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LEADING CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -- President.

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Presentation on theme: "LEADING CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -- President."— Presentation transcript:

1 LEADING CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -- President John F. Kennedy, 1962


3  National Education Association (NEA)  50 State Affiliates plus Federal  3 Million Members  President Dennis Van Roekel  State affiliate: Massachusetts Teachers Association  Largest Locals in MA: Springfield and Worcester  Almost all of the Suburban and Rural districts  110,000 members in MA  American Federation of Teachers (AFT)  Not in Every State – Mostly Urban  Affiliated with the AFL-CIO  1.2 Million Members  President Randi Weingarten  State affiliate: American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts  Largest Local in MA: Boston Teachers Union  20,00 members in MA Who are the teacher unions?

4 The Massachusetts Teachers Association is a member-driven organization, governed by democratic principles, that accepts and supports the interdependence of professionals and unionism. The MTA promotes the use of its members' collective powers to advance their professional and economic interests. The MTA is committed to human and civil rights and advocates for quality public education in an environment in which lifelong learning and innovation flourish. What is our mission? A union of professional educators

5  Founded by men in 1845 in Worcester as a professional association.  Favored physical fitness, teaching the handicapped, strong supporters of the union side in Civil War.  In early 20 th century, focused on increased funding, job security, retirement benefits and “equitable salaries.”  Starting in the ‘40s, big focus on rights of female teachers. 1953 MA governor signed law prohibiting dismissal of women teachers for marrying.  Supported Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and integration.  1965 collective bargaining for teachers signed into law.  1970s-80s big focus on bargaining rights.  1993 Education Reform Act – today: Focus on both bargaining rights and quality education, especially closing achievement gaps. Brief History of the MTA

6 Who are our members? 110,000 members in about 400 local affiliates  PreK-12 Educators  Higher Education Faculty and Staff  Education Support Professionals (Classroom Assistants, Bus Drivers, Cafeteria Workers, Secretaries, School Safety Staff, etc.)  Retired Educators

7 Who are our members?  43% of teachers have been in their jobs for less than 5 years  80% expect to remain in education for their entire career  79% would recommend teaching as a career

8 Unions Important for Member Interests Percent saying they strongly or somewhat agree with each of the following: Without a union, teachers would be vulnerable to school politics or administrators who abuse their81% power Teachers facing unfair charges from parents or students would have nowhere to turn without the union 77% Without collective bargaining, the working conditions and salaries of teachers would be much worse 77% Education Sector national teacher poll 2011

9 Unions Also Good for the Economy “The way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class. One major way to do this is to expand the percentage of working Americans in unions.” -- Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor

10 And for Addressing Inequality “The decline in organized labor’s power and membership has played a larger role in fostering increased wage inequality in the United States than is generally thought, according to a study published in the American Sociological Review this month.” -- NY Times reporting on Unions, Norms and Rise of U.S. Wage Inequality, Aug. 4, 2011

11 Source: Center for American Progress, “Unions Make the Middle Class”

12 Unions Positive for Quality Education “Student performance is significantly better in states with high levels of unionization, with all other variables held constant.” Source: The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, “Are Teacher Unions Hurt American Education,” October 1996

13 All of the top five performing states allow collective bargaining for teachers. Of the bottom five, only NM allows it.

14 Working with Staff, Local Leaders and MTA Board over six years to develop SAP 1.Engage, Educate, Organize and Mobilize our members regarding the issues they care about. 2.Position our members and the MTA to be the voice of quality public education and the profession. 3.Put the systems in place internally to accomplish Goals 1 and 2.

15 Fighting for adequate funding Landmark decisions to ensure adequate funding, especially in low-income districts: McDuffy v. Commissioner of Education Hancock v. Driscoll

16 Dangerous Ballot Initiatives In recent years, MTA has funded successful campaigns to defeat ballot questions that would have eliminated the state sales or income taxes. Members mobilized to educate the community about the devastating effects of the proposals and to get out the vote.

17 MTA and AFT-MA, collaborate with Mass 2020 to support ELT in 30 plus schools. NEA and AFT signatories to national effort through National Center on Time and Learning. Innovation Schools also part of effort. Expanded Learning Time What Massachusetts Teachers are Saying about Time and Learning and the Expanded Learning Time Initiative

18 Helped develop and supported Race to the Top application. Proposed Reinventing Educator Evaluation Leader in DESE’s Educator Evaluation Task Force Developed model contract language Training locals and educators: MTA is one of DESE’s approved providers. Race to the Top & Educator Evaluation

19 At the Table for … Municipal Health Insurance Maintained a meaningful voice for employees through expedited negotiation process Protected retirees Protected sickest among us/use of savings $175M in savings: protecting jobs and services Pension Benefits for Future Employees 5-year-average and raise retirement age to 60 But -- improved COLA, reduced pension contribution after 30 years, creditable service for part-time release, ORP buyout for higher ed.

20 Built support with stakeholders and political leaders and convinced Stand to drop negative provisions 75% of public supports teacher performance as primary factor in layoff and reassignment 70% of MTA members agree Two-thirds of MTA contracts don’t have strict seniority Effective date: 2016-17 Seeking training funding and use of data to track success of the evaluation framework MTA successfully negotiated away 29 of 31 provisions. Recent Stand Ballot Initiative

21 New Models for Professional Development MTA is supporting & experimenting with participant-driven alternatives such as Ed Camps, “unconferences” and TED-style talks. PD by educators, for educators.

22 Distance & Online Learning MTA Task Force working to identify issues & opportunities. http://massteacher.o rg/teaching/news/do l.aspx

23 NEA Foundation grants Springfield $1.25 million in 2010 to increase parent engagement, deepen collaboration and improve learning. Parent Engagement

24 More changes needed  Achievement gaps  Growing ELL population  High drop-out rates  College and career readiness  Quality teachers in low-income districts

25 Grand Bargain “…[W]e need to think about a new ‘grand bargain’ between public-sector unions and government. Union leaders in the state need to consider ways to work collaboratively with public officials so as to offer quality public services at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer while preserving union jobs for their members.” -- Barry Bluestone, “A Future for Public Unions?” Boston Globe, 7/18/09

26 MEP partners are the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts; Massachusetts Association of School Committees; Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents; Massachusetts Teachers Association; Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy; Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University; Institute for Work and Employment Research, MIT; and the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management, University of Massachusetts Boston.

27 Members support focus on quality Generally speaking, do you think that teachers unions or associations should: Put more focus than they currently do on 2011 2007 issues such as improving teacher quality and 43% 32% student achievement Mostly stick to traditional union issues such as protecting teachers’ salaries, benefits, and jobs 42% 52% Education Sector national teacher poll 2011

28 GREENBERG QUINLAN ROSNER Page 28 | Class Size, Funding, Parental Involvement Seen as Keys to Improvement Which two of the following ideas do you think would be most effective in improving public schools? Increased Parental Involvement Increasing Funding Reducing class sizes Improving Student discipline Improving teacher quality Maintaining consistency in priorities/ curriculum Increasing student responsibility Improving professional development

29 Strong Support for Apprenticeship Program GREENBERG QUINLAN ROSNERPage 29 | 75 22 Would you favor or oppose a proposal that requires new teachers to participate in a one-year teacher apprenticeship program to build hands-on teaching experience alongside experienced teachers before they have their own class? 50

30 GREENBERG QUINLAN ROSNERPage 30 |  Working Conditions, Salaries, Lead List for Attracting Teachers to these Schools I’m going to mention some proposals that have been made to keep good teachers from leaving the profession. For each one, please tell me how effective you think the proposal would be—very effective, fairly effective, just somewhat effective or not effective at keeping good teachers from leaving the profession. 83 82 80 84 57 55 39 (Split E) Improve working conditions in the school (Split E) Increasing teacher salaries (Split F) Providing time for increased teacher collaboration (Split F) Providing teachers with mentors early in their careers (Split F) Strengthening health care and retirement benefit plans (Split F) Improving systems to remove ineffective teachers (Split E) Improving professional development (Split E) Improving teacher evaluation systems 37

31 Differentiated Pay  Higher pay for increased responsibilities – Career Ladders for proficient and exemplary teachers  Higher pay for working in a hard-to-staff school  Open to school- or team-based bonuses reflecting the nature of our work  Open to higher salaries for new teachers and compressing current salary schedules  But oppose pay for test scores by 92% to 7%

32 Innovation  Innovation Schools  Horace Mann Charter Schools  ELT Schools  Pilot Schools  Magnet Schools  Continued Concerns about current Commonwealth Charter Schools

33 MTA must collaborate but we must be treated as equal partners Other players include  State and federal education officials  Administrator groups  Business groups  Parent groups  Advocacy Organizations & Foundations  Municipal leaders

34 More focus on education quality Setting academic standards Promoting strong evaluations systems Advocating for and designing better teacher preparation and professional development Demanding shared decision making authority in exchange for shared accountability More site-based control and flexibility to meet needs of students and communities

35  Teachers’ unions are not the problem. We have the solutions.  Architects of reform, not the objects of it.  Can’t lead change by just saying no.  Need to take charge of quality issue and be more EXPLICIT about our solutions.  Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions.  Keep the lines of communication open: Our enemy today may be our friend tomorrow. Leading change & the profession


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