Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Finally, a focus on collaboration . . .

 Just as I sat down to do this post I received an e-mail notification that John had posted a comment to my last post on who is influencing education policy in our state and nation.  His comment is partly about the topic for this post on our team attending the 2012 Labor Management Conference in Cincinnati sponsored by the Department of Education, teacher associations, and others.  Funding was provided for each participating team through donations by foundations focused on school reform.

In John's words.

I, for one, am thankful for the collaborative nature of our district and local association. When I hear these groups talk about unions being roadblocks to reform, I have a difficult time empathizing. Our district is the greatest example of what can be achieved when a district and an association work together to improve education for our students. Currently, our superintendent, human resource director, school board president, and association president are all attending a US Department of Education conference focused on collaboration. This does not happen in every district. I give credit to both parties agreeing to value the other side's contribution to the over-riding goal: the best education for our students. I also appreciate the open conversation we are able to have every month at labor management. This is an important component to our success.

As John indicates, we are here because of the relationship and common focus that we have developed over time.  I don't know that we will meet the federal department's need for creative ways to use student achievement data in teacher evaluations, but through our story we can share how a solid foundation is necessary for achieving a collbaorative culture that sustains over time. 

I will share more from the conference and yes, John, I will ask Scott to guest blog.  I'll also try for Mark and Didem to share their thoughts as we engage with others from about 100 districts across the country.

No comments: