Mr. Barr, who has sparred in recent months with school officials in Los Angeles over his aggressive plans for expansion of schools, said that he had turned down offers before to expand beyond California and that he had responded only because it was the union that had approached him.
Story neglects to mention that he’s also sparred with the teachers’ union in LA, making this project extra-interesting to watch in terms of the bigger politics.
NYC Educator is bummed out, big time. I still think it’s got promise, the name of the game is creating more good public schools for kids, and this could help with that. Also, even leaving aside the union issues for the UFT and the political point they’re trying to make, this makes sense for them. Having a few more charters under their banner — especially high-performing ones like Green Dot has proven to be so far in LA — could be useful cover down the road when something inevitably goes wrong (and that’s not a slight on them, even KIPP has problem schools, it’s tough work). And, the UFT has come a long way here…to their credit.
Background on charters and teachers’ unions from a project (that Green Dot’s Steve Barr and UFT’s Randi Weingarten were both involved in) Paul Hill, Lydia Rainy, and I did click here and here (pdf). Recent LA background here and more here on this Green Dot – UFT project.