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Teacher Power and the Politics of Union Organizing in Charter Schools

Huriya Jabbar & Jesse Chanin

Date & Time
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
12:00–1:00 pm
1555 Poydras Street, Suite 700
Conference Room 760
New Orleans Louisiana 70112

Research Team: Jamie Haynes, University of Texas at Austin; Sara Slaughter, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans

One key difference between charter schools and traditional public schools is that teachers in charter schools are rarely unionized. Only 11 percent of charter schools nationwide have collective bargaining agreements, and there has been little research done about how and why teachers have tried to organize unions at charter schools.

To shed more light on this under-studied topic, we interviewed 21 educators in New Orleans and Detroit who worked at charter schools where teachers attempted, successfully or unsuccessfully, to organize unions. This research explores why some teachers pushed for a union and educators’ perceptions of how school administrators responded to these efforts. In this brown bag, we will share our findings, including teachers’ primary motivations for organizing and how attempts to organize differed depending on the individual school and city.

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