Unionizing Charters (PT. I)
A curious conversation is unfolding over at Education Post, kicked off by this piece by Dirk Tillotson, founder and executive direct of Great Schools Choices, a charter advocacy group. It's a "provocative" piece simply because it is a charter fan writing in favor of unionizing charter work forces.
Tillotson kicks off his conversation by using classic passive voice weaseling to get around a fundamental fact of charter life:
Charters and unions are often seen as diametrically opposed.
Are seen by whom, one wonders. Then one remembers that charters and unions are seen as diametrically opposed by the vast majority of charteristas, who have for years touted the non-union work force as one of the big selling points of charters. The CEO model of charters has always called for a visionary who doesn't have to answer to restrictive and confining union rules, with many charter player preferring Teach for America style workforces that don't unionize, don't object to enforced 80-hour work weeks, and don't stick around long enough to start telling the CEO what to do. Charters have been dragged into court for union-busting. Ed Secretary-in-waiting Betsy DeVos of course supported charters big-time in Michigan as well as a union-busting right-to-work rule.
One would be hard-pressed over the past decade to find a charter supporter who wanted to make sure that their charter school had a teachers union. In the vast majority of cases, charter support and anti-union stances go hand in hand.
Tillotson tries to gloss over this by observing that the diametrical opposition isn't "accurate" history CURMUDGUCATION: Unionizing Charters (PT. I):