Labor-Management Cooperation Helps Students Achieve

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A new report from the American Rights at Work Education Fund showcases how labor-management partnerships in public schools are playing an important role in improving student achievement.

The report focuses on nine school districts across the country—including many where the AFT represents school staff—and highlights partnerships with strong collective bargaining agreements between teachers unions and districts. The schools profiled demonstrate that when educators and administrators work together, the result is improved academic performance across socioeconomic divides, as well as increased parent and community engagement. Teachers and administrators in these schools have worked together to find innovative solutions and create opportunities that put students first.

"The schools lifted up in this report make it clear that revoking collective bargaining rights isn't just the wrong way to address budget deficits—it's also a threat to the quality of our schools," says Kimberly Freeman Brown, executive director of American Rights at Work. "Partnerships between teachers and administrators foster creative problem solving and innovation, and those are exactly the tools we need to accelerate student performance. Stripping teachers of their voice at the bargaining table is a step in the wrong direction for America's schools and our children. Now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed."

The schools in "Partnerships in Education: How Labor-Management Collaboration Is Transforming Public Schools," feature a culture of collaboration based on trust and professional integrity. These labor-management partnerships create benefits not just for schools and students, the report points out, but also families and communities. And they're a testament to the fact that when everyone has a seat at the table, our children thrive and communities flourish. [American Rights at Work]

May 31, 2011