"You are never strong enough that you don't need help." 

This quote, by famous labor leader Cesar Chavez, seems a fitting start to a post about this year’s Massachusetts Education Partnership Conference, which revolved around the theme “Leading K-12 Innovation through Labor-Management Collaboration.” With an emphasis on the future of labor-management collaboration, the conference reflected the spirit of Chavez’s words and served as a forum to discuss the future of education with regards to labor negotiations.

I recently listened to a fascinating radio conversation on WBUR’s On Point program with a group of teachers who had left the profession. For an hour, they engaged with each other and with callers about how teaching today is fraught with so much regulation, pressure and lack of support that they felt they had no other choice but to leave.  

This week I read the article “Professional Learning Takes Time in Education Week.  The article is an honest teacher perspective from Noah Zeichner, a Teacher at Chief Sealth International School in Seattle, Washington, who shares his belief in the value of building professional learning opportunities into the school day. 

As yesterday’s class action complaint says plainly and correctly, ‘learning takes time.’ Yet in California and across the country, states and school districts routinely deprive students in high-poverty schools of adequate learning time. 

A new education vision is needed to guide Massachusetts schools in the 21st century. The Rennie Center in combination with the Barr Foundation hosted an event on Tuesday morning to discuss the path for moving forward with education reform in Massachusetts.  The event brought together state leaders, policymakers, and education practitioners to discuss the release of the Condition of Education in the Commonwealth: 2013 Data report (COE).

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released the results from the 2012 NAEP test for 12th graders.  Much like the outcomes in 2009, about one quarter of students (26 percent) scored proficient in math and about one in four (38 percent) scored proficient in reading. When these results are stacked up against our ambitions for the next generation of Americans as the leaders and strivers of tomorrow, these results are nothing short of disappointing. Disaggregated by race, the results are downright scary. 

This morning, Jennifer Davis, NCTL’s co-founder & president, is moderating a discussion about the ways in which community partnerships can effectively support schools that want to expand their learning day. The event is being hosted by Center for American Progress and Citizen Schools and you can watch the webcast here

I had the privilege of being in Washington DC this week at the release of our new study, Time for Teachers: Leveraging Expanded Time to Strengthen Instruction and Empower Teachers.  We have video of the tremendous speakers and panel so, if you missed it, you can view it here.

Please join the National Center on Time & Learning and Teach Plus for a discussion of the exemplary practices being implemented in a diverse group of schools across the U.S. to provide teachers the time and support they need to succeed. 

It is rare at the National Center on Time & Learning that we are in the position of supporting a proposal for less learning time for students. However, after taking a moment to understand the implications of Hawaii’s HB 1675, a bill that scales back required school time for Hawaii’s students and which is moving through the legislature now, we do, indeed, find ourselves supporting the measure.