I’ve revised Santayana’s trademark quote because certain topics appear in stories and are treated as new phenomena, and I feel
obligated condemned to point out that we have seen this before, with exactly the same interpretations, and the results were not as predicted.
The occasion for this latest repetition on my part is an Education Week story headlined “Calif. Teachers’ Union Sets Sights on Charters.” The occasion for the article was the visit of the new NEA president to a unionized charter school campus.
To her credit, reporter Arianna Prothero includes a section sub-headed “Earlier Efforts,” and tells us that “the number of charters unionizing each year seems to remain at a relative trickle.” But she buries the lede, which actually appears in the 10th paragraph: “Nationally, the percentage of unionized charter schools has dropped from 12 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2012, according to an annual survey by the Center for Education Reform, a Washington-based research and advocacy group.”
The reason for this is obvious: The number of new, non-union charter schools opening each year far exceeds the rare instances of a charter school unionizing. The unions can’t even hope to gain ground unless they can enforce caps on the number of charter schools.