Special Report

Joining Forces

November 16, 2011
A mantra in recent years has been to blame the teachers’ unions for many of the problems that beset public education. Americans only need look at Wisconsin, where the governor and lawmakers pushed through legislation curtailing the collective bargaining rights of teachers and other public employees. This special report, "Joining Forces," examines the attempts by a small but growing number of districts and unions to work together to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers and, in turn, improve the achievement of schoolchildren.
  • Teaching Profession 'Value-Added' Formulas Strain Collaboration
    The growing practice of incorporating student test scores into teacher evaluations can make or break budding union-district partnerships.
    Sarah D. Sparks, November 15, 2011
    14 min read
    From left, New Haven schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., and New Haven Federation of Teachers President David Cicarella stand inside City Hall. Working together, they have been able to make changes to the Connecticut school district that are expected to improve student achievement and teacher performance.
    From left, New Haven schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., and New Haven Federation of Teachers President David Cicarella stand inside City Hall. Working together, they have been able to make changes to the Connecticut school district that are expected to improve student achievement and teacher performance.
    Christopher Capozziello for Education Week
    School & District Management New Attitudes Shaping Labor-District Relations
    Collective bargaining is being used as a vehicle to drive both teacher and student learning.
    Stephen Sawchuk, November 15, 2011
    11 min read
    Memphis kindergarten teacher Margaret Box works with children in her class. A veteran of 36 years in the district, Ms. Box says she was at first skeptical that teachers and district officials could work together in building a teacher-evaluation system, but she has since come to believe in the work.
    Memphis kindergarten teacher Margaret Box works with children in her class. A veteran of 36 years in the district, Ms. Box says she was at first skeptical that teachers and district officials could work together in building a teacher-evaluation system, but she has since come to believe in the work.
    Josh Anderson for Education Week
    Teaching Profession Memphis Collaboration Is Poised to Bear Fruit
    When Tennessee lawmakers set their sights on teachers' unions, Memphis teachers opted to "be at the table" rather than "on the menu."
    Christina A. Samuels, November 15, 2011
    9 min read
    Teachers and residents in the Racine, Wis., area hold an informational picket in front of the school system’s central offices in February to express disapproval over Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curb collective bargaining for most public employees.
    Teachers and residents in the Racine, Wis., area hold an informational picket in front of the school system’s central offices in February to express disapproval over Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curb collective bargaining for most public employees.
    Scott Anderson/Journal Times/AP-File
    School & District Management States Urged to Promote Union-District Cooperation
    Many believe state school chiefs, governors, and lawmakers should play a bigger role in bringing unions and districts together.
    Sean Cavanagh, November 15, 2011
    7 min read
    Lloyd Walzer, left the president of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association, and Lucia Mar schools Superintendent Jim Hogeboom stand outside Oceano Elementary School. The pair are working together to implement a comprehensive teacher-support program in the district
    Lloyd Walzer, left the president of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association, and Lucia Mar schools Superintendent Jim Hogeboom stand outside Oceano Elementary School. The pair are working together to implement a comprehensive teacher-support program in the district
    Daryl Peveto/Luceo for Education Week
    Professional Development Union-District Collaboration a Never-Ending Process
    New challenges continue to confront district and union leaders as they push forward with their pact to bolster the teaching corps.
    Stephen Sawchuk, November 15, 2011
    9 min read
    Fourth grade teacher Melissa Rhone leads students in a grammar lesson. She calls the new teacher-evaluation system being used in the New Haven, Conn., schools a "reality check."
    Fourth grade teacher Melissa Rhone leads students in a grammar lesson. She calls the new teacher-evaluation system being used in the New Haven, Conn., schools a "reality check."
    Christopher Capozziello for Education Week
    Teaching Profession Contract Yields New Teacher-Evaluation System
    At the core of the partnership between the district and teachers in New Haven, Conn., are strategies to support teachers and their advancement.
    Stephen Sawchuk, November 15, 2011
    12 min read