First Cue Cards, Now Sock Puppets

Who is Rita Pret?She commented twice on a post on EdWize, the UFT’s blog, to argue with Stacey Gauthier of the unionized Renaissance Charter School. In her EdWize comments, Ms. Pret started by introducing herself:I work in a unionized charter as well. I used to work in a district school.…

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Calling Andy Stern

On Friday afternoon, unionized teachers, staff and leaders at The Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights took a long subway ride after school let out to picket and march.† No story thereóunion members are no stranger to collective action.† The twist here is that they marched in front of UFT…

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UFT Members to UFT: Don’t Betray Charters

It’s one thing to get singled out for extra budget cuts.  It’s something else altogether to pay dues for the privilege. This afternoon, UFT members who are teachers at Renaissance Charter School took to the street to call out their own union. The UFT has stood silent as the Legislature…

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Charter Schools Need Fairness, Not Favors

The Charter Center's James Merriman is on the Huffington Post this morning, discussing four looming challenges for an achievement-driven "market" within public education: - the idea that parents can't be trusted to choose the best school for their child - the temptation toward favoritism at the New York City Department…

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Mixed Review for UFT Charter School: Time for Some Humility?

This afternoon, the Charter Schools Institute of SUNY presented its renewal recommendation for the UFT Charter School.* The recommendation is for a short-term renewal (three years instead of the maximum five).† The school failed to achieve a full-term recommendation because it did not have a compelling and consistent record of…

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Compare and Contrast

”Blowing Up” Public Schools: Palling Around With the Rhetoric of Violenceñ UFT EdWize headline, 3/4/2010* ”In their crusade to salvage they go for the jugularÖ.Why do they lustfully thrust daggers through the institutions that nurtured educators?... When the “reformers” come gunning for the treasure of our earned mastery and pride,…

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Where Charters are in Demand, So are Parents

Great charter schools can go beyond their students to improve the education landscape for everyone. That’s why we say this movement is not about a particular kind of governance structure, it’s about great public schools.The spill-over benefits from charter schools often involve innovation and sharing, but old-fashioned competition also has…

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Great Teaching Doesn’t Just Happen (UPDATED)

In the space of a week, three major magazines have turned their focus to the revolution happening in public school teaching. In “Building a Better Teacher,” The NYT Magazine describes how leaders in the field are bringing new scrutiny to teachers’ classroom practices, content knowledge, and incentives. In “What Makes…

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Race to the Top: Every Point Counts

UFT blogger David Dashefsky claims that charter school advocates exaggerated the importance of the charter issue in the Race to the Top: ”Given the relatively small number of points available [on the rubric for charter schools], one could only reach the conclusion that the charter cap issue was decisive if…

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Bill Perkins: Parents are Suckers

Saturday's New York Times reported on the curious case of State Senator Bill Perkins, who “wars against” charter schools despite representing so many of them--and despite having benefited from educational choice himself. (Economist Tyler Cowen is ”astounded.”) If you haven’t, go read the whole thing. Perkins holds two core beliefs…

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