An Oregon middle school focused on teacher collaboration and parent engagement to improve literacy rates and close the achievement gap; now, students are thriving.
Labor-Management Partnership Supports Student Learning
Story posted September 20, 2013
- The percent of students performing at the proficient or advanced levels of California’s standardized testing has increased, and the school’s Academic Progress Index, a composite measure of school performance, grew over 187 points from 1999, averaging 17 points a year through 2010.
- More recent data* through 2013 shows gradual improvement with a 2012 API Similar Schools Rank of 10/10.
Since 1993, the ABC Federation of Teachers and the ABC Unified School District have worked to cultivate a labor-management partnership focused on continuing student and community success. Fedde Middle School [where 87% of students are Hispanic and 88% qualify for free or reduced price lunch programs] models the partnership’s district-wide emphasis on communication and collaboration between teachers and administration. Guided by a set of 12 principles, the school’s administration and its teachers devised a strategic plan establishing what they want to accomplish together in the areas of student performance, parental involvement, community partnership, professional development, and facility modernization.
Along with increasing communication between teachers and administrators, the labor-management partnership program at Fedde Middle School also engages parents and community members. Administrators, teachers, and parents work together in formal committees to ensure school learning remains consistent with the needs of students and their families.
The partnership also encourages parents to volunteer both in and out of the classroom through a number of different programs. One such program, the School Site Council, allows school staff, parents, and community members to meet regularly and discuss how effective different learning components are at increasing academic achievement. Along with maintaining an active dialogue between the community and the school, the group is instrumental in adding new school curriculum, such as a program designed around the skills and knowledge students need in a global society.
Every indication suggests that the efforts of the joint labor-management partnership have borne success for Fedde Middle School, its students, and the community. According to Laura Rico, president of the ABC Federation of Teachers, “The ABC Partnership at Fedde Middle School gives students, teachers, administration, parents, and the community a voice on how to create a school environment that lets teachers teach and students learn. The challenges that a school faces are easier to resolve when everyone is working together.”
The percent of students performing at the proficient or advanced levels of California’s standardized testing has increased, and the school’s Academic Progress Index, a composite measure of school performance, grew over 187 points from 1999, averaging 17 points a year.
This story was reposted with permission. The original publication can be accessed here.
For more information, please contact Erin Johansson, Research Director at Jobs With Justice / American Rights at Work (firstname.lastname@example.org).
*Data added to the original story from GreatSchools.org.
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