Friday, July 22, 2005

School of professionals

NY Daily News reports that the UFT charter school has cleared its final hurdle, and is set to open in the fall. To me, the best graf comes at the end:
"There is a sense of professionalism here that we as teachers don't feel in the Department of Education," said Lisa Olesak, who will teach kindergarten.
I have said this many times before, but I think this is the key to the union-charter partnership. The AFT's motto is "A Union of Professionals." Charter schools work best when teachers feel ownership of the school. Everyone wants teachers to be seen, and see themselves, as "professionals" rather than skilled workers. (Though this gets into the commodification of intellectual work, but we can talk about that in another post.) Charters provide a way to achieve this. It's brilliant, I love it.

Update: Eduwonk (actually, the guy who wrote the Daily News article) makes a good point about the UFT charter school and the Fordham Foundation charter schools.

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