Leaders from 40 States Representing More Than 1 million Hispanic Students to Participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Labor-Management Collaboration Conference in Denver

Press Release

By:  Arne Duncan
Date: Feb. 14, 2011
Location: Unknown

U.S. Education Secretary, National Education Leaders to Discuss Future of Labor-Management Collaboration on Wednesday Press Call

The U.S. Department of Education has selected 150 school districts from among the 245 applications it received to participate in its upcoming conference on labor-management collaboration Tuesday--Wednesday, Feb. 15--16, in Denver, Colo.

"Union leaders and administrators across the country are finding new ways to work together to focus on student success," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "The leaders from these 150 districts are committed to bold reforms and are showing the country what is possible when adults come together, particularly in tough times, to do the right thing for kids."

The broad cross section of participating districts selected by the Department closely mirrors the makeup of our nation's schools. Approximately 34 percent are from cities, 34 percent from suburbs, 8 percent from towns, and 24 percent from rural areas. The districts are almost evenly divided between those with fewer than 10,000 students and those with more than 10,000 students. Overall, close to 3.8 million students--more than 1 million of them Hispanic--will be affected by the work of the districts invited to participate.

As the nation's largest minority group, Hispanics constitute 22 percent--just over one in five public school students--of all pre-K--12 students. Yet, there is a persistent gap between how well white students are doing compared to their Hispanic classmates. This gap widens for English Learners, who as a group are among the country's lowest-performing students. In addition, roughly six in 10 Hispanic students graduate on time from high school compared to more than 80 percent of white students.

While Hispanic students have made some academic gains, there is still much ground to cover in order to narrow the achievement gap. The labor-management conference will address core issues that affect student performance and college readiness for all students. The two-day event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Funding to support the conference is being provided by the Ford Foundation.

Secretary Duncan and representatives from leading national education groups will reflect on the conversations and ideas that were put forth at the conference during a national press call at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Media representatives who wish to join the call may dial (888) 949-2789.

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