Eduwonk.com Interactive: Teachers Unions and Charter Districts: Opportunity or Oxymoron?

On Friday June 4, the 21st Century Schools Project will host a forum looking at the relationship between teachers unions and charter schools. That’s right, a live wonk-a-thon and you’re invited! Most people think that unions and charters are mutually exclusive, but a new Education Commission of the States report says they don’t necessarily need to be. Collective Bargaining and Teachers Unions in a Charter District argues that creating new educational options for disadvantaged students on a large scale will require charter school and urban district leaders to engage constructively with teachers unions and collective bargaining agreements. Conversely, in an era of increased choice and accountability, teachers unions must give their members greater flexibility for creating innovative and effective methods to educate their students. This requires reassessing collective bargaining agreements, while also acknowledging why many provisions were put into the agreements in the first place. The report is based on the work of an ECS task force that brought together union leaders, school districts, and charter school operators and supporters for thoughtful dialogue around these issues.

You can join the report’s authors Alex Medler, Bryan Hassel and Todd Ziebarth for a discussion about these issues on Friday, June 4 at 9:30AM. Space is limited. RSVP to education@dlcppi.org. The forum will be held at the Progressive Policy Institute’s offices in Washington, D.C.

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