They are not popular with teachers unions.
What results do charter schools bring to the society at large?
Teachers Unions vs. Charter Schools contributes some interesting and relevant facts to the discussion:
"The Beginning With Children charter school in New York City announced that it will close next year because operating under union work rules has made it impossible to provide students with a decent education.
"Because the school converted from a traditional district school to a charter school in 2001, the board was bound by the [United Federation of Teachers] contract with the Department of Education," reports the New York Post. In a letter to parents notifying them of the decision, the board wrote, "We had to carry many of the burdens of being a DOE school, but we could not enjoy the benefits and flexibilities that charter status normally allows."
To understand how union work rules can impact the quality of a school, consider this passage from Steven Brill's "Class Warfare," in which he compares the teachers' contracts at Harlem Success Academy, a high-performing charter school in New York City, and a traditional public school that share the same building space and teach kids from the same socio-economic background.
"The Harlem Success teachers' contract drives home the idea that the school is about the children, not the grown-ups. It is one page, allows them to be fired at will, and defines their responsibilities no more specifically than that they must help the school achieve its mission. Harlem Success teachers are paid about 5 to 10 percent more than union teachers on the other side of the building who have their levels of experience.
"The union contract in place on the public school side of the building is 167 pages. Most of it is about job protection and what teachers can and cannot be asked to do during the 6 hours and 57.5 minutes (8:30 to about 3:25, with 50 minutes off for lunch) of their 179-day work year."
In 2010, 29 percent of the students at the traditional public school were reading and writing at grade level, and 34 percent were performing at grade level in math. At the charter school, the corresponding numbers were 86 percent and 94 percent."
Facts are stubborn things.
So are teachers unions.
Government knows best "progressive" leaders support teachers unions.
That simply means that kids, their parents and taxpayers in general are the enemies of both teachers unions and "progressive" government officials.
Such is life in modern day America.