Kavita Papneja, a math teacher, joined an Alliance College-Ready charter several years ago and doesn't regret it. In her prior work at a traditional school, Gompers Middle School near Watts, "you have more behavior issues," she said. "Here, most of the time, we just have to worry about what we are teaching and what kids are learning."
As far as the charter workload, "if I have to spend extra hours, I will," said Papneja, 43, who believes she's the oldest teacher in her school. "It's not like they force me."
She and history teacher Stephanie McIlroy, who joined Alliance at age 21, also left a charter school; but in their case, the purpose was to follow Principal Howard Lappin from one Alliance charter school to a newly opened charter, the Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School in Glassell Park.
Some former teachers at Alliance schools and elsewhere were less enthusiastic, speaking of pressure to produce high test scores and arbitrary management.