Charters Are a Halfway House: Union Slip-Up Edition


(Guest post by Greg Forster)

America’s Last Education Labor Reporter proves once again why America needs to have at least one education labor reporter. He points out that a recent bureaucratic victory for the blob, in which the NLRB declared charter schools subject to unionization under federal labor law, also implies that if teacher unions attempt to organize charters they will be subject to financial disclosure and other restrictions under that same federal labor law:

If you think this would be a small price to pay, remember that when the Bush Administration’s Labor Department tried to reinterpret the LMRDA to include 32 NEA state affiliates, the union filed suit, calling the revision “unfair” and “motivated by an ill-will toward unions in general, and NEA and its affiliates in particular.”

A mixed victory for the unions, but it’s also a reminder of the problem built into the design of charter schools.

Charters are, in the final analysis, government schools, and thus can never be more than a halfway house to real (i.e. private as well as public) school choice.

As Reagan said in Berlin: “A bird on a tether, no matter how long the rope, can always be pulled back.”

It’s a thought that Common Core supporters would also do well to ponder.

3 Responses to Charters Are a Halfway House: Union Slip-Up Edition

  1. sstotsky says:

    Is it possible for a group of parents to ask for a choice of non-high tech charter schools (only chalkboards and textbooks allowed) in contrast to charters with only high tech for teaching/learning?

    • allen says:

      That’s kind of the point of parental choice.

      The district system’s generally rendered parental input or approval largely moot. At the higher end of the income scale that’s less so because rich people are less likely to be impressed by edu-bureaucrats then are poor people so less likely to allow them to indulge in flights of fancy that erupt, periodically, from schools of education.

      Boring pragmatism’s likely to rule until an innovation proves its value which is a distinct step up from thrillingly moderne ideas that inevitably amount to nothing or less then nothing.

  2. matthewladner says:

    Two of my children attend a great books charter school, and their idea of advanced tech seems to be the eraser at the end of the pencil.

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