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Working People

May 26, 2022

Caliber Public Schools, a group of charter schools in Northern California, states on its website that its mission is "to achieve educational equity by shifting the experiences, expectations and outcomes for students in historically underserved communities. Our strengths-based educational program validates, affirms, respects and supports students, families and staff members to reach their full potential." But when teachers and staff who believe in that mission did not feel validated, affirmed, respected, and supported, they took it upon themselves to organize and push Caliber to live up to its promise. Earlier this month, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled that a majority of the 150 teachers and staff at Caliber: Beta Academy in Richmond and Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy in Vallejo had demonstrated sufficient support for unionizing with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and ordered management to formally recognize the union. In this episode, we talk with Tyler Powles, who was a 4th-grade teacher at Caliber: Beta Academy for five years, and Erinn Murphy, an education specialist (and school parent) at Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy, about their experience working for the charter school network and fighting for a union. 

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive:

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song