While the collective bargaining rights of teachers are under attack across the country, we’ve heard plenty from politicians looking to score partisan points. But often drowned out in this cacophony are the voices of educators and school administrators who continue to point out that collective bargaining works for our schools. A new report from American Rights at Work Education Fund highlights the positive impact labor-management partnerships are having in our nation’s classrooms—and underscores the role collective bargaining plays in improving student achievement. It’s a tool for innovation that is improving education from New Jersey to California.
The report, “Partnerships in Education: How Labor-Management Collaboration Is Transforming Public Schools,” is available here.
Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work:
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.
An instructive example of how collective bargaining leads to better schools comes from Charlotte County, Florida. Within the Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS), a district-wide labor-management partnership has allowed teachers and administrators to work together to solve problems and develop new programs. Despite the difficulties that come with educating a lower-income district, test scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test have risen thanks to the new “Student Success” initiative. CCPS has also implemented new teacher training programs and found new ways to increase parental involvement.
Dr. Doug Whittaker, CCPS superintendent of schools:
Without the partnership with the unions, Charlotte County would not have the consistent improvement in student achievement that we have enjoyed for eight years.
The report highlights a number of related success stories from around the country. Labor-management partnerships have led to higher test scores at Pharis F. Fedde Middle School in Los Angeles, the creation of nine new community learning centers in Cincinnati, and an extremely successful early childhood center in New Jersey, to name just a few. These labor-management partnerships are a testament to the fact that when everyone has a seat at the table, our children thrive and communities flourish.
Republished with permission from American Rights at Work, the nation’s leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining. To read more blog posts from American Rights at Work, visit www.americanrightsatwork.org/blog.