Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Visits Providence Schools And Highlights Labor-Management Partnership To Turn Around Schools

For Release: 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Cynthia Leonor Garza

—Providence schools’ labor-management partnership to turn around four schools is a great example of stakeholders coming together to fix schools, said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten during a visit to Providence on Wednesday.

“Collaboration—which is built into the Providence restart model—is an essential part of any school reform effort,” said Weingarten, who visited several Providence schools, including two that will be turned around through the labor-management process. “The stakeholders in Providence have taken the idea of shared responsibility for ensuring student success and are putting it into action.”

The school district and the Providence Teachers Union are still developing the reform plans for the four schools that will implement the restart model: Charlotte Woods Elementary School, Lillian Feinstein Elementary School, Roger Williams Middle School, and William B. Cooley, Sr. Health and Science Technology High School.

“We’re proud of the partnership between the Providence Public School District and the Providence Teachers Union,” said Mayor David N. Cicilline, who together with school, city, state and union leaders joined Weingarten during a breakfast at Providence Career and Technical Academy. “This partnership reflects the shared commitment to ensuring that there is an excellent teacher in every classroom, which is the single most important factor of a child’s success in school. Ms. Weingarten’s visit to Providence is a welcome show of support for our great teachers.”

“The collaborative reform work under way in Providence, with the emergence of a management-labor compact for school improvement, is unique and exciting for all involved,” said Providence Schools Superintendent Thomas M. Brady. “We are so pleased to welcome Ms. Weingarten to our schools, and thank her for the support she has shown for this partnership. Mayor Cicilline, the Providence Public School District, and the Providence Teachers Union have committed to working together in the best interest of children, and we welcome the opportunity to showcase the resulting positive momentum during this visit.”

“No one party can fix the schools alone—we must work together to improve our schools,” said Steve Smith, Providence Teachers Union president. “The Providence Teachers Union looks forward to the opportunity that awaits us over the next few months, as we work with the school district to hammer out the details of a plan that works for students and their teachers.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.