Last week we helped detail how teachers unions were trying to kill the charter school movement in New York. Yesterday the New York Times profiled one teacher’s involvement in the big labor/school choice war:
After months of soul-searching, Kashi Nelson left her career as an assistant principal in North Carolina at the start of 2008 to teach seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at a Brooklyn charter school, convinced that the freedom to innovate would translate into better education for students.
But within a year, she began to feel that the school’s independence had created its own frustrations for teachers … So this spring Ms. Nelson, 39, once skeptical about unions, helped lead an effort to unionize the teachers at the school, KIPP AMP, thinking that a contract would provide a clearer idea of expectations and consequences.
But now, with the state’s labor board scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to certify a union at the school, Ms. Nelson has changed her mind again, withdrawing her support from a unionization drive that she says is proving to be a distraction and more about power than children.
“I am a teacher and I can’t waste energy — all I want to do is make the school better,” she said in an interview. “I saw early on that the union was not, in my opinion, looking to have amicable conversations with the administration. We were being encouraged to be even more miserable, and if I can avoid misery, I want to do that.”