". . .we recognize that many families have come to depend on charter schools and that many charter school teachers are dedicated professionals who serve their students well. . . .We do not, therefore, call for the immediate closure of all charter schools. . ." Diane Ravitch's NPE Position Statement on Charter Schools, 2017In a deep bow to the corporate ed reformers who control the DNC's education agenda, as well as NEA and AFT, Diane Ravitch's NPE last year set out a policy statement on charter schools that would leave in place thousands of charter schools for years to come.
The NPE statement is clear with regards to the continued support for 7,000+ dehumanizing and unregulated charters, which are bleeding out state and local education budgets wherever they operate. In an impressive show of non-leadership, the NPE statement refuses to demand or advocate a moratorium on new charters, preferring instead to suggest support for "legislation" that calls for a moratorium on new charters.
NPE's acquiescence to and support for the continuation of the charter industry's paternalistic Broken Windows model of schooling is now being played out in Chicago, where the Chicago Teachers' Union this week voted to merge with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff.
What will this mean for public education, teachers, and CTU?
Most importantly for AFT and CTU, it will mean more money in dues from charter industry "teachers," since the discounted dues that charter employees were paying to ChiACTS will be raised to what real teachers pay AFT/CTU in Chicago. Never mind that charter industry "teachers" will continue to be exploited, overworked, underpaid, and without the benefit of the collective bargaining process that establishes pay, benefits, working conditions, and student advocacy initiatives for the rest of Chicago teachers.
The merger means, too, that CTU's omnipresent lip service to "social justice" is just more empty rhetoric. CTU, in fact, will become accessory to the ongoing teacher and child dehumanization practices and cultural sterilization programs that are central to "no excuses" ed reform charter school paternalism.
By normalizing the operations of Chicago's charter industry patriarchy-on-steroids, CTU and AFT become entirely complicit in demeaning practices against a female dominated workforce that, historically, have been anathema to union values. CTU's and AFT's kowtowing to the charter industry's billionaire patrons represents a truly sad outcome for teachers and children that will have ongoing implications for other union affiliates stupid and greedy enough to follow this very bad precedent.
It is hard to imagine a more destructive action to unionism than to the one taken in Chicago. By normalizing these deprofessionalized hell schools run by ignorant young non-educators, CTU and AFT have ceded the last remaining moral high ground. We may regard any further pronouncements by CTU/AFT about saving public education as the purest of bullshit.