Nathan: You refer to some charters as more like a chain. The majority of charters are independent. But, yes, some of them are part of a group. Would you regard Coalition of Essential Schools, or Core Knowledge, or Montessori schools as "chain" schools?


Meier: When looking at charter schools what I mostly see are chains operating more like Wal-Marts than mom-and-pop stores, with authority more distant from the children and families.


Bridging Differences is on a publishing break. Deborah Meier will return with new posts and a new co-blogger in January. Until then, happy holidays!...


Casey: 'At a time that teachers' unions face existential threats, how do we defend the democratic voice that they provide teachers?'


Meier: Do most teachers view their unions much as they view other organizations--some better, some worse, but not "ours."


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