In a letter delivered to co-principals Jeff Li and Melissa Perry this afternoon, the teachers said that they had decided to unionize in order to secure teacher voice and respect for the work of teachers in their school. We want “to ensure that the [KIPP] motto of ‘team and family’ is realized in the form of mutual respect and validation for the work that is done [by teachers] each day,” they wrote.KIPP, the nation's largest charter school operator, has become the darling of the far right-wing and notorious for it's Starbucks-style replications as well as for forcing teachers to work under intolerable conditions, including 16-hour work days. KIPP's policies have led to extremely high teacher turnover rates, and pushed high numbers of low-performing kids out of their schools as a way of driving up test scores.
According to Casey, three of the four KIPP schools in New York City will now be members of the UFT. But the UFT's Casey also says, he expects resistance from anti-union forces with the charter school associations.