Friday, March 19, 2010

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

Every time I think the unions' hypocrisy can't get any greater, something comes along that proves me wrong.  Today, it was reading that the UFT's charter school in NYC got a conditional three-year renewal due to various (though likely fixable) problems.  James Merriman, CEO of the NYC Charter Center, posted this balanced piece on his blog, which highlights that in the area the union most attacks charters – that they don't have the same percentage of SPED and ELL students, and therefore are guilty of creaming – the UFT's OWN SCHOOL is guilty of precisely this!  Ya just can't make this stuff up…

  • The report draws attention (rightly) to the fact that the school enrolls fewer special education, fewer English Language Learners and fewer free lunch students than the CSD in which it is located, obviating for once and for all the union's inferences that differences in those numbers are the result of cheating and manipulation—and showing that those differences are structural and not amenable to statutory fixes that the union has trumpeted (the real purpose of which are simply to limit charter school growth).
  • It also notes that the school's board of trustees, of which Randi Weingarten is chair, violated the Open Meetings Law: another reason not to take lessons in transparency from the union.
  • Finally, I was amazed to learn that the budget the UFT supplied as part of its renewal showed substantial increases in per pupil revenue despite the UFT having lobbied for a funding freeze this year and acquiesced to one for next year.  Does the UFT know something we don't or are they just willing to subsidize their own school while letting other charter schools, even those unionized, suffer unfair, double cuts?  If so, there goes solidarity.


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


by James Merriman

     Subscribe in a reader