Charter school unionizes

An interesting article on a Charter school in Brighton, Massachusetts that is unionizing. What I find compelling about this development is the opportunity for the union (in this case the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts) to develop a model that works within the charter movement, instead of simply continuing to fight it head-on (although my money is on the latter).

There are small signs that increasingly teachers realize that the standard teachers unions, and the profession overall, are more and more fractured into two groups: a old guard of teachers with 10+ years of experience who dominate union committees and agendas, and a new group of younger teachers — represented by Teach for America — whose members are more likely to change professions but whose commitment to their students is fierce.

The most interesting of these is Green Dot Public Schools, whose teachers have organized as the Asociacion de Maestros Unidos (AMU), a CTA/NEA affiliate.  In addition, Green Dot recently announced a partnership with the United Federation of Teachers to open a charter school in the South Bronx.

In Denver, concern that the summer impasse between DPS and the DCTA led to a new group, called Denver Teacher’s for Change, who were dissatisfied with the Union’s status quo position.  This group was not anti-union, but they felt the DCTA was not arguing for their interests:

Denver Teachers for Change supports the endeavors of the DCTA to advocate for the rights and responsibilities of educators. In fact, we hope to encourage more teachers to take an active role and join the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.

Education changes.  Students change. Teaching changes.  Nothing could be more helpful to student achievement than a Teacher’s Union that embraces change.

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