UFT President Randi Weingarten high marks.

"The pathway to irrelevance for the unions is to continue to say, 'No,' " said Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of the think tank Education Sector.

"The way to thrive is to start embracing some of these ideas and getting in the game, and that's what she's doing."

But some rank-and-file members say Weingarten sold out.

"I think Randi is taking the path of least resistance," said Arthur Goldstein, a teacher in Francis Lewis HS in Fresh Meadows, Queens. "I don't think her priorities are to help teachers."

Ed Notes and NYC Educator did a bunch of articles on the UFT and Green Dot over the past year. Search the blogs with the "Green Dot" tag if interested in reading more.

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