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SXSWedu 2015

District-Labor Collaborative for School Innovation

We want to explain how Labor, Austin ISD and Travis Heights ES were able to work collaboratively with parents and teachers to develop the district's first campus-initiated in-district charter school. This grassroots effort was a counter to the corporate-style charter schools that have invaded ISDs across the nation. We want people empowered with the belief that their schools and communities possess answers to the challenges facing public education. Participants led this innovative initiative.

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  1. Attendees will understand how parents and teachers can work collaboratively to organize for change by understanding what the collective education values and goals of the school community are before change is undertaken.
  2. Attendees will understand that teachers union are a force for positive educational change rather than the educational scapegoats for the ills of public education that educational "reformers" promote.
  3. Attendees will believe that changes in public education can and should come from our communities and teachers instead of a rigid corporate-charter model and see how the union, community and district can work together for the benefit of our students.



Ken Zarifis, President, Education Austin (teachers union for Austin ISD)

Meta Information:

  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Leadership & Empowerment
  • Level: Field Experience
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