I attended the Charter School Forum last night hosted by the Better Government Association (@BetterGov), and Catalyst News (@CatalystChicago), a education news source in Chicago. The forum comes at a time when 140 Chicago Public Schools are slated to be “turned around” and/or “charterized.” Broy of the Illinois Network of Charter School maintained that charters schools are “places of innovation” though Potter of the Chicago Teachers Union often pressed him on this he seemed to dodge the answers. Potter constantly asked Broy for a “neutrality” pact to stop the continuous proliferation, lets study what’s actually happening in these experimentation centers, and to actively allow charter school teachers to unionize. Currently, fourteen charters are unionized, though there is still much harassment when charter school teachers express interest in forming a union.
At the end of the forum, Catalyst expressed interest in continuing this discussion. I would hope that in the next panel discussion we could hear from teachers, parents and students.