Posts by: Greg

The Reynoldsburg School Board and Reynoldsburg Education Association (REA) met today with a federal mediator for the first negotiating session in just over a week.  Sadly, the school board did not show up with any negotiating in mind.

REA Co-President Kim Cooper released the following update about today’s meeting:

“We were as unsurprised as we were disappointed that the Board did not come to today’s meeting with an honest attempt to make any progress and end this strike. The Board refused to address movement on any of the issues. This strike is about the future of public education and what [...]

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Over the last couple of weeks, numerous newspapers across Ohio have run stories that have questioned the worth of the state’s new grade-based report cards for school districts.  A soon-to-be-released report by Dr. Howard Fleeter of the Education Tax Policy Institute created much of the buzz as he compared a school district’s Performance Index (PI) Score with the district’s level of student poverty.

Nolan Rosenkrans of the Toledo Blade explains this connection between a district’s PI Score and level of poverty in a very accessible way:

The simplest way to show combined student performance within a school district is [...]

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Those who are uninformed about the teachers’ strike in Reynoldsburg still assume the work stoppage is taking place because the teachers are holding out for more money (it’s not about the money).  Even if it was about increasing teacher pay, we could make the case that the teachers have a point.

In 2011, previous Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin was a finalist for the State Superintendent position.  He had been leading the school district for 6 years at the time and had a base salary of $120,146.  The Reynoldsburg School Board, led by current President Andrew Swope, afraid of losing Dackin [...]

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On Sunday, we published our analysis of the two sides’ proposals at the heart of the Reynoldsburg School District’s negotiations.  Today, miraculously, the school district published their own analysis that was just completed by the district’s treasurer.  We have no “skin in the game” so to speak and spent days assembly the data as we felt it was necessary to distribute the information, so we’re glad that the treasurer for the district embroiled in a teacher strike was finally able to be bothered to find time to complete their internal analysis.

Here’s what the district reported on their [...]

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There’s plenty of money to be made by Huffmaster Crisis Response, LLC., by prolonging the teachers strike in Reynoldsburg.  That’s money that Reynoldsburg taxpayers had intended to be used to educate their children, but is instead being directed primarily toward strike management operations, especially security.  And this begs the question – who’s truly running the school district right now?

Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning was hired in January to a three-year contract with a base pay of $157,500.  She has some other perks such as a $10,000 annuity and a $7,800 allowance for automobile, communications and other expenses, but let’s just focus on [...]

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When most people hear about workers going on strike, their first thought is that the breakdown in negotiations is about pay. This belief is rampant among those who are uneducated about the current strike involving Reynoldsburg teachers.  The Reynoldsburg superintendent seems to be among that group of individuals who still believes this is about pay and recently wrote that the latest offer by the teachers “included $1 million more in guaranteed raises compared to the board’s most recent proposal”, though she does not provide a detailed analysis of the two proposals to defend this claim.

That’s why we are here. [...]

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The Reynoldsburg School Board and Superintendent are playing fast and loose with the taxpayer’s dollars.  According to an analysis of the district’s contracts with Huffmaster, yesterday’s wasted day of education cost Reynoldsburg residents at least $375,000.  This cost includes all of the planning and preparation leading up to the chaotic day along with the cost of paying the “teachers” who, according to numerous reports, performed poor-quality babysitting services.

By contrast, and according to teacher salary data reported by the district to ODE for last year, the typical one-day cost of teacher salaries is less than $110,0oo.  At less than [...]

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After the first day of the teacher’s strike in Reynoldsburg, a strike provoked by Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning and the school board’s unwillingness to budge in negotiations focused on improving the learning conditions for the community’s children, Thomas-Manning declared that it was “a successful day”.

Huh.

Here are some local news headlines from the superintendent’s “successful day”:

Fights cause lockdown at Reynoldsburg school as teachers strike” – Columbus Dispatch

Reynoldsburg Teachers Take To Picket Line, Students Claim There Is Chaos In Classrooms” – WBNS-10tv

Fights reported inside Reynoldsburg Schools: Students say substitute teachers can’t [...]

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In 2012, Ohio legislators amended state law to include a provision to implement a “Pilot program for Columbus City School District” in Senate Bill 316.  Under this provision, parents can “take over” a school’s operation.  This is also known nationally as a “parent trigger” provision and Ohio’s version is detailed in Ohio Revised Code 3302.042.

A second line of the statute reads “The pilot project shall commence once the department of education establishes implementation guidelines for the pilot project in consultation with the Columbus city school district.”

This week, John Kasich’s Ohio Department of Education apparently plunged forward and established their own guidelines for this [...]

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We’ve been covering the devastating impact of the Reynoldsburg School Board’s refusal to listen to the community’s feedback as they have been involved in “negotiations” with the district’s professional educators.  The story has gained national attention for the Board’s staunch insistence to implement changes to the teachers’ contract that are direct from the Michelle Rhee and John Kasich playbooks.  With a strike looming for tomorrow, the Reynoldsburg Education Association‘s negotiation team entered a final session with the school board and superintendent today at 1:00 to try and come [...]

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The Ohio Department of Education released the state test results Friday, so we feel obliged to tell you that once again, Ohio’s public school districts significantly outperformed their charter school “competitors”.  We’re growing tired of beating this dead horse…

We’ll be breaking down the numbers in more detail in the coming weeks, but here are some lowlights:

Of the 3,274 school buildings that received a Performance Index Score (a composite of standardized test performance), 228 of the 281 charter schools ranked in the bottom 25%.  To explain that another way, 81% of Ohio’s rated charter schools that fell in the [...]

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