The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a report called “Local Labor-Management Relationships as a Vehicle to Advance Reform,” highlighting the work of the 12 school districts that presented at its first-ever Labor-Management Collaboration Conference in Denver earlier this year.
As presenters at the conference, the 12 districts were represented by board presidents, superintendents, and teacher leaders, who shared stories and strategies about how they have worked together to move beyond the usual labor-management rancor to develop bold, student-centered initiatives.
The report is an important contribution to a relatively new field, ED says, studying how successful districts are advancing student achievement through better labor-management collaboration. The report uses presentations made by district leaders, interviews, and document analyses to summarize what these 12 local partnerships have accomplished and, more importantly, how they have accomplished it.
“The stories shared by these 12 districts paint a clear picture that kids win when adults join forces to improve policies inside and outside the classroom,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “Sharing challenges and success stories—learning what works and what doesn’t—is critical to achieving effective education reform.”
ED commissioned education scholar Jonathan Eckert, a professor at Wheaton University, and 12 current and former Teaching Ambassador Fellows to research and author the report. The initiative was undertaken in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, Council of the Great City Schools, and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.