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Old 01-07-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Presumably the teachers at the public charter schools are also union members.
While unionism in charter schools is growing, it's still not as widespread as you might think. Most of the schools that pull things like 8-5 days and 210 day school years are rarely looking for or concerned about teacher input or well-being.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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The example given was St. Louis. I'd be shocked if a rust belt city like that would let non-union teachers in. Of course, it's possible a lot of fresh-faced young teachers are putting up with 8-hour days and 11-month years until a cushy public school job in the suburbs opens up!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
The example given was St. Louis. I'd be shocked if a rust belt city like that would let non-union teachers in. Of course, it's possible a lot of fresh-faced young teachers are putting up with 8-hour days and 11-month years until a cushy public school job in the suburbs opens up!
Withhold your surprise...it's more common that you might think. In fact it's a big part of the privatization playbook: place more burden on teachers and pay them less and limit their collective bargaining rights if at all possible. As a matter of fact, in Ohio (with our multiple "Rust Belt" cities) it's written into law that teachers at charter school do not have the right to unionize.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Do you have firsthand knowledge of this happening? That sounds mighty selfish, and doesn't fit the stereotype of charter parents being concerned about their kids.

Presumably the teachers at the public charter schools are also union members. How are they compensated for the 8-5 day? Is it really an 8-5 "school day" or are the hours 3-5 considered "aftercare" or "study hall"? How are sports and other after-school activities handled?
Charter schools are often staffed by young college graduates who are unmarried and can work nine-hour days, then do their class preparation in the evening. They burn out after two or three years and move on, to be replaced by other fresh-faced youngsters. There pay is at the lowest track in the school system, so the charter school does not have to pay them much more for more hours. Teachers at these schools often voluntarily increase their day without compensation (mainly due to idealism among these younger teachers). These teachers often burn out within 2 to 3 years.

The kids cannot actually stay focused for a longer day, so much time is not educational time at all. Sometimes the additional time is used for enrichment or for tutoring. Sometimes, these schools do add more after school staff.

Additionally, the teachers day is extended even further because the normal grading and prep time has to be done regardless and that means they need time without the kids.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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Sounds like a good thing for young teachers to be able to get an entry-level job right out of school without having the political connections or luck required to score a public school teaching job.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Sounds like a good thing for young teachers to be able to get an entry-level job right out of school without having the political connections or luck required to score a public school teaching job.
I guess that's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that the kids are in the most desperate need of great teachers are being given a constant churn of rookies and amateur whose idealism only goes so far.

The model that many (not all, but many) charter schools use is unsustainable. And if/when the economy ever gets better for college graduates, the talent pool for teaching is going to once again shrink to the point where there are going to be more substantive things to attract the best and brightest into classrooms.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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FYI, my comment about unionization in Ohio charter schools being outlawed isn't 100% correct. There are weird laws here about which charter school teachers can and cannot unionize. It's not an across-the-board thing one way or another.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 4,604,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Do you have firsthand knowledge of this happening? That sounds mighty selfish, and doesn't fit the stereotype of charter parents being concerned about their kids.

Presumably the teachers at the public charter schools are also union members. How are they compensated for the 8-5 day? Is it really an 8-5 "school day" or are the hours 3-5 considered "aftercare" or "study hall"? How are sports and other after-school activities handled?
Yes. Look at the controversy over closing the Imagine schools in St Louis. Despite having the lowest building test scores in the state (11% proficient) and being nailed for multiple issues with their teaching methods (classes that were left unattended to watch DVDs all day, etc), when the state tried to close the schools the parents protested because they favored the extended school days.

The actual instructional day is 9-4. There is breakfast before school with an 8 am dropoff and after care/curricular after school activities (enrichment classes and tutoring) from 4-5.

In St Louis, charter schools teachers are not union (Missouri no longer allows teachers to unionize). They are treated as private school teachers and do not need to be certified and are only allowed to collectively bargain if the school grants them the privilege. I was specifically addressing the K-8 charters, which do not have extracurriculars; though I don't remember any of the Imagine 9-12 schools having sports.

One thing to realize here is that the charters here do not make their money off enrollment. They make their money off real estate. Their charter status gives them special abilities to buy and resale public land. They get their initial funding based on enrollment, and then use that to buy up unused public schools for cheap and convert the property to commercial and residential use. Since 1/3rd of the district is now charter, there are a lot of empty public schools.

Last edited by marigolds6; 01-08-2013 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
the kids are in the most desperate need of great teachers are being given a constant churn of rookies and amateur whose idealism only goes so far.
Aren't the "most desperate" kids the ones whose parents leave them in public school? Sorry about the way that may sound, but what I mean is, parents of charter school kids have taken steps to address a perceived defficiency, whereas other parents leave their kids to languish where they have been unssuccessful.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,680 posts, read 3,270,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
(Missouri no longer allows teachers to unionize).
Wow, when did that happen?! The Wisconsin controversy was all over the news last year, now it's Michigan. Missouri somehow quietly slipped by me.

In any case, it sounds like there are selfish charter parents after all, not the "concerned for their children" types that originally spearheaded the movement. That's too bad. I suppose it was inevitable that as charter schools became more powerful and mainstream it would turn into Animal Farm. Sounds like there are loopholes in that St. Louis system that allows charter schools to become real estate trusts, which is not the mission of the schools.
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