SXSWedu 2016

The Meriden "Miracle"


For decades, school administrators and teachers’ unions have fought about money, control, and basically anything else that constitutes education. So when a union and an administration get along, it's uncommon. When they do so while suffering through five straight years without a budget increase, it's rare. When they do both of those, collaborate on numerous initiatives and raise student achievement in multiple ways, it's singular. Meriden, CT, is the unlikely spot where all this happens. Superintendent Mark Benigni and union president Erin Benham have created a model partnership, but AFT president Randi Weingarten will explain how this common-sense model can take hold across the country.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Learn how unions and administration can collaborate on progressive initiatives, such as extended learning time and Saturday academies.
  2. See how school districts can shift funding from traditional expenses such as textbooks to technology and digital content.
  3. Discover how partnering with teachers can create future leaders, boost PD offerings, and maintain a pipeline of new talent for classrooms.



Wayne D'Orio, Editor in Chief, Scholastic Inc

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