The Results of Our Work
ABC Federation of Teachers
ABCFT built upon its noted partnership with management by encouraging similar collaboration at schools. The Partnership for Administration and Labor (PAL) Council developed a rigorous application process that required schools to jointly plan initiatives designed to increase student achievement. The successful applicants were funded. The final year of the project produced a handbook on collaboration and a study seeking to understand how the climate of participating schools changed.
AFT St. Louis
The union has helped to support an effort by the St. Louis Public Schools to increase enrollment in pre-kindergarten. But educators realized that pre-K teachers would need their own, targeted professional development to prepare young children for success in kindergarten and beyond. With a grant from the AFT Innovation Fund, AFT-St. Louis engaged national experts to help pre-K teachers and aides to design and deliver their own professional development. In its third year, the project turned to building children's oral language skills with the expertise and support of the Albert Shanker Institute.
Anchorage Council of Education
ACE embraced the Anchorage School District's new high school "graduation coaches" by developing the role as a career path for school support personnel and serving as a vocal advocate for the positions. The union created a training program to help the graduation coaches understand the needs of at-risk students, developed and analyzed data to help the coaches track students' performance in school and progress toward earning diplomas, and forged relationships with local institutions to open doors for students after graduation.
Boston Teachers Union
Teachers centered at the Edwards Middle School in Boston assembled a team of colleagues (21st Century Lessons) to create PowerPoint lessons in mathematics and social studies. These lessons were posted on BetterLesson and then on AFT's ShareMyLesson platform, where they have been downloaded 60,000 times. In summer 2013, the Boston Public Schools approved the math lessons as part of the district's middle school curriculum.
Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association
Through the Center for Technology and Education, HCTA created an online platform where teachers gather in "teacher learning communities." The focus of these communities is the district's Empowering Effective Teachers project, which is changing teachers' evaluation, pay, and career opportunities. Through webinars, wikis, and video sharing, teachers are sharing the knowledge and information they need to succeed. Sessions on the Common Core State Standards also were added to meet teachers' requests for more information.
Illinois Federation of Teachers
The IFT has supported the Chicago Talent Development High School over three years by negotiating a model contract for the charter school educators, using interest-based bargaining. The union also has helped to ensure that the innovative evaluation and development framework in the contract was fully implemented and has supported teacher learning and professional development to help the new school establish a stable corps of teachers.
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
The MFT established a nonprofit organization, the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools, which applied for and received the state's approval to authorize charter schools in Minnesota. The vision of the MFT and the Guild is to put teachers' professional voices at the forefront of schooling and to produce excellent outcomes for students. The Guild will adhere to these principles and to the highest quality standards for charter authorizers. Its first authorized charter school is set to open in fall 2014.
New York State United Teachers
NYSUT and a consortium of local unions created an educator-driven approach to rigorous and meaningful teacher development and evaluation called TED. This integrated system includes a standards rubric; multiple measures of student achievement and teacher practice; targeted professional development; consideration of teaching and learning conditions; peer assistance and review; and implementation guidelines. In 2010, the AFT won a federal "Investing in Innovation" grant to train evaluators and stakeholders. The New York State department of education has approved the teacher practice rubric for use across New York.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
In collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, the union expanded an established community schools program in West Philadelphia. Specifically, teams of teachers and principals were trained in "distributed leadership" so they could make decisions on services in their schools. The final grant year focused on opening and staffing Parent and Community Resource Centers in three schools.
Quincy Federation of Teachers
The QFT, located in Quincy, Illinois, has undertaken a public information campaign to help members of its local community understand and support the educational changes called for in the Common Core State Standards. This school year, the union and district plan to hold two daylong events featuring workshops for parents explaining how they can help their children meet the new standards.
Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals
This state AFT affiliate brought together a consortium of local unions to establish a multidistrict approach to more rigorous and meaningful teacher development and evaluation. This system, based on state teaching standards, evidence of student learning and measures of learning environment conditions, was approved by the Rhode Island education department for use statewide. In addition, the labor-management collaboration underlying it has ensured that the participating districts are well positioned to make the most of the system.
Toledo Federation of Teachers
The TFT created the Toledo Team Incentive Pay System, which encouraged and rewarded teachers for working as collaborative teams. In addition, if the teams met goals for students' academic achievement, the district paid them a bonus. The TTIPS project brought together teachers in grades K-3 and 4-8 for what many said was the best professional development of their careers.