Union promote its charter

New York’s United Federation of Teachers, once a charter foe, is previewing a documentary about its union-run charter school, UFT Elementary. The New York Sun reports:

“The film chronicles a day in the life of the school and captures the tireless effort needed to close the achievement gap. In this risky venture, labor has become management to prove what works best for kids,” the colorful invitation to the screening reads. The invitation features photos of children in red and blue UFT T-shirts.

On Chalkboard, Joe Wiliams discusses the politics of a union-run charter school.

Just by starting their charter school, the UFT has sent a message to Democrats who represent communities where public charters are the only viable option for children that it’s OK to support them publicly.

The UFT’s school apparently is performing well, Williams says.

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Comments

  1. Joe Williams wrote:

    Just by starting their charter school, the UFT has sent a message to Democrats who represent communities where public charters are the only viable option for children that it’s OK to support them publicly.

    Well, that’s one way of looking at it and not beyond the realm of possibility. Another possibility is that the UFT sees the charter movement as well nigh unstoppable and in politics it’s always better to be involved in a solution you hate then to place yourself on the sidelines by refusing to have anything to do with the process.

    The other possibility, and I put this one pretty low on the list, is that someone at the UFT asked themselves what benefit accrues to the membership from the existance of a huge administrative structure? Wouldn’t all those payroll dollars currently going into the pockets of administrators look much nicer in the pockets of teachers?

    Previously there wan’t any alternative to the presence of a district administration so why bother coveting what’s beyond reach? But charters change that situation. Now the budget that used to be vacumed up by the administration is up for grabs and grabbing is the purpose of unions existance.

    But I don’t see the second possibility as all that likely a motive. The uneasy relationship between administration and teachers has existed for far too long to be considered optional this soon into the charter school era. But I’m willing to be surprised.