For Immediate Release Contact: Terence Cooper
February 17, 2011 301/764-3030
Describe Labor Management Conference
According to AFT-Maryland President Marietta English, The Student Achievement, Labor Management Conference held in Denver, Colorado, February 15-16, was a model of respect and mutual cooperation. Speaking to Baltimore reporters via satellite Wednesday night, the AFT-Maryland president noted that conference participants gathered for the meeting with an open-minded attitude.
"Participants agreed that the conference was not about pushing our individual agendas," President English said. "We were all willing to listen and to learn from each other."
Convened by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, the Student Achievement, Labor-Management Conference attracted some of the most noted experts in the fields of education and labor management. The two groups discussed of methods of cooperating more effectively for the purpose of enhancing student learning.
President English, who received national recognition due to her involvement in the crafting of an innovative contract for the teachers of Baltimore, was invited to participate in the conference along with other educational experts from Maryland, including Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andrés Alonzo.
School administrations and educators often are seen as being at odds with each other. The contract forged by the Baltimore Teachers Union has been called a model of cooperation between the two groups. Already, educational jurisdictions throughout Maryland have announced plans to examine the Baltimore teachers' contract to see if it can be implemented in their localities.
That school administrators and educators were able to come together in a spirit of mutual cooperation, said President English, means that both sides realize that the old approaches don’t work any more and that new models must be created.
The Student Achievement, Labor-Management Conference was co-sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the Council of Great City Schools, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Schools Boards Association, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.