Collective Bargaining Positively Impacts Student Improvement

Facing cash-strapped school budgets and attacks on collective bargaining rights, teachers and education support professionals are looking for support, success stories and a dose of good news.

They can find all three in a report from the American Rights at Work Education Fund, which showcases labor-management partnerships – including Putnam City West High School and the Oklahoma Education Association, among eight other schools nationwide.

The report provides powerful evidence underscoring the role collective bargaining plays in improving student achievement. Since the partnership began at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City in 2007, graduation rates have doubled and English and Algebra End-of-Instruction tests scores are up more than 20 percent.

Citing the report, OEA President Linda Hampton urges public policy makers to consider the positive effects collective bargaining has on schools.

“Collective bargaining is a collaborative process that works. It is simply a tool for teachers and administrators to work together to find solutions and create opportunity. Both power and responsibility are shared. We share in the success and shortcomings,” said Hampton.

The nine schools profiled in the study demonstrate that when educators and administrators work together, the result is improved academic performance across socio-economic divides and increased parent and community engagement.

According to PC West Assistant Principal Melanie Pealor, the success at her school is direct evidence that partnering with the Association serves as a tool to foster innovation and problem solving.

“The OEA provided abundant support and resources, not only for our teachers, but for our students and their families. Everyone involved was committed to the success of the students. It was a wonderful partnership that produced real and measurable results,” Pealor said.



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