School districts and labor leaders from across the country are convening in Denver for the two-day conference on Labor Management collaboration. The first-of-its-kind conference aims to identify ways that collaborative relationships, policies and agreements can more directly drive student achievement. In total, 150 districts will be represented by their superintendent, school board president, and labor leader.
Many of the participating districts have already developed diverse and innovative approaches for navigating the challenges of labor-management collaboration – approaches that allow them to meet the unique needs of their communities while maintaining a consistent focus on student achievement.
In host city Denver, they have the ProComp system that rewards whole schools and individual teachers for learning gains and for working in hard-to-staff schools.
In Baltimore, the district and the union have set up management committees to facilitate their new contract, which includes a new program jointly focused on professional development and student learning.
And in Los Angeles, the Green Dot Public Schools contract sets aside preparation time and defines the teacher workday by areas of responsibility rather than hours.
These districts and many others across the country are pointing the way forward. They exemplify what’s possible when labor and management work together to boost student achievement, and they embody the 10 key “Principles in Action” that the conference is focused around:
- Strategic Direction-Setting
- Clear and Shared Responsibility for Academic Outcomes of All Students
- Supporting the Growth and Improvement of Teachers and Leaders
- School Design, Schedules, Teacher Workload, and Time
- Teacher Evaluation
- Administrator Evaluation
- School Board Evaluation
- Transfer, Assignment, and Reduction in Force
- Compensation and Benefits
- Dynamic Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
These districts also echo principles outlined in “A New Compact for Student Success,” which lays out core tenets of student-centered labor-management relationships. Written collaboratively by the Department and conference co-sponsors, the compact calls on school boards, district and building administrators, and teachers’ union leaders to acknowledge their shared responsibility to establish a strong and stable school environment, and to give educators resources and tools to transform all schools so that all students receive a genuine opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.
For more information about the conference, click here.