Improving Education Together

Improving Education Together A Guide to Labor-Management-Community Collaboration

Geoff Marietta, Chad d’Entremont, and Emily Murphy Kaur
Paper, 184 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-062-7
Price: $32.00

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Improving Education Together offers a step-by-step guide to Labor-Management-Community (LMC) collaboration, an intervention that has successfully improved student outcomes in a wide variety of school districts across the country. The authors illustrate how a culture of collaboration between labor, management, and community stakeholders can be built using readily available tools for needs assessment, root-cause analysis, team norms, brainstorming, consensus-building, and long-term planning. 


Improving Education Together offers a thoughtful and actionable road map for creating the schools our children deserve and our society needs. The premise is as simple as it is challenging: collaboration among teachers and school and community leaders represents the solution for transforming education. The authors draw heavily on the latest research in education, organizational behavior, and management to develop a truly useful approach to change. — Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School

This valuable guide presents concepts, tools and exercises as well as practical steps for dealing with the many challenges that schools face in achieving better outcomes for students. The authors draw on extensive data from school districts that have implemented the collaborative process and document success stories when teachers, administrators, and community leaders work together. — Robert B. McKersie, professor emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

Collaboration is complicated, serious work. Anyone interested in or initiating labor management collaboration should read this thoughtful orientation and guide — Peter McWalters, former superintendent, Rochester, New York, and retired commissioner of education, state of Rhode Island

This book is well-written and organized, and achieves what it sets out to do: present state-of-the-art knowledge on LMC collaboration for successful school reform in an accessible, step-by-step format, complemented by a range of additional relevant tools and resources. — Carly Manion, Teachers College Record

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About the Authors

Geoff Marietta is an educator, researcher, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people work together to improve the lives of children. He serves as the executive director of Pine Mountain Settlement School, a National Historical Landmark serving communities in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky. Marietta is also a research fellow at Berea College, and cofounder of Mountain Tech Media, a diversified media and technology company based in eastern Kentucky. He has written extensively on labor-management-community collaboration in education and is the author of dozens of cases, policy reports, and articles on the topic. After graduating from the University of Montana, Geoff was a teacher and administrator on Navajo Nation in New Mexico. He went on to earn his MBA from Harvard Business School and a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, founding a software technology company along the way. Geoff currently lives at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County, Kentucky, with his wife, Sky, and their sons, Harlan and Perry.

Chad d’Entremont is the executive director of the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. He is responsible for shepherding the organization’s mission to improve public education through deep knowledge and evidence of effective policy making and practice. In this capacity he has coauthored numerous articles, book chapters, and reports on reform strategies ranging from early childhood education to early college designs, and he has launched multiple initiatives to support local communities in the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based practice. In 2012 Dr. d’Entremont help found the Massachusetts Education Partnership, a unique coalition of labor and management leaders committed to working collaboratively to advance sustainable school improvements, and in 2014 he helped found the Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness (MICCR) in partnership with Boston University, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and MassINC, with the support of a $1 million cooperative agreement with the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. Dr. d’Entremont began his career as a teacher, serving high-needs students in both urban and rural settings. He is the former assistant director of a nationally renowned research center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and from 2007 to 2011 was the research and policy director at Strategies for Children, as well as project manager for Massachusetts’s successful application for a $50 million Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge award. He has a PhD in education policy and social analysis and an MA in the sociology of education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Emily Murphy Kaur is director of the Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP) at the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. Emily has dedicated her career to integrating educator and community voice into district-level policy making, ensuring that reforms enacted reflect both local need and classroom realities. In her current position as the MEP director, Emily is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the MEP, a multiyear partnership that has worked with over 120 districts in the Commonwealth to strengthen labor-management relations and school-site operations. Prior to joining the Rennie Center she was a special education teacher with expertise in modifying services, curriculums, and lessons to students with significant disabilities. Through collaborating with diverse partners to ensure that students received the supports necessary to succeed academically and socially, she recognized that the hallmark to successful schooling is in establishing a culture that values and learns from differing perspectives. With this consistently in mind, Emily has worked to establish tools and resources for educators on a variety of topics related to effective teaming, interest-based bargaining, and strategies for implementing reform together. Emily holds an MA in education policy and social analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MS in special education from Simmons College.