Local teachers’ unions have cooperated with their school districts to reward and promote effective teaching, give civic leaders a stake in schools, and diminish the harmful effects of teacher-seniority protections, concludes a report from the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights.
The report points to a half-dozen joint union-district efforts that hold the promise of improving schools, especially for disadvantaged children. Those efforts include new ways of paying teachers in Denver and Minneapolis; school-based professional development that includes advancement opportunities in Rochester, N.Y., and Montgomery County, Md.; and a strategic-planning process in Pinellas County, Fla.
The Washington-based advocacy group also commends changes made to the Boston teachers’ contract in 2000. Those provisions, it says, now help schools recruit and retain more of the teachers they want, rather than having to keep or accept other teachers because of seniority rules.
A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2007 edition of Education Week