Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teacher's Union Wants in on the Charter Business!

About a week ago I wrote a post on A Denominator of Many - Teacher Professional Partnerships about schools run by teachers. Since that piece was published (both here and at Dangerously Irrelevant) there has been an very important closely related development.

Something very interesting is unfolding in Minneapolis involving Minneapolis Public Schools, the local teacher's union, and the AFT. Evidently the union wants to become a charter school authorizor. When I first heard about this on Minnesota Public Radio last week I thought that the union and charter schools seem to make strange bedfellows but after reading a bit more about what is going on and why the local union wants in on this I am optimistic and intrigued. I don't have time tonight to write much more about this and quite frankly I still don't feel I have enough information to write an informed post on the matter. But, I do want to pass on what I have collected regarding this turn of events. If you know of any other stories, articles, posts, etc. on this topic please post the link in the comment section below.


Knaus said...

I've read the articles with much interest as I feel that my Mpls. district does not have a plan in place for my school in the coming year.

I've had thoughts of charters/self-governed schools in my head.

I'm still not sure that having MFT sponsor charter schools is the way to go. The autonomy and independence of self-governed schools and charters doesn't mesh with the goals of the union, in my eyes.

The union is about protecting teachers and allowing due process for struggling teachers. In my experience, it takes 2 or 3 years to work with a teacher who needs help before they are counseled out or fired. It does help some teachers.

However, charters and self-governed schools don't have that kind of time. They are evaluated after each year. If the union is protecting ineffective teachers, then the school will suffer and may have to close based on ineffective teachers, despite all the other positive things happening with that school.

I'm interested in the role that the union will play in these schools. They don't seem to mesh well.

Mrs. Tenkely said...

Interesting. I haven't heard about this. Thanks for providing the links so I can dig in some more.