Teaching Profession

Judge Decides Against UFT, NAACP in First Round of N.Y.C. Charter Suit

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 22, 2011 1 min read
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A New York state judge sided yesterday with the New York City Department of Education—and against the United Federation of Teachers, the NAACP, and other groups—in a lawsuit over the closing of some 22 public schools and the planned “co-location” of 16 new charters into buildings that now house traditional public schools, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The ruling will allow the city’s plans move forward. In fact, the state commissioner of education approved the 12 closures that fall under state regulatory oversight the same day as the ruling.

This is probably just the first round, though. The ruling seems to apply only to a preliminary injunction that sought to immediately stop the closures and co-locations. The UFT has vowed to continue to litigate an underlying lawsuit about whether these school closures and co-locations lead to inequitable outcomes for public school children.

Read more about the situation in my Education Week story from a few weeks back, which explains some of the high-profile tensions brewing in this case.

The ruling stands in contrast to a similar one last year, in which another state judge sided with the UFT over school closures. (That suit did not tackle the issue of charter co-locations.)

The Wall Street Journal paints this as representative of a larger battle over whether schools should be improved or closed. But it’s also, as I reported in my story, an argument about the appropriate place of charter schools in the educational landscape, especially in urban cities where a “critical mass” of operators are starting to have profound implications on the traditional models of schooling. (Think New York City, the District of Columbia, and Detroit.)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.