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Boston Charter School Teachers Join Union

Teachers at Boston's Conservatory Lab Charter School have joined a union, the first charter to do so in the state of Massachusetts and one of a small handful nationwide.

The news is not likely to be welcomed by most charter school advocates who look upon unionization, with its elements of collective bargaining and tenure as hindrances in the path of innovation.

But for teachers' unions, this is a feather in the cap. For years now, unions, led by the American Federation of Teachers, have focused a good deal of energy on unionizing charters, without spectacular success. In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers started two charter schools of its own.

You can read more about nationwide efforts to unionize charters from my colleague Erik Robelen.

Yesterday, Tom Gosnell, the president of the Massachusetts affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, told the Boston Globe that "it's important that [innovation] is done with teachers and not to teachers."

"Unionizing will enable these teachers to have a more persuasive voice in what is best educationally for their students. . . . I know the faculty there now likes the school a great deal, and they are interested in the school achieving and doing well," he added.

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