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Transforming schools is top priority for union leaders and school administrators

Educators head to Labor-Management Collaboration Conference

WASHINGTON - May 21, 2012 -

The National Education Association (NEA) announced today that it will co-sponsor the 2012 Labor-Management Collaboration Conference, scheduled for May 23-24 in Cincinnati, Ohio. NEA joins the U.S. Department of Education, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the National School Boards Association in sponsoring the annual conference which brings educators and administrators together to discuss how they can best partner to improve student achievement.

“It is reassuring that union members and leaders can come together with state and local administrators to talk about what we’re doing to ensure the success of all our students, and develop plans that promote continued collaboration and positive results,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “There are innovative and creative partnerships happening in our public schools every day. We need to continue to share these best practices and talk about what’s working, so that more school districts can benefit and join us in working to transform our schools into world class institutions of learning.”

The theme of this year’s joint conference is Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession. A plenary, featuring leaders of the sponsoring organizations, will mark the start of the two-day conference. Following the opening plenary, conference participants will visit a presenters’ showcase where the work of states and districts will be displayed for participants to learn and ask questions. The second day of the conference will include comprehensive workshops to further explore what is needed to develop a successful plan for collaboration to improve student achievement.

NEA members will present as part of state teams from Delaware, Kentucky and Massachusetts. Presenting district teams with NEA representatives include Olathe Public Schools Unified School District 233 of Kan., Montgomery County Public Schools of Md., Springfield Public Schools of Mass., Syracuse City School District of N. Y., and Salem-Keizer Public Schools of Ore. In addition to the presenting teams, educators and administrators from more than 25 states across the country, representing over 60 NEA affiliate school districts will attend the conference. All the teams agree to work together to expand their collaborative efforts as a condition of their participation.

“We come from different backgrounds and perspectives, but we share the goal of working to benefit our students,” said Van Roekel. “This conference allows us to share our strengths and resources to address issues relative to teacher and staff quality and effectiveness, school culture, and family and community engagement in all schools.”

NEA has significant resources on a range of subjects, including teacher evaluation, compensation plans and professional development. These resources can be found at

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823, 
                            Stacey Grissom  (202) 822- 7823,