According to the American Federation of Teachers, the largest national teachers’ union in the U.S., Morris Jeff Community School, a charter school in New Orleans, signed it’s first three year union contract. What’s so amazing about this contract is that it is a collaborative effort that works to improve the lives of both students and teachers. With a student support committee, this agreement isn’t just about what teachers want, but focuses on students and their needs as well.
Most charter schools, especially no-excuse charters, don’t have unions. But I think a central part of the teaching profession is the need for some sort of protection, because there are so many factors that are not in their control. Unlike a corporate position, where one is asked to, say, create innitiatives and execute them through tasks (that can be quanitified and the employess direct work product can be reviewed), the teaching orofession requires a professional to impart knowledge and engagement on many other individuals at any given time. Those students that come in and out of a teacher’s classrooom have their own reason and processes, whether on concious or subconscious, that can’t be quantified but that causes them to do well or not do well in school.
This contract should be applauded and I’m excited to see what gains come of it in three years.