The U.S. Department of Education announced the 150 participating school districts for its conference on labor-management collaboration Feb 15-16 in Denver, Colorado.
The broad cross section of participating districts selected by the Department closely mirrors the make-up 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.
That’s a pretty good distribution, considering only 245 districts applied, and the press release later says the 150 winners were “selected in lottery.” The 13 presenting districts include most of the usual icons of collaboration, though the presence of DC on the list might cause some dissonance. Green Dot is the sole charter representative, which is mighty accommodating of the organizers, but speaks to their tacit belief that there is no such thing as labor-management collaboration without the existence of a formal employees’ union.
Ten states did not offer a single applicant, never mind a participant, and I think it’s probably by design. The states are Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. That’s also a pretty good distribution – of weak labor states and angry labor states.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Perhaps these ten states are just using sound meteorological judgment. Denver in mid-February?