In recent years, federal and state education reforms aimed at improving educational outcomes have forced school districts to rethink traditional approaches to school governance and administration. Policymakers, educators, and community leaders have been challenged to effectively work together on issues ranging from common core standards to school turnaround to educator evaluation, while maintaining a strong focus on student achievement.
In 2003, the Rennie Center launched the Labor-Management Initiative, recognizing that successful labor-management collaboration is critical to advancing new strategies for improving teaching and learning. Founder and current Secretary of Education Paul Reville called the Initiative a “high-priority reform approach that creates mutual ownership of student learning.” The Rennie Center has worked in close partnership with nearly a dozen Massachusetts school districts to help facilitate new learning and leadership opportunities. Other accomplishments include:
Most recently, the Rennie Center has helped found the Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP), along with a unique coalition of labor, school management, state government, and educational research and policy organizations. As leader of one of the first MEP initiatives – the District Capacity Project - the Rennie Center is providing several Massachusetts school districts with intensive support and facilitation to help management, labor, and school committee leaders advance locally-determined school improvement projects. The MEP’s other members are the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research, and Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center.