Charter schools have become such a flash point in the U.S. Educational debate and a real red flag of sorts for a lot of progressive folks who see the “charter school movement” (as some supporters frame it) as forwarding a more conservative anti-union, pro-privatization agenda. I, as a progressive (I'm calling myself “left-libertarian” these days) and advocate for “many educational paths”, am drawn to charter schools as the “only game in town” when it comes to trying to (take baby steps at least to) move away from an OSFA (one size fits all) public school system.

As a parent (and not a teacher) I am sympathetic to the union issue in particular, not because I think that adult school staff should be divided into “labor versus management” but because I think teaching is a very important profession and that teachers need to create professional associations so that they are seen as such and have the appropriate clout in school governance and larger societal questions. I think most charter schools, like conventional public schools, are better served if teachers play a significant (if not the primary) role in school governance.