Union school

What would happen if the teachers’ union ran its own school? In 1996, the National Education Association announced it would open six charter schools. Four actually opened, including Kwachiiyoa in San Diego. (It’s an Indian name meaning “unspellable.”) Education Intelligence Agency takes up the story.

By the time Kwachiiyoa’s initial charter expired on January 14, 2003, enrollment was at half-capacity, three classroom teachers were jointly running the school without benefit of an administrator, and the school was the lowest-performing of the 121 schools in the San Diego Unified School District. It ranked lowest even when compared to other California schools with similar student socioeconomic backgrounds.

. . . This year, the Kwachiiyoa staff sought a new charter for the school, without union involvement, but the San Diego City school board denied the application on June 24, citing the school’s track record.

The lesson of Kwachiiyoa is . . . a cautionary tale about publicity stunts disguised as education reforms. The NEA lost interest in its charter schools not long after the press releases went out. “Somebody birthed this school and then they left us in the cold,” said Kwachiiyoa teacher Rhonda Schwartz.

Via Education Weak.

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