Thursday, June 28

Charter school news

Two articles appearing in the Times today offer a mixed bag of news about charter schools.

The Times has an article about internal tensions at Beginning with Children Charter School, where the wealthy founders and benefactors have fired most of the school's Board of Trustees in an effort to move toward better performance, threatening the funding the school needs to survive and alienating parents in the process. Insideschools called Beginning with Children "noteworthy" after visiting in 2005.

With the recent expansion of the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in New York State, the Times also reports that a charter management organization out of Los Angeles is working with New York's teachers union to plan a new charter high school here. Unlike teachers at most charter schools, teachers at Green Dot charter schools are members of a union — although the terms of their contracts are somewhat different from the UFT's. Green Dot schools offer higher starting salaries but fewer long-term benefits like pensions and some job protection but not the public school's tenure system. Green Dot has had a tense relationship with the Los Angeles schools, but with such a charter-friendly administration in New York and the support of the teachers union, I can't imagine it will have the same difficulties here.

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