We Can’t Just Say ‘No’: Teachers’ Unions Must Lead Change

Paul Toner, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, wrote in this commentary for Real Clear Education:

“At the district and school level, there needs to be much more flexibility and autonomy. Central administration is needed to provide and bundle supports and services for our teachers and schools in a cost effective manner. School committees and district unions are essential to the survival of democratic public schools as advocates for resources and supports for the educators and students they serve. But the educators, parents and community partners at the school level must be given much more site-based control and flexibility to meet the demands and needs of their students and communities. We need to focus on developing schools that are much more student-centered and meet the challenges of a 21st-century knowledge-based economy. Such schools can only be developed and successful in the long term where there is a trusting and respectful labor-management relationship and a true partnership with teachers and their unions.

This is why the Massachusetts Teachers Association is a founding member of the Massachusetts Education Partnership. The partnership is composed of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and numerous education policy organizations. The goal of this partnership is to support local school districts and unions that want to develop collaborative models of school-based reform to advance student success. This has led to hundreds of district teams exploring interest-based bargaining, teacher career ladders, peer assistance and review, expanded learning time and teacher-led schools.”

Go to Resource

Displayed on

Seeking external support