A New Compact for Student Success: The Principles of Student-Centered Labor-Management Relationships

Statement of Purpose

Successful labor-management relations in public education should enable school boards, district administrators, principals, and teachers – each in their own roles – to design and enact policies that optimize the academic success of their students. To do this, districts and teachers' unions must forge new compacts – compacts in which school boards, district and building administrators, and teachers' union leaders acknowledge their shared responsibility to establish a strong and stable school environment, and give educators resources and tools to transform all schools so that all students receive a genuine opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.

The fundamental strength of a constructive labor-management relationship is its reciprocal nature. Through the new compact, boards, administrators, and teachers can build on this strength and use it as a vehicle to uphold rigorous academic standards, elevate the teaching profession by advancing teacher quality, drive school and instructional improvement, and make student achievement the heart of their relationship.

Looking forward, the new compact will raise expectations, and the collaborative process, including collective bargaining, will become a tool of innovation, creating new ways to improve academic outcomes for students and the work of educators. Moreover, under the new compact, the context for labor-management interaction will extend well beyond collective bargaining; it will influence the way collective-bargaining and non-collective-bargaining school systems operate – in board meetings, at the union hall, in committees, on school leadership teams, and with parents, students, and the community. In each of these settings, and in all settings where teachers, board members, and administrators do their work, the compact will serve to create a renewed focus on the conditions of student, teacher, and school success.

Tenets of the Compact – Conditions for Student Success

  • Shared responsibility for, and clear focus on, student success
  • A culture of high academic expectations
  • Rigorous curriculum that meets or exceeds state standards and international benchmarks
  • A belief in education as a valued profession
  • A culture of respect for education professionals
  • An effective leader in every school
  • An effective teacher in every classroom
  • Professional development aimed at continuous improvement
  • A collaborative culture of innovation
  • Resources appropriate to local school needs
  • Empowered local leadership with respect to those resources
  • A safe, secure, and supportive professional environment
  • Students taking responsibility for their own learning
  • Parents engaged in their child's education
  • Accessible, timely, and relevant information on school and student performance
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