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Professional Development

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Voices from Teachers

A voice in school-based decision making


Collaboration is Key to Success

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AFT Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff

AFT ACTS is a community of charter school employees organized by the American Federation of Teachers. The alliance works to mobilize charter school employees around issues of common concern, such as strengthening our profession, expanding professional development, improving the conditions of teaching and learning, and bolstering our voice in school-level decision making. As a community of educators, we also share best practices and professional resources and speak out on public policy issues that affect public education.

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Charter News

  • The contract is key: Educator at three charters ratify new agreements

    The grassroots union movement at charter schools continues to grow as schools throughout the city enter into first contracts and successor agreements. Within a single week over the summer, educators at a French immersion charter school in Harlem and an elementary school in Queens entered into their first contracts, while a high-performing union charter school in the Bronx ratified its latest contract. Earlier in the school year, educators at Amber Charter School in East Harlem reached a successor agreement, and Opportunity Charter School educators entered into a first contract.

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  • ASPIRA teachers must be free to speak out

    By Kim Johnson, President of the Philadelphia Alliance of Charter School Employees, Local 6056

    As a veteran charter school educator and as the president of the Philadelphia Alliance of Charter School Employees (ACSE), I am appalled at the revelations in Daniel Denvir’s Aug. 29 City Paper article “Charter operator owed its school millions, but no one’s checking its books.”

    Apparent fiscal mismanagement and ethical lapses by charter operators undermine well-intentioned charter schools and their hardworking staff. The time has come for all charter teachers and staff to address these issues head-on or run the risk of tarnishing the charter school movement and the dedicated educators who share our commitment to providing high-quality educational opportunities to our children and communities.

    The idea that a nonprofit organization would dare to play a shell game with taxpayer dollars that should be going directly to the students of ASPIRA’s five charters is troubling at best. But the idea that the School Reform Commission, which is responsible legally for charter school oversight, has little power to access or audit the financial workings of these organizations is unconscionable. At a time when every one of our city’s schools, District and charter alike, is starved for the funds necessary to provide for our students’ needs, it's unacceptable that an entity is more interested in making profits than in educating children. Pennsylvania taxpayers have a right to expect more transparency in charter fiscal and management dealings, not more loopholes and subterfuge. 

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  • Public Momentum Builds in Philly

    No Summer Vacation in Union Push

    August 14, 2013 – This summer through radio, video and Philadelphia’s mainstream news, the shocks keep coming for the anti-union management of ASPIRA Olney high school. Last week, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that ASPIRA would be called for a hearing in front of the National Labor Relations Board, citing ASPIRA managers for threatening staff with retaliation for union organizing. 

    The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint alleging that ASPIRA/Olney Charter High School has committed several serious violations of employee rights that are protected by the National Labor Relations Act.

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