Building Union-District Bridges in Tough NCLB Terrain
HOW CAN UNIONS and school districts preserve, strengthen and expand school-improvement partnerships at a time when many provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act work against such collaborations? It is a topic that drew candid remarks from AFT leaders and superintendents from across the nation as they gathered in Washington, D.C., in January to discuss school-improvement partnerships in the NCLB era. The AFT-sponsored roundtable discussion also drew media attention and an audience that included Capitol Hill staffers versed in education issues.
Rudy Crew, superintendent of the MiamiDade County Public Schools, stressed that one essential ingredient to successful improvement is a climate that allows schools to be "vulnerable" in developing and embracing fresh, new ideas in a nonpunitive environment. Working against this essential backdrop, however, is the sanction-filled environment of an NCLB law that discourages innovation at the building level, Crew warned. Also needed, he said, are ongoing, sustained investments in training at the building level.
United Federation of Teachers president and AFT vice president Randi Weingarten, who worked with Crew on successful efforts to improve low-achieving schools in New York City when he was school chancellor there, stressed the need for commitment on both sides of the table. It's only possible to weather the inevitable ups and downs of any improvement strategy if there is …
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Publication information: Article title: Building Union-District Bridges in Tough NCLB Terrain. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: American Teacher. Volume: 92. Issue: 6 Publication date: March 2008. Page number: 13. © American Federation of Teachers Feb 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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