Charter Schools

This section considers the concept of "post-racial racism" as it applies to how parents are set up to choose schools for their children, how schools have been pitted against each other, and where teachers find themselves when they want to have a say in education policy.  The goal is not to point fingers at individual choices, but rather to try to find a collective stance as parents, teachers, and community members in Baltimore on how to improve our school system and teachers' union.  It is difficult when talking about innovation to pick out those innovations that keep us within the public realm, and those that take us toward privatization.  It also takes hard work to ensure that each community has the capacity to advocate effectively for its own schools.


Do charter schools need teachers unions?by ALEXANDRIA NEASON

Here is an interesting take on unions and charter teachers. The percentage of charter teachers who are unionized in the US has gone down from 12% in 2009 to 7% in 2012. That makes charter teachers in Maryland some of the only unionized charter teachers left. And, as this article explains,charter teachers are starting to organize to win back their union rights. It is possible that we could lose something in Maryland that teachers in most of the rest of the country will have to fight to establish. Rather than giving up on our union, let's make it our own. Watch for legislation from MD CAN and/or Hogan this winter that will once more attempt to deunionize our teachers.

NEW ORLEANS – Kaycee Eckhardt, a former charter school teacher in New Orleans, has decidedly mixed feelings about teachers unions. She believes they play an important role on certain issues, including ensuring teachers aren’t overworked. But she worries they sometimes squelch teacher voices by insisting on a party line.

“You can’t tell teachers what to say,” she said. “Unions do that a lot, even with good intentions.” 


Washington State Charter School Ruling: Part One, Overview of Reaction to Ruling

"If charter proponents want charters in Washington State, the best "fix" for this law is to start over entirely and write a law that is constitutionally sound.  Not "strong" or "the best charter law in the country"but one that is constitutionally sound under the Washington State Constitution."



Listen to Helen Atkinson, Director of Teachers' Democracy Project; community activist, Kim Trueheart and others as they discuss the "future of charters and traditional schools in Baltimore. Preceding "The Future of Charters in Maryland" public event, Marc Steiner hosted a show to explore the exact topic.