U.S. Department of Education Releases Case Studies on Labor-Management Collaboration

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U.S. Department of Education Releases Case Studies on Labor-Management Collaboration

Report Outlines Collaborative Reform Efforts Across 12 Districts

June 20, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education, 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 the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, released a report, entitled “Local Labor-Management Relationships as a Vehicle to Advance Reform,” highlighting the work of the 12 districts from across the country that presented at the Department’s Labor-Management Collaboration Conference, held 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 collaborated to develop bold, student-centered initiatives.

The report is an important contribution to a relatively new field, studying how successful districts are advancing student achievement through labor-management collaboration. The report uses presentations made by district leaders, interviews, and document analyses to summarize what these 12 noteworthy local partnerships have accomplished and, more importantly, how they have accomplished it. The 12 districts include:

  • ABC Unified School District, California
  • Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland
  • Denver Public Schools, Colorado
  • Douglas County School District, Colorado
  • Green Dot Public Schools, California
  • Helena Public Schools, Montana
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida
  • Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland
  • New Haven Public Schools, Connecticut
  • Plattsburgh City School District, New York
  • Independent School District 15-St. Francis, Minnesota
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, North Carolina

Though approaches, techniques, and policies varied in order to meet each district’s unique needs, common themes emerged throughout. Every district’s story featured collaborative efforts in developing policies around evaluation, compensation, and career advancement, which were often spurred by critical or monumental challenges that urged leaders to seek out transformative change. Additionally, all twelve districts noted a shared interest in elevating student learning and closing achievement gaps as a premise for their collaborative work.

“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 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Sharing challenges and success stories – learning what works and what doesn’t – is critical to achieving effective education reform.”

The Department commissioned education scholar Jonathan Eckert, a professor at Wheaton University, and 12 current and former U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellows to research and author the report.

To access and download the case studies paper directly, visit: http://www.ed.gov/labor-management-collaboration/district-case-studies