The national branch of our local teachers union apparently has decided that the story of the KIPP charter school network’s alleged resistance to a unionizing drive is a national story. I just got a fancy memorandum from the American Federation of Teachers’ press office addressed to “Education Writers.” The memo, titled “KIPP AMP Unionization Facts,” summarizes the story and offers to put journalists in touch with the Brooklyn teachers waging the campaign.
It includes more detailed language describing one of the accusations than I had heard before:
Under the guise of discussing testing, school leaders met with students and asked them for “dirt” on the teachers who favor unionization. As inappropriate as that is on its face, the meeting also took place during the school day, interfering with instructional time. This behavior does not fit into KIPP’s five pillars: high expectations, choice and commitment, more time, power to lead and focus on results.
I called Dave Levin, the superintendent of New York City KIPP schools, for comment not too long ago but haven’t heard back yet.
Here’s the full memo:
02-20-09 KIPP AMP Unionization Facts