Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Teachers, school leaders come together in Denver

It sounds like teachers are the problem in New York City. They won't even come to the table because the possibility of layoffs was mentioned. Everything must be on the table in order to seriously talk about reform. I don't happen to think layoffs are a solution to improving education. I just think sacred cows are a hindrance to reform. Here's what I think is needed.

February 15, 2011
Teachers, school leaders come together in Denver
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

A first-of-its-kind summit among teachers and their bosses -- school board members and administrators -- kicks off Tuesday in what the Obama administration is touting as a watershed moment in collaboration for school improvement.

More than 150 school districts from 40 states are sending administrators and union leaders to a U.S. Department of Education summit billed as the nation's first large effort to have school labor and management talk about student achievement, rather than the nuts and bolts of labor contracts.

It's a summit organizers are hailing as a fresh start to kick off education overhaul efforts looming in Washington, including delicate negotiations over how teachers should be evaluated.

But already cracks are showing in the let's work together effort. The nation's largest school district -- New York City -- and the Washington D.C. district pulled out of the summit after teachers accused school administrators of going back on their word. Other large districts, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are also missing from the all-expenses-paid trip funded by the nonprofit Ford Foundation.

In New York, teachers last month withdrew from an agreement to attend after some officials talked about seeking layoffs. In Washington, the teachers' union withdrew after union officials say they felt "hypocritical" presenting to other school districts how to work together with management...

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