NY Charter school teachers to union: Let my people go

Rick Moran
If you're a parent who has a child in a big city public school system, you are probably aware of the anti-reform attitude held by unions that end up stifling innovation and condemning students to an inferior education.

Union work rules at most public schools are an absolute drag on school reform as unions seek to undermine the very concept of charter schools. They are a mortal threat to their centralized power structure as well as the hold they have over the educational process.

In New York, teachers at two charter schools are begging the state to allow them to decertify their union - the United Federation of Teachers - because they want to interfere in the administration of very successful operations.

Ryan Sager of the New York Post gives us some background:

Basically, charters represent accountability -- for teachers and for schools. Most charters, especially those belonging to the nationwide KIPP network, have succeeded based on a strong collaboration between teachers and administrators. Teachers agree to work hard, be held accountable and to work knowing that if they don't perform they can be let go.

The KIPP model is intense, with an extended school day, Saturday classes and a rigorous focus on advising and guiding kids all the way to college. But the teachers there are tremendously dedicated, and their schools outperform traditional public schools to an often-stunning degree. And, not for nothing, KIPP teachers generally earn at least $10,000 a year more than their counterparts at traditional public schools.

The teachers union, on the other hand, sees any school proving that accountability works as a mortal threat.

That's why teachers-union head Randi Weingarten and her Albany puppets have tried to stomp out the charter movement at every turn. They tried to stop the state from passing a charter-school law; they made sure there was a tight cap on the number of charters allowed in New York, and they constantly try to get the schools' funding yanked.

The teachers at one of the charter schools in question unionized a few months ago as a result of a minor administrative dispute. But once they saw what the union was trying to do - topple years of hard work and progress - they are petitioning the authorities to decertify the union and get them out from under the UFT's thumb.

The reaction from the union has been typical; "Sit down and shut up."

It may surprise you but the New York city public school system was once a model for the rest of the country; bold, and innovative, the school system had high levels of graduation and was known for having some of the best schools in the country.

Such hasn't been true for 50 years or so. But charter schools offer the promise that what ails the system can be vastly improved if only the unions and politicians would get out of the way.

That won't happen anytime soon.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky



If you're a parent who has a child in a big city public school system, you are probably aware of the anti-reform attitude held by unions that end up stifling innovation and condemning students to an inferior education.

Union work rules at most public schools are an absolute drag on school reform as unions seek to undermine the very concept of charter schools. They are a mortal threat to their centralized power structure as well as the hold they have over the educational process.

In New York, teachers at two charter schools are begging the state to allow them to decertify their union - the United Federation of Teachers - because they want to interfere in the administration of very successful operations.

Ryan Sager of the New York Post gives us some background:

Basically, charters represent accountability -- for teachers and for schools. Most charters, especially those belonging to the nationwide KIPP network, have succeeded based on a strong collaboration between teachers and administrators. Teachers agree to work hard, be held accountable and to work knowing that if they don't perform they can be let go.

The KIPP model is intense, with an extended school day, Saturday classes and a rigorous focus on advising and guiding kids all the way to college. But the teachers there are tremendously dedicated, and their schools outperform traditional public schools to an often-stunning degree. And, not for nothing, KIPP teachers generally earn at least $10,000 a year more than their counterparts at traditional public schools.

The teachers union, on the other hand, sees any school proving that accountability works as a mortal threat.

That's why teachers-union head Randi Weingarten and her Albany puppets have tried to stomp out the charter movement at every turn. They tried to stop the state from passing a charter-school law; they made sure there was a tight cap on the number of charters allowed in New York, and they constantly try to get the schools' funding yanked.

The teachers at one of the charter schools in question unionized a few months ago as a result of a minor administrative dispute. But once they saw what the union was trying to do - topple years of hard work and progress - they are petitioning the authorities to decertify the union and get them out from under the UFT's thumb.

The reaction from the union has been typical; "Sit down and shut up."

It may surprise you but the New York city public school system was once a model for the rest of the country; bold, and innovative, the school system had high levels of graduation and was known for having some of the best schools in the country.

Such hasn't been true for 50 years or so. But charter schools offer the promise that what ails the system can be vastly improved if only the unions and politicians would get out of the way.

That won't happen anytime soon.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky