Friday, June 5, 2015

Holyoke charter teachers join a union

Most of the attention on Holyoke has been elsewhere, so I think it's important to point out that staff at Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School voted last month to join a union:
"Since the school’s founding in 2013, teachers, staff, and students have struggled to realize the promise of an educational experience that actually embraces the ideals and vision of the school’s namesake, Brazilian revolutionary educator Paulo Freire. But instead of a school that holds liberation for the poor as a main guiding principle, the administration has created an authoritarian environment that punishes students as well as staff for challenging racial inequality, both inside and outside of school walls. From the racially-biased preferential treatment, hiring and firing of staff, to the administration’s complicity in the wider societal trend of criminalizing youth of color through the “school-to-prison pipeline,” the Union members have concluded that the administration does not hear individual voices. Therefore, the Union has forged bonds of inter-racial solidarity that will speak collectively and be heard.

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