St. Paul Charter School Staff Joins Union to Fight 'Climate of Fear'

Jay Kolls
Updated: 06/13/2014 9:56 AM
Created: 06/12/2014 4:16 PM

Teachers and staff at the Community School of Excellence (CSE) charter school, all 129 of them, have joined "Education Minnesota". 

Four educators at the school had the courage to speak out about problems at CSE. Each of them say management created a climate of fear and when they tried to implement new ideas and invoke progressive teaching methods, they were often ignored and then isolated by the school's leadership. 

CSE is run by Superintendent, Mo Chang, and Concordia College, in St. Paul, is its authorizer.

In a letter the teachers signed and made public, they mention a "workplace of fear."

The teachers KSTP spoke to say this type of atmosphere led many good teachers to leave CSE on a regular basis which undermines the students' education.

CSE has more than 900 students and is one of the largest charter schools in the state. It also is under a federal investigation involving its school lunch program and St. Paul Police have also questioned school leaders about their handling of reported cases of possible child abuse.

With the vote to unionize, CSE is only the second charter school in the state to join a union.

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