In 2011, in the heart of the Governor Kasich’s first tumultuous year in office, I wrote an article titled “Republican teachers are now extinct“. I took a look back at that article in this past week as we are leading up to the election that we’ve been looking forward to remembering since that time and found that my words ring true even more today than they did back then. As we enter the final days of the Kasich Administration’s ominous reign over Ohio, I want to once again urge my “Republican” family and friends (yes, I’m talking to [...]Full Story... →
Pay freezes, the exodus of experienced teachers, and increased class sizes are exactly what Reynoldsburg School Board Vice-President Elaine Tornero has wanted since she her term began in 2010. Tornero was one of the two school board members to draft the board’s initial contract offer to teachers that ultimately led to contentious negotiations and a work stoppage by the teachers. But the conditions that prompted the impasse, most noticeably increased class sizes and experienced teachers leaving the district in unprecedented numbers, were no accident, and had been brewing for years under Tornero’s leadership.
In October 2009, the district [...]Full Story... →
When the Ohio General Assembly passes legislation regarding education-related policies, most of the components direct the State School Board to interpret and implement the changes. As a result, electing members that truly support public education is an important and often overlooked step that Ohioans can take to help to ensure that public schools have the best advocates making these decisions.
This year, there are seven seats up for election that have pro-public education advocates that we recommend. State Board races are “non-partisan”, so those who vote based on party affiliation can’t simply tell who supports their ideals by simply looking at the ballot.
Here [...]Full Story... →
The Reynoldsburg Education Association (REA) agreed to contract terms with the school board yesterday after conceding significant amounts in compensation, but breaking through on getting class size “caps” into the contract. The “caps” aren’t exactly great, but they now exist and can be bargained more in the future. The inclusion of these “soft caps” also puts the onus on Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning to put “her money where her mouth is” and ensure that class sizes are managed appropriately and parents’ concerns are heard.
Speaking of money . . . Thomas-Manning got in one final shot at the teachers today [...]Full Story... →
Central Ohio news stations reported last night that fliers were being distributed in Reynoldsburg neighborhoods “outing” individuals who are crossing the picket lines. The fliers also “cross the line” according to residents who were interviewed. Here’s a look at one of the fliers from Reynoldsburg yesterday:
These fliers make it look like the teachers union has gone too far by harassing people at their personal residences. And we have to agree in this case that these fliers DO go too far. But it’s not the teachers who have gone too far in this case, it’s the School [...]Full Story... →
At a gathering of educators, community members, and supporters of the Reynoldsburg Education Association members, a parent was one of the first speakers. Not a teacher, not a union leader, not a government official, but a parent and community member. Parent Debbie Dunlap has been actively involved in the effort to bring an end to the contract impasse and has made it clear where her heart is – with the teachers who are striving to improve the teaching and learning conditions. Dunlap has spent countless hours over the last few weeks trying to educate and inform her fellow parents [...]Full Story... →
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 [...]Full Story... →
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 [...]Full Story... →
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 [...]Full Story... →
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 [...]Full Story... →