Sunday, March 11, 2007

Three Ex-Charter Teachers

You read about them here first, but today Angela Montefinise of the New York Post exposes a charter school that fires its teachers as casually as you and I change our shoes.

Reading, writing - and wrongful firings.
That's the curriculum at a new charter school in The Bronx, where an "out of control" principal axed three teachers in a month, refused to pay the salaries of two and was found guilty of expelling students without due process, according to furious former employees.

While it's undoubtedly true that not all charters follow this policy, it's intolerable that any do. And this, regrettably, is not the first such story. Who knows how many we've never heard about, and will never hear about?

Charter teachers shouldn't be treated like this, playing checkers with faculty members certainly doesn't benefit kids, and charters need to be unionized. I've watched as others bemoaned the protections that teachers enjoy, and my conclusion is still the same. All teachers need those protections, and all other working people need them as well.

"She called the cops on us and told us to get out of the building," Ortega said. "We were more than willing to finish the day and four more weeks to fulfill our contract, but she screamed at us to get out and said we were fired."
"She said we'd never work in a charter school again," said Ray.
Ray and Ortega said they were forced to go to small-claims court for six weeks worth of pay that Lopez refused to give them. Ortega won almost $5,000 on Feb. 6 but has still not been paid. Ray's hearing was postponed.

Some argue against card check as a means of enabling unionization. However, if bosses will fire people on whims, they'll do the same and more to employees attempting to unionize. It's disingenuous and preposterous to compare pressure from unions to pressure from employers, who can cavalierly strip workers of their livelihoods.
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