Friday, October 20, 2006

Unions and Charters, part 34

I haven't read this study in full yet (and at the rate I'm going I never will), but the abstract makes it look like good reading. Findings included:
  • Each side (often incorrectly) defines the other by views of its most extreme members;
  • Moderate members from each group share many of the same ideas about good schooling, but each side thinks the other insists on something that will interfere with quality teaching;
  • Even though some large urban districts have viewed chartering as a reform tool, the politics of school districts make them unlikely partners in scale-up;
  • Both sides acknowledge the costs of their conflict, but few leaders are willing to take the first step; and
  • Thin evidence about the work life of charter school teachers or how unionized charter schools operate exacerbates conflicting beliefs
I don't know too much about the National Charter School Research Project, and its list of funders shows a sort of right wing pedigree (anyone funded by the Walton Family Foundation makes me suspicious. And that includes the organization I work for ...). All that means is that while research like this is really important, the people described in the study on the union side might be unwilling to take something like this seriously until it comes from within the fold. (From here, perhaps.)

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