Teachers’ unions have declared war on charter schools, writes Jay P. Greene in the Wall Street Journal. The unions are fighting on two fronts: While seeking to deny charter funding, they’re also trying to unionize charter teachers.
Studies have shown students who win charter school lotteries do better than those who seek a charter education, lose the lottery to get in and have to attend district-run schools, Greene writes. A study by Harvard economist Tom Kane also looked at Boston’s district-run, unionized charters, known as “pilot schools.”
. . . students accepted by lottery at independently operated charter schools significantly outperformed students who lost the lottery and returned to district schools. But students accepted by lottery at charters run by the school district with unionized teachers experienced no benefit.
When charter schools unionize, they become identical to traditional public schools in performance. Unions may say they support charter schools, but they only support charters after they have stripped them of everything that makes charters different from district schools.
“Vouchers made the world safe for charters by drawing union fire,” Greene writes. Now that the unions have beaten back vouchers — pressuring congressional Democrats to defund the successful and popular voucher program in Washington, D.C. — they can unionize, regulate and starve the charter schools.
Marcus Winters writes on KIPP vs. the Teachers’ Unions on City Journal.