Unionizing Charters (PT. 2)
As I noted in Part I, Peter Cunningham and others from the Why Of Course We're Liberal Democrats Who Support Charter Schools crowd have been trying to rustle up a new conversation about unions and charters and why they should be BFFs. This newly minted conversation has cropped up and there, but Ed Post has whipped a whole little flurry of discussion on its own millionaire-charter-lover-backed website.
Anchoring the conversation was a post by charterista Dirk Tillotson, who provided some creative re-interpretation of history, but also some thoughts going forward. Cunningham rounded up at least four responses to that piece, and I'm going to look at each of them here.
Eric Lerum-- Looking at Charter Contracts
Lerum is a reformy consultant, currently in Newark with America Succeeds, (a "business-led" reformy group), has also been with StudentsFirst, and the team that reformed the crap out of DC schools in the oughts.
He notes that nobody knows much about the charter union contracts that exist, so he went to look at them. He found that these contracts looked a lot like regular contracts in public schools, with occasional splashes of innovation and a side order of No Striking Allowed. He argues that negotiating such contracts can strengthen the school and provide more authentic teacher voice.
Lerum thinks we should look more at these contracts and also regular public school contracts. I think his piece might have been more informative if he had compared union charter contracts to the kinds CURMUDGUCATION: Unionizing Charters (PT. 2):