Knowledge is power, KIPP’s moniker, might need to be more aptly applied to the parent company’s involvement and understanding of local school issues. The knowledge of what was afoot in two more of their NYC schools to convince teachers there to unionize may have helped them avert the rising mediocrity that will no doubt color this otherwise No Excuses school model. One wonders what campaign was hatched to convince so many KIPPsters that a regulatory environment would be preferable to the freedom they now enjoy.
Union leaders in NYC blogging yesterday provide some clues:
In a letter delivered to co-principals Jeff Li and Melissa Perry this morning, 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 each day,” they wrote.
The letter stressed that the decision to organize was directly connected to the teachers’ commitment to their students. “ strong and committed staff,” the teachers wrote, “is the first step to student achievement.” Unionization, the teachers believe, will help create the conditions for recruiting and retaining such a staff.
“We organized to make sure teachers had a voice, and could speak their minds on educational matters without fearing for their job,” says KIPP AMP teacher Luisa Bonifacio.
“For us,” KIPP AMP teacher Emily Fernandez explains, “unionization is ultimately all about student achievement, and the ability of teachers to best serve students at this crucial middle school time in their education.”
Mutual respect and validation?
Unionization is all about student