If You Can’t Beat’em, Beat’em
Charter schools are known for their flexibility which improves outcomes, allows teachers the freedom to represent themselves and foster innovation in the education arena. At least they are supposed to. Originally founded to be free from teacher union power, of course it is no surprise that teacher union officials are constantly attempting to co-opt charter schools wherever they spring up. If a union represents their members, teachers will want to join. If a union does not represent their members, teachers should not be forced to join. Karen Lewis, Chicago Teacher Union president, has other ideas.
Diane Rado and Juan Perez Jr. report on how CTU officials are attempting to beat charter schools into submission.
Some 25 years after a new kind of public school entered the national education landscape — “charters” run by private groups and set free from bureaucracy — Chicago has become the center of a shake-up in the still-evolving charter school movement.
The immense freedom that came with setting up charter schools is increasingly under fire, spawning union drives, potential strikes and pushback over pay and working conditions that are reshaping the way charter schools were expected to operate, usually in a nonunion environment.