Sunday, March 7, 2021

Jamaal Bowman connects charter movement to anti-labor, anti-union privatization - it takes an educator who suffered the negative impact of charters

One of the things that irk me about Democrats from all wings of the party and progressives to the left is how the charter schools are often avoided in so many discussions - I think that is intentional because they don't want to alienate segments of the non-white community who support charters. 

Those of us who have been involved in fighting ed deform over the past 25 years see charters as the point of the spear aimed at privatization of fundamental public services. Anti union, anti labor.

I'm watching a webinar from the Democratic Socialists with Jamaal Bowman, Naomi Klein and SARA NELSON International President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO. (Call her the anti-Randi of the progressive labor movement). The goal of the webinar is to link green new deal to labor struggles and jobs by urging passage of the PRO-ACT. Dems who won't support the pro labor act are giving in to their corporate sponsors. The PRO Act gives unions tools to overturn the right to work laws in their states.

Bowman spoke eloquently, as usual, and made that charter school connection and how they must be fought to stop that movement. They are an occupying army. Just today see the duplicitous Eva Moskowitz once again whining about space in public school buildings to the pro-charter NY Post which always shades the stories in her favor.

The charter is pushing for the city to either renew the spot at I.S. 238 — which was never put to use due to the pandemic — or find an alternate location before documentation is required by March 12....The DOE countered Friday the existing space is reserved for special needs students.

“Everyone has been aware of this for the past twelve months—we prioritized in-person learning for our most vulnerable D75 students and we cannot and will not leave these families hanging,” said spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.

Exactly right. Eva knew full well about the arrangement but as usual chooses to make up stories. Her goal is to occupy and take over entire real estate swaths of the NYC school system. It is time for the progressives in the legislature to rewrite the laws charter friendly Cuomo wrote -- stop the paying of rent and giving free space. Success especially has enormous resources. I would still support smaller mom and pop charters.


  1. I’m not “anti-labor”. In fact, I was a union officer during my public school teaching years. And I support the right of teachers to vote to unionize. But I am “pro-parent” and in favor of parents - including parents of limited means - being able to select the schools that their children attend. And that means directing the tax dollars that support their children’s education to the schools of their choice. There’s nothing “progressive” about leaving these decisions in the hands of politicians & bureaucrats and denying it to poor families.

    1. Actually supporting charter schools that are anti-union is like crossing picket lines. They are the Amazon of education. Don't get fooled by the rhetoric - your parents have no real say in those schools. They don't vote for boards which are under the control of corporate entities. You are not given a real choice but a very limited choice shaped by interests outside the parents. I admit to problems in public schools and do want to take the power away from mayors - who have been the major instrument in pushing charters - and into elected school boards controlled by parents not bureacrats but charter industry is most opposed to giving parents a real voice in how things are run not just a limited choice. I grew up in a one choice system -- your neighborhood school everyone went to s a social center of a neighborhood and should be a real center of nutrition, health etc - it's a stabilizing force and divisons have harmed society and local culture.

  2. Standardized tests= ranking schools= “failing” schools= School choice/ vouchers/ charters= negative money flow from public funding= new market tax credits for no-educational-background billionaires.


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