Teaching Profession

UPDATED: Union-Supported School Operators Take to High Wire in L.A.

By Stephen Sawchuk — February 24, 2010 1 min read

Big news out of Los Angeles on school management: Under the district’s choice movement, the school board will allow nonprofits made up mainly of teachers and administrators already in the district—rather than to charter school operators—to operate 22 new schools and turn around existing ones. Charter operators will only work with 4 of the schools up for this management round, which total 30 in all.

The charter organizers are pretty upset about this, while United Teachers Los Angeles chief A.J. Duffy—who’s famous for denouncing charters, saying principals are vindictive, and claiming L.A.'s bureaucracy prevents innovation—seems happy overall with the news. The union backed the nonprofit bids and, of course, those schools will be unionized. That probably wouldn’t have happened if the charters had won those bids.

Still, it’s unclear whether Duffy is cognizant of how much this really seems to call UTLA’s bluff. The teachers and administrators will be freed up from some rules, but will they manage to improve instruction? What happens if these schools don’t turn out to be successful? If they aren’t, don’t expect the school board to be so generous the next time around.

UPDATED: Mike Antonucci’s take worth reading here:

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