Teachers Union Getting Ready to Ask Permission to Run Its Own School

Following the Bruce Randolph and Manual HS episode in Denver, the teachers union now says it has a proposal coming to run its own school:

Denver’s teachers union plans to submit a proposal this spring to create its own school, hoping to launch a teacher-led demonstration site for how to improve student achievement.

“Teachers are supportive of reform,” Kim Ursetta, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, said Tuesday. “We have ideas how to improve student achievement and we want an opportunity to put our ideas forward.”

More power to them. Given an ideal public education system guided by parental/consumer choice where the money followed the child based on need and local schools had autonomy over employment, curriculum, and program, the DCTA should have just as much right as anyone to offer its educational services and compete in the marketplace.

But given the realities of the current system, if DCTA’s request is approved, to whom will they be accountable? Will there be collective bargaining, and if so, will management bargain with itself? Who will handle employee grievances when the union is running the show? And who will they blame if the school is unsuccessful?

Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of Colorado education reform.

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