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2012 Labor Management Conference to Showcase Local Work on Strengthening Teaching Profession

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State and district school chiefs, union leaders, and school board leaders from 41 states and more than 100 school districts will meet in Cincinnati from May 23 to 24 to share innovative ideas and successful policies that strengthen the teaching profession, from recruiting new candidates to retaining talent already in the classroom.

"The quality of any school relies on the strength of its educators at the front of the classroom," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Across the country, there are remarkable success stories shaping the next generation of teaching. The goal of this year's conference is to help their colleagues learn from one another and take this work to the next level."

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, Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will co-sponsor the event. The 2012 conference marks the second such convening, following the February 2011 conference in Denver.

Last year's event gathered superintendents, union leaders, and school board presidents committed to building collaborative labor-management relationships, policies, and agreements centered on improving student achievement. This year, state leadership teams will join participating districts to share stories and discuss policies for creating deeper and broader collaboration among education leaders.

The May 2012 conference, titled Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession, is focused on highlighting innovative approaches--at both the state and district levels--to improving student achievement by dramatically increasing the stature of the teaching profession and the number of highly effective teachers in our nation's schools. The conference will showcase work from over a dozen districts and states, invite leaders within the same state to convene on ideas and lessons learned, and encourage all participants to take on similar efforts when they return home.

Funding support for this year's conference is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the GE Foundation. Lists noting participating districts, states, and presenters follow. Background highlighting presenters' work will be shared during the conference, and posted online at www.ed.gov.

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