This blog is for you, a leader of the new movement of education unions. You have a lot on your plate, and there’s more all the time. There’s never enough funding. Charter schools keep growing. You’re dealing with the membership challenges of ‘right to work’ courtesy of the Janus decision. I write this post during the second week of closed schools here in Philadelphia due to coronavirus, which will bring challenges we can’t begin to anticipate. We worry that we will stagger under the weight of it all.
The silver lining in every crisis is an opportunity to revisit the fundamentals of how we talk about, think about, and act out the institutions that shape our daily lives. We can turn the conversation to how our systems of funding for education are broken. Why charter schools have failed in their promise to use public funds to make better schools. How ‘bargaining for the common good’ can make schools work better for everyone. The opportunities are there, but only if we rise to the challenge of making use of them.
Big challenges deserve big support. Calling this new firm the “Education Union Lab” is more than a tagline - it’s a commitment. It’s a pledge to you that we will bring you something new: a wider perspective on the problems you’re facing, new options on how to tackle them, and a long-range plan to make progress towards your goals. Welcome to The Lab. Let’s get started.