An excellent blog post at PEJAM echoing the policies of our union's inability to fight off the charter assault because they have jumped into the charter business themselves. When I brought this up to a UFT employee a few weeks ago she responded, "Oh, that is Randi's fault." Duhhhhh!
Conflict of Interest?
According to Dylan Thomas, "Mill City [charter school] joins the small but growing portfolio of the Minnesota Guild, a non-profit charter school authorizer sponsored by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. When it launched in 2011, the Guild was the first union-backed charter school authorizer in the country." The Guild's first charter school opened this past year in Isanti, Minnesota, and the MN Department of Education has authorized Mill City and three other charter schools to open in Minneapolis this fall, under the sponsorship of the union created Minnesota Guild.
The current president and lobbyist (also a former president) of MFT not only created the Guild, but continue to serve on its board of directors. Every charter school they sponsor pulls more students from Minneapolis Public Schools (or other public schools) which eliminates unionized teaching positions. How can the president of the teachers union defend the rights of the union members who elected her, and at the same time create schools that threaten those same members' job security?
Brad Blue and the Guild operate out of an office in the MFT-owned building and pay no rent. MFT's brothers and sisters working as janitors and engineers in Minneapolis Public Schools have their SEIU local office in the same MFT building, and they pay rent. Those of us who are MFT members had no say in the creation of the Guild even though we actually are the union, and now we continue to subsidize our own demise.
Union Leaders Have Joined the Privatizers
Two years ago I wrote about the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools, an organization created four years ago to sponsor charter schools. The Guild was created by Lynn Nordgren, the current president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), and Louis Sundin, a former president of MFT and its current lobbyist. The funding for this enterprise came from the American Federation of Teachers' (AFT) Innovation Fund, which itself received money from the Gates Foundation. All of this was done without a discussion or vote by the rank-and-file members of MFT.
Read full report: