Kentucky education leaders are joining state and district school chiefs, union leaders and school board leaders from 41 states and more than 100 school districts in Cincinnati this week to share innovative ideas and successful policies that strengthen the teaching profession, from recruiting new candidates to retaining talent already in the classroom.

The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, Council of the Great City Schools, Council of Chief State School Officers and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, is sponsoring the 2012 Labor Management Conference. The conference is being held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

State leadership teams  joined participating districts yesterday and today to share stories and discuss policies for creating deeper and broader collaboration among education leaders.

Kentucky’s team includes Education Commissioner Terry Holliday; Kentucky Education Association Executive Director Mary Ann Blankenship; Kentucky Education Association President Sharron Oxendine; and Kentucky School Boards Association Executive Director Bill Scott. The team’s presentation will focus on the Unbridled Learning assessment and accountability model; the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System; the Kentucky Education Action Team (KEAT); the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Kentucky survey; and more.

The team’s presentation will occur at 8 a.m. and again at 9:45 a.m. today and may be seen here.

A team from the Boone County school district also will present at the conference, sharing its work as a model for successful labor management.

The May 2012 conference, titled Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession, is focused on highlighting innovative approaches — at both the state and district levels — to improve student achievement by dramatically increasing the stature of the teaching profession and the number of highly effective teachers in our nation’s schools. The conference will showcase work from over a dozen districts and states, invite leaders within the same state to convene on ideas and lessons learned, and encourage all participants to take on similar efforts when they return home.

Funding support for this year’s conference is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GE Foundation. Background highlighting presenters’ work will be shared during the conference and posted online at