It’s official. The cheese has finally slipped off Barbara Madeloni’s cracker.
Last week the Boston Globe wrote about the growing insanity of the Massachusetts Teachers Association — referencing their inability to demonstrate any class in recognizing the Massachusetts/National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee — and also there was this:
“There’s another problematic anti-charter development in the offing, this one involving the MTA and the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School, in Haverhill. Back in 2006, in its pre-charter existence, the K-5 school was underperforming and facing a possible state takeover. The approach to fixing those problems was to transform the school into an automatically unionized Horace Mann charter, thereby giving it more latitude to set its own course. By 2013, Silver Hill had made enough progress to win Level 1 status. That is, a spot in the state’s top school tier.
But charters must be renewed every five years; with Horace Mann charters, that renewal application needs approval from the local union. In two past instances when the school has applied for a renewal or amendment to its charter, once the school’s (union) teachers signed off, the Haverhill Education Association president at the time said yes. That’s the way other Horace Mann renewals have generally proceeded.
This time, however, current HEA President Lisa Begley says she wants all members of the MTA-affiliated HEA to vote on the charter renewal, a decision Begley says she arrived at after consulting with the MTA’s legal staff. “The law gives me the right to let every teacher vote, and I am following the letter of the law,” she said in an interview.
Based on the tone of several recent letters Begley has sent Silver Hill, including a public records request, school parents worry the union leadership is ill-disposed toward Silver Hill.
“It feels very hostile,” says Devan Ferreira, who has two children at Silver Hill and serves on a foundation that supports the school. The union vote is scheduled for June 15. If HEA members nix the successful charter, it will be a sad and telling development, one that would likely signal bad news for the eight other Horace Mann charter schools in the state.
Yesterday I received this email:
Ms. Keri Rodrigues Lorenzo,
As I am hoping you are aware, our diverse, Massachusetts public charter elementary, an amazing turnaround success story with supportive union teachers, is being attacked by very same local union leadership, and state teachers union… best explained in two minutes by WGBH’s Jim Braude:
…based on this Boston Globe editorial: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2017/06/02/deepening-concerns-about-today-mta/wLzxaAQuOYsNuL9RLxiZMI/story.html
96% of Silver Hills own union teachers have voted in support of charter renewal, in the face of opposition by their very own union leadership at Haverhill Education Association (HEA), and statewide Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA).
The HEA has scheduled their district wide "vote" of renewal support for June 15. Until then, we as Silver Hill parents continue to bring awareness to how our children are being used as pawns in the MTAs seemingly political and war on charters and choice in Massachusetts.
Parent of two current Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School Students
It is difficult for me to articulate the level of absolute rage I feel at the unmitigated gall displayed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association here.
This is ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS.
Upon talking with several of the Silver Hill parents — they are at a loss. They simply cannot believe that the decision as to whether a school they fully support and want to continue is now left to people who have absolutely nothing to do with their children — and frankly, many teachers who don’t even live in Haverhill.
Let’s be clear:
The Parents of Silver Hill want to keep their school.
The Teachers of Silver Hill want to keep their school.
But now the decision lies with a “district-wide” vote of educators across Haverhill — under intense pressure from their local union as well as the Massachusetts Teachers Association — as to whether or not the school remains open.
So a high performing, level 1 school that is getting outstanding results for students and is loved by parents and the community is threatened with closure … WHY exactly?
Because of Barbara Madeloni "doesn’t LIKE" charter schools.
You see parents, it doesn’t matter what you want. And frankly, it doesn’t matter if the school is doing well. It matters what Barbara Madeloni and her minions think is best for their union. Not about what works best for our children, but what makes the MTA more powerful. This entire issue around charter schools — Commonwealth or Horace Mann — has never been about children and their best interests. It’s all about adults — what’s best for their clique.
This is INSANITY.
Today we ask elected officials in Haverhill:
Are you going to allow MTA to hurt children in your district?
Are you going to allow them to bully parents and families — your constituents — to advance their vendetta?
Are you going to stand with the children of Silver Hill? Or the union of Beacon Hill?
This issue is black and white. You either stand with parents of Silver Hill or you don’t.
We’re watching. And we’ll be calling.
What do you think?