The Future of Charter Schools and Teachers Unions: Results of a Symposium

October 2006

Over the past fifteen years, charter schools and teachers unions have battled in state legislatures, the courts, and the media. But with increasing frequency, the two groups are facing each other in the everyday operation of schools. Will on-the-ground experiences change charter schools or unions? Will existing conflicts only spread, or will direct experience lead to some moderation within each party?

To begin to answer such questions, the National Charter School Research Project and the Progressive Policy Institute convened a meeting of local, state, and national leaders from both the charter school and teachers union communities. This paper summarizes the opinions expressed at the meeting and provides recommendations for how both groups might coexist while maintaining their most valued principles.