Bargaining: Duncan & Union Leaders Announce Summit


Labor and management aren't always at odds like it sometimes seems, though examples of productive cooperation aren't easy to find.  But that's what Duncan, Weingarten, and Van Roekel are focusing on for an upcoming summit on
labor-management reform they've announced for early next year, according to this press
release.  No word yet on whether Karen Lewis and her team will be attending, or really how they feel about anything related to improving the support and evaluation and pay systems surrounding teachers.  There are many of the examples we've heard several times before
(Evansville, Baltimore, New Haven, Pittsburgh).  Notably left off the list -- so sensitive of them! -- is Washington
DC.  Still some hurt feelings there, I guess.  Or maybe it wasn't as
reformy as some claimed at the time. Also missing:  NYC.  See release below.  Will Lewis attend?  Would you mind if she did?


TAMPA, Fla. -- At an event to celebrate labor-management collaboration
and resulting education reforms in Hillsborough County, Fla., U.S.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, the president of
the American Federation of Teachers, and Dennis Van Roekel, the
president of the National Education Association, announced plans to
convene a national education reform conference on labor-management
collaboration early next year to highlight examples of progressive
collective bargaining agreements across the country and promote
opportunities for management and labor to forge reforms at the state and
district level.

"In dozens of districts around the country --
from Tampa to Pittsburgh to Denver -- union leaders and administrators
are moving beyond the battles of the past and finding new ways to work
together to focus on student success," Secretary Duncan said. "These
districts show us what is possible when adults come together,
particularly in tough times, to do the right thing for kids. We need to
learn from these successful collaborative efforts and build upon them
across the country."

The conference will include the
participation of national, state, and local union leadership as well as
school superintendants and school boards from across the country.
Additional details to come. The call for a national conference on
labor-management collaboration comes on the heels of several
progressive labor-management agreements across the country. Including:

•       In BALTIMORE, the district and the teachers union have
tentatively agreed to a new contract that revolutionizes the teacher
salary schedule, paying teachers not just for step increases but for
learning and doing the things necessary to achieve great outcomes for
their students. It also creates a mechanism for school based decision
making involving labor and management

•       In DELAWARE,
Diane Donohue, president of the Delaware Education Association, played a
pivotal leadership role in the state's winning Race to the Top
application, which included: 100 percent participation of the state's
unions; a new state law on teacher/principal effectiveness based in
part on student growth; financial incentives help more equitably
distribute effective teaching talent; and greater union collaboration
and involvement in school turnaround efforts.

•       NEW
HAVEN, CONN., ratified a new four-year contract that stresses
labor-management collaboration. It provides for a new teacher
evaluation system that considers student-learning gains along with other
measures in assessing and informing teacher performance, identifies
and provides interventions for struggling teachers through a
peer-assistance and review program and brings labor and management
together to make school-based decisions.

•       In DENVER, the
Math and Science Leadership Academy, designed and run by teachers,
uses collaborative peer planning time to analyze data and figure out
how to better meet the academic needs of students. Sixty percent of
MSLA students are English language learners and close to 90 percent
receive free or reduced-price lunches. The school aims to attract and
retain accomplished teachers in math and science, and so far, the
strategy appears to be working. MSLA has been receiving 30 applications
for each teaching position.

•       In PITTSBURGH, Pittsburgh
Public Schools' new five-year teacher contract includes Empowering
Effective Teachers, a pay-for-performance program that could earn
teachers up to $8,000 extra a year.  The performance pay program is
voluntary for existing teachers, but creates a separate pay scale based
on performance for new teachers. The contract also includes bonuses
for schools that reach certain benchmarks, bonuses for district
achievement and extra money for teachers who enter career ladder
positions that include additional responsibilities.

•       In
EVANSVILLE, IND., educators concluded that low-performing schools
needed a different approach.  In partnership with the school district,
the union developed the Evansville Equity Schools Project. The project
includes a professional development academy that provides top-notch
training for teachers in the three lowest-performing schools. Teachers
can't teach at the schools unless they attend the academy, take 40
hours of training on Saturdays and pass an examination.

In DETROIT, the school district and union have forged an agreement
that establishes a model for teacher compensation that rewards
successful school-wide performance and identifies and turns around
struggling schools.

•       In MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD., district
and union leaders have developed evaluation systems that incorporate
evidence of student learning, including student test scores and peer
reviews. Under the system, highly effective teachers help other
teachers improve their practice.

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  • i guess this answers that question - from CTU:

    Representative Gutierrez joins the Chicago Teachers Union in calling on Chicago Board of Education to use all the funds from the Education Jobs Fund Act to restore all teachers to the classroom this current school year. Rep. Gutierrez will be joined by teachers from his district and city-wide who have been illegally fired.

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