When the United Federation of Teachers announced last month that it had collected enough signatures to unionize the charter school, Dave Levin, KIPP’s co-founder and New York superintendent, said he was willing to work with the union and was optimistic things would proceed smoothly. But in the weeks since, several teachers said in interviews, the atmosphere at the school has grown increasingly tense, with administrators making veiled threats about the effect of creating a union. (NYT)
Bailing out New York’s Catholic schools
While New York Mayor Bloomberg continues to close and privatize public schools, he’s struck a deal with Bishop DeMarzio to turn failed Catholic schools into public charters.
It is unclear what would happen to teachers at the Catholic schools, many of whom are not certified to teach in public schools. If state law is amended, a provision could be added to provide for alternative certification for current teachers, according to officials with the city’s Department of Education. Staff members and administrators of the new school may not be allowed to be employed by the diocese. Another potentially thorny issue could be the public schools’ fourth-grade health curriculum, which includes discussions of sexual reproduction. In the past, the Archdiocese of New York has objected to teaching the topic inside its buildings, forcing some public schools that lease space in buildings owned by the church to go off campus to teach the classes. (NYT)