A charter teacher answers our honest question

A short while ago we asked pro SB5 supporters a simple question.

Given that Ohio charter schools already have SB5 like "tools", why is their performance so bad when compared to traditional public schools?

We waited for an answer. And we waited, and waited. Not a single pro SB5 supporter could or would answer the question. Over at the Join the Future Facebook page however we did get an answer, a great one, from a charter school teacher.

I work at an excellent-rated charter school.

Why? Because my co-workers and I are good, dedicated teachers who for the most part cannot find sought-after union/public school jobs.. and despite the inability to collectively bargain, despite the longer hours, despite the fact that we find out typically last day of school if we are coming back the next year, we still do our best to educate our students.

But it sucks to not have the protections that SB5 wants to do away with.

In other words, it's those working conditions that are created by SB5 like "tools" that drive dedicated professional away. Those "tools" are causing them to seek an environment of teamwork, security and stability where they can concentrate their skills on developing student achievement instead of wondering if they will have a job.

Another smart observation followed, that explains why charter schools see such high staff turnover

Had I not been fortunate enough to find a part time position at an excellent-rated public school when I had to relocate from one Ohio city to another, I probably would have tried for a charter school.

But why would anyone (no matter how dedicated to the profession) choose a charter, even one rated excellent, over a public school, with the working conditions Ms. Grabski describes?

No one takes out college loans and works toward a master's degree hoping for that kind of a professional life. I imagine Ms. Grabski and her skilled, dedicated co-workers would all jump at the chance to move to a public school.

That leaves lots of new, inexperienced, and possibly less skilled teachers--without working conditions that could improve instruction--remaining at charters over the long term. If SB5 remains, why would anyone enter the profession at all?

SB5 like "tools" only drive dedicated people away, it does not attract the highly skilled, highly trained experience professionals needed to deliver a quality education. This goes a long way to explaining why charters fail to outperform traditional public schools, and why SB5 is bad for public education.

We vehemently oppose SB5 at Join the Future because we believe, and all evidence indicates, it is harmful to the teaching profession and consequently students. Public education should be about a race to the top, SB5 is a rapid decent to the bottom, and if you con't believe that, take another look at charter school performance in Ohio.

You should also "Like" us on Facebook and join in the conversation.

For further reading about teacher turnover, this is highly recommended - Teacher turnover in charter, traditional public schools.