We wrote last week about how Ohio’s largest teachers’ union, the Ohio Education Association, will soon organizing teachers and other staff at charter schools. That’s a big change for the union, which doesn’t support the idea of charter schools as they currently exist in Ohio.
Not all of our commenters think that’s a good idea. Debbie Rudy-Lack writes via Facebook:
I don’t even know where to begin…..OEA has been very outspoken in its dislike for charters, due to monies being taken from the public schools to fund charters. Now, they think they’re going to “improve” charters? Sounds fishy to me…..
But Amy Richard Morris says the union’s move supports teachers, not charter school operators:
Without unions, teachers in charter schools (most of whom are professionals, just like us!) won’t have the opportunity to come up to the level of public schools. This move doesn’t support the charter school owners, but the people who work long, hard hours for low pay and benefits. Why did we fight so hard against SB5? Because teachers (all of them!) deserve a voice in how their students are educated.
Commenter Amy Martin-Madeley agrees:
Yes, otherwise charters think they can work teachers over 50 hours a week, no lunch or working through lunch, prepping and serving food and no way to voice grievances.
Successful charters work because they are flexible and constantly seek improvements to how they do things. They deploy funds, teachers, time, materials, and technology in different ways to impact student achievement. High-performing charter schools almost always display strong cultures, astute and driven leaders, dedicated teachers, coherent curricula, shared responsibility, and a sense of common purpose. Successful schools know their students and address their needs. In fact, one of the strongest arguments for charter schools is that they are expected to be different. Collective bargaining agreements put constraints on all these factors that lead to success and impede not only innovation but seek conformity across schools.