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Jay on the Web: Can Unions and KIPP Schools Co-exist?

Mike Klonsky has some strong words for Jay Mathews on his recent column about unions and charter schools. In the piece, Jay argues that union demands might swamp the progress that one Baltimore KIPP school has shown under the direction of KIPP founder Jason Botel.

In his blog Small Talk, Klonsky, an educator and activist, argues Mathews is ignoring the difficult conditions many KIPP teachers work under:

"(Mathews has) become an important part of a national campaign aimed at discouraging and defeating activist KIPP teachers, who are finally standing up to abuse from Botel and company and organizing for collective barganing rights.
KIPP-AMP teachers in New York, for example, are currently part of a new movement among charter school teachers, asking for the union recognition long denied them. They got a majority of KIPP teachers to sign union cards only to have their pro-union colleagues fired, threatened and intimidated by KIPP management. The teachers want an end to 16-hour teacher work days (which Mathews thinks are good for kids), lousy pay and benefits (while KIPP founders rake in millions), and firings of pro-union teachers.
Botel claims that KIPP can't afford to pay teachers properly. He claims that African-American kids learn better with overworked teachers who burn out in three years. A good journalist would question those claims.

By Washington Post Editors  | July 1, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  KIPP, Small Talk  
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