Take a deep breath and relax on union infiltration of charters

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Our Education Intelligence agent comes through with an interesting find.

Elizabeth Green at Gotham Schools has the scoop:

“Teachers at two New York City KIPP charter schools today asked state labor officials to sever their ties from the city teachers union, in petitions signed by every single teacher at the two schools.”

The KIPP Academy and KIPP Infinity staffs (totaling about 60 members) sent out a press release about their decision:

“In recent months, the UFT has made clear its desire to play a more active part in the day-to-day operations of our schools. Two examples illustrate this point. In January, the UFT sent a letter to the KIPP: Infinity Board of Directors with the goal of beginning collective bargaining on teachers’ behalf; the UFT neither consulted nor informed the staff of this request. In addition, a union-initiated grievance has been filed against KIPP Academy without solicitation or support of staff. It is our belief that the active presence of an external negotiating representative could compromise the strong environment of communication and collaboration that is integral to the success of our schools.”

When KIPP AMP teachers joined the union, we quickly got a slew of commentary about the greater implications of it. When Kashi Nelson, one of the early supporters of unionization at KIPP AMP, changed her mind, the only sound from the blogosphere was crickets chirping. Consistency dictates that this story should engender all sorts of speculation about a trend toward decertification of unionized charter schools.

But don’t hold your breath.