In an article featured in the Wall Street Journal, Alliance Teachers’ continue their fight to become unionized.
Alliance College-Ready Public schools are trying to start a campaign that will lead the charter network’s teachers to be apart of the Los Angeles’ largest teachers unions. The network says the lack of a union is prominent reason why 95% of the network’s students go off to college. While Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, says that Alliance (and all charter school teachers) should be offered, among other thing, the right to more transparency (charters operate like private institutions).
My Initial Thoughts
The network misses the point. While it’s great that 95% of students go off to college, their teachers, a huge creditor to to this success, are saying that there thoughts, ideas and voices are NOT being heard and the culture is NOT one where they can comfortably express grievances without fearing their job is on the line.
My Biggest Issue with Alliance Teachers Joining the United Teachers Los Angeles
Unions acknowledge the fact that teachers have needs but a 369 page contract is too much and would defeat the purpose of Al Shankners’ vision of charter schools. At the same time, a teacher’s desire to try new content, make insightful curriculum or internal policy suggestions should not be muffled by non-educators who are on the school’s board of directors.
The charter network should work with teachers, UTLA and other independent charter specialists to create a new, independent charter that would find a solution that tries to meet the teachers’ needs and maintain the school’s success rate. It won’t be easy, but, at the very least, it takes the teachers seriously without having to compromise the network’s most effective policies.