As a follow up to my rant of this morning about the two big teachers unions, here’s an example (via: Joanne Jacobs) of what I was blogging about. The California Teachers Association (affiliated with the NEA) is trying to block the conversion of Sacramento High School into a public charter school after many years of dismal performance (on more than just standardized tests) as part of the "normal" city school system. The decision to turn the school over to a charter group came after the school went through "a state program targeting new resources at such failures" and was about to be taken over by the state.
Once again the NEA is fighting in court to maintain a status quo that clearly isn’t working. If the leaders of the CTA had any brains they would have jumped out in front to lead an effort to bring in some new ideas to "re-invent" the school rather than letting the political leaders pressure the city into doing something (anything!). I’m not saying turning the school into a charter is a bad idea – this particular plan sounds like it has some good backing. But as with many similar situations around the country, the NEA needs to stop being a road block for change in public education and starting being a catalyst for it.