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Green Dot and Union Ink N.Y. Deal

From Guest Blogger Lesli A. Maxwell

Nine months after opening a charter high school together in the Bronx, Randi Weingarten, the president of the New York City teachers' union and the American Federation of Teachers, and Steve Barr, the founder of the Los Angeles-based Green Dot Public Schools, announced a three-year agreement for teachers that both leaders said should be a model for more union and charter collaboration. Gotham Schools has a copy of the contract here.

The tenure-free New York contract is similar to those that Green Dot has with teachers in Los Angeles, though Barr said this week that the new contract is "shorter and even better." Barr, who has encouraged unionization in his schools, has always insisted that Green Dot's contracts be tenure-free and not mandate the length of the school day. The contract does require that principals prove they have just cause to fire teachers.

Barr, who was a featured panelist at the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington just before flying to New York to announce the contract, preaches all the time that charters and unions must work together. But his embracing of labor is still widely considered to be heresy among his charter brethren.

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