The superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools and the teachers union boss vowed yesterday to support each other in bringing more charter schools to the city. Ray Cummings, president of Local 420 of the AFT said, “We represent educators no matter what the configuration the school district is in. It’s our job to make sure that the voices of the people who do the work are part of the decision-making process.”
Translated: “The bosses of the union, who claim they represent the teachers, will give a nod and a wink to the superintendent and the corporate edu-plunderers in their bid to privatize our schools and make them union free.” Notice that his quote referred to a union voice in the “decision-making process” (the decision to allow in more charters). He refused to say whether local 420 would fight for union representation at the charter schools.
In that meeting, Superintendent Kelvin Adams introduced a number of reform measures, including his plan to increase the number of charter schools, close poorly performing schools and reconfigure them in a variety of ways. Under this plan, poorly performing schools could be converted into charter schools, potentially forcing teachers to reapply for their jobs, but without union protections.