From news service reports
NEW YORK – The United Federation of Teachers has an odd conundrum on its hands: it routinely ridicules charter schools publicly, yet it started its own and is now fighting to keep it open.
Why? The union’s school is among the worst in the city in terms of student achievement.
On the heels of that news, the New York Daily News rightly calls for more accountability for charter schools – as in, closing the low performers. (If only union schools could be held to the same standard.)
Via the New York Daily News:
The United Federation of Teachers has finally gotten a taste of how hard it is to run a successful charter, with state authorities giving the East New York school only two years to improve.
Having now climbed into our skin and walked around in it a little, as Atticus Finch of “To Kill a Mockingbird” might say, maybe the union will admit that charters can work if allowed to thrive, and back off its campaign to treat charter students and families as second-class citizens.
But this is not an I-told-you-so missive to the UFT about charter schools — although calling out the sanctimonious for hypocrisy is always fun.
The State University of New York’s decision to extend the East New York UFT charter school’s life by only two more years may well be a sign that better schools are on the way, and that SUNY — whose trustees authorize many of the state’s charters — may be exploring new ways of shutting down poor performers.
The truth is that too many underachieving charters remain open because the district schools around them are even worse or because they sue their authorizers before soft-hearted judges with little knowledge or insight into what charters are about. …
We need to stay true to the charter bargain: In exchange for some legislative and regulatory freedom, you live with the knowledge that you can be closed if you don’t perform. As opposed to failing city public schools, which are nearly impossible to close.
SUNY officials have given the UFT’s school a third chance to get it right. The school is a mixed bag — its elementary section appears decent, but its high school has major stability issues and its middle school was dreadful, hitting only one of its 30 academic goals.
Many charter advocates were livid that such a shaky operation would get a reprieve.