Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 15
highlights the importance of teacher voice
and leadership in the implementation process of new initiatives.
n Element 8: Collecting data on your
In 2009, a PAL Committee made up of
three administrators and three teachers
convened to create a new survey to be administered each year to all teachers in the
district. The climate survey helps to assess
the partnership efforts at the school and
district level. It focuses on six areas: schoolwide culture, professional development,
resources, communication, data and the
In 2014, Saul Rubinstein and John McCarthy of the School of Management and
The research builds a strong case
for efforts to expand collaborative
partnerships as a vehicle for school
improvement reform that can
tween teachers’ unions, administrators and
teachers at the school level had an important
and significant positive impact on student
performance as well as performance improvement, even after controlling for poverty.
• High quality teacher-administrator
partnerships predicted “denser” schoollevel collaboration and communication
around student performance data; curriculum development; sharing, advising or
learning about instructional practices; and
giving or receiving mentoring.
• Strong partnership schools have structurally different patterns of union-management collaboration. The strength of
partnerships predicted different communication patterns between union site representatives and principals. Communication in
high partnership schools was more frequent
and less formal.
Their research builds a strong case for efforts to expand collaborative partnerships
as a vehicle for school improvement reform
that can impact student performance.
impact student performance.
n Element 9: Celebrating success and
planning for the future
Labor Relations at Rutgers University released their research regarding ABCUSD’s
partnership efforts. They examined the
patterns of collaboration that occur within
schools among teachers and administrators
and looked to see if and how that collaboration affected student performance.
The researchers used the PAL survey results, data from the California API and
social network analysis. Social network
analysis explores what teachers and administrators communicate about on a regular
basis, how they communicate, and what topics they discuss.
They used the 2011 survey data on the
quality of school partnerships and analyzed
those data against 2011 and 2012 student
performance data. They were able to examine the relationship between the strength
of the partnership and both the level of API
performance in 2012 and the difference in
student performance level of API between
2011 and 2012. Their research concluded the
• The quality of formal partnerships be-
Each year at the annual PAL retreat, district leaders and labor leaders not only work
on serious issues confronting us, such as the
Common Core State Standards, but also
recognize the hard work all our educators
do every day in the schools. We celebrate our
successes as a district together, and have fun
laughing with each other.
Since 2010, we have coordinated and
hosted the West Coast Labor Management
Institute, held the day before the PAL Retreat in October. The Institute provides an
opportunity for other district teams from
around the country to join us and network
together to learn from each other. By sharing our experiences, we have been fortunate
to see other districts thrive in their partnership efforts. It’s been exciting to watch and
learn from the new partnerships that have
been fostered around us.
In 2012, California School Employees
Association leaders worked with us to create the PAL2 partnership with classified
employees. CSEA leaders have participated
Continued on page 39
Three practical ways to
partner with your local
By Joe Viramontez
ast August 24
at 3:20 a.m.
a 6.0 -magnitude earthquake
st r uck Nor t her n
California. The region affected is well
known for its wine – the Napa Valley.
Now it’s also known for the largest
earthquake in Northern California
since the Loma Prieta Quake of 1989.
What if the quake had happened
on a weekday instead of a weekend?
What if the quake had happened at a
time when parents were at work while
kids were at school? What if the quake
was so large that emergency responders were inundated with numerous events while schools had to fend
for themselves? Unfortunately, this
could be a very real situation.
Fortunately, there are some things
that schools can do to properly prepare for the next big disaster. Following are three practical ways schools
can partner with emergency responders so sustainability is not only
maintained at a school site, but also
You’ve heard it said many times,
“A good offense is a good defense.”
In this case, it’s never truer. Schools
today have to prepare to defend and
protect their staff and their children.
One of the ways schools can do this is
by developing a comprehensive safety
plan that includes the Incident Command System (ICS). With the knowledge and practice of this system, a
school can handle any situation that
Because fire departments use the
ICS system every single day, they are
Continued on page 38