Monday, July 27, 2009

When Charter Schools Hit the Wall

Ed Notes has been slightly preoccupied with the charter school issue over the past few weeks. And we will posting lots more today and in the next few days before I head to LA later this week to meet with other ed deform resisters from around the nation to share strategies for the growing resistance movement by the true progressive ed reformers.

That it has become a flashpoint was indicated by a meeting I and some of my ICE/GEM colleagues attended with teachers from a school where a charter that wanted to stay only for a short time has asked for extended time. Ten teachers from the school showed up on a rainy afternoon in July.

They feel the charter wants to push them out completely and take over the school. The entire story of how they were looking for space and couldn't find any was a crock. So for schools being sold on the same bull, watch out. They lie. And Tweed is behind them all the way and gives them info they can use to recruit your best kids and has even been known to manipulate kids out of your school so they can then claim you have so much room a charter can enter.

Similarly, people at PS 123 in Harlem which was invaded by Moskowitz' HSA, have also been coming out for protests.

But hope is on the way.

The charter school movement will be hitting a wall before long as teachers working long hours for less pay start to unionize (see today's NY Times), private funding for all those little extras like lower class size starts to dry up, and they find that they are in competition with each other to cream the best kids (see Harlem where Moskoswitz's HSA is now looking to invade District 4 (East Harlem) after charters have skimmed so many kids from central Harlem's District 5 (the largest concentration of charters in the nation - see charter map).

Now, on the unionization issue, guess who is doing the unionizing? Our old friend and now head of the AFT, Randi Weingarten (who our Washington contacts say wants to make a deal with Michelle Rhee that will give them the same ATR life we have here in NYC).

I know, I know. Better an AFT/UFT type charter than nothing.

What are the issues of contention when we talk about charter schools? Some people are only opposed to charters if they stay out of their schools. Others oppose all charters. Ed Notes will explore this issue further later.

NYC Educator takes the NY Times to the whipping shed for today's piece on unionizing charters.
In yet another shallow and superficial article, the New York Times maintains its standard as the paper that asks the fewest questions and holds the least curiosity about education. It manages to ask the obvious questions about unionization in charter schools, but doesn't bother to examine what actually happens when charters unionize.
More at: The Grand Tradition

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