Posts by: Greg

In recent weeks, the negotiations between the Reynoldsburg School Board and the Reynoldsburg Education Association have focused on the Board’s proposal to switch to merit-based pay and eliminate district-sponsored healthcare.  These proposed changes are dramatic and have rightly deserved much scrutiny.

A larger-than-usual number of teachers have resigned from the district this year, leading the School Board to argue that the exodus of quality educators is a reason their proposed “more competitive” pay structure is needed.  In our last post on the subject, we pointed out that the pay structure in Reynoldsburg is actually comparable and competitive [...]

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At the State Board of Education meeting this week, four former teachers from the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School testified about years of questionable practices and behavior, some of which had been previously reported and ignored by the Ohio Department of Education.

The things the teachers observed while teaching at the school are nothing short of appalling and the teachers were told by school administrators to avoid contacting the Ohio Department of Education and they feared losing their jobs and jeopardizing their careers if they reported the incidents.

Former teachers Kellie Kochensparger and Richard Storrick, reported [...]

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In the city of Reynoldsburg, a small suburb east of Columbus, contract negotiations between the teachers and the school district have broken down as a result of the School Board’s proposal to tie salaries to the state’s new teacher evaluation system while eliminating district-provided healthcare.

The School Board has been in full marketing mode for their plan, but as we’ve discovered, their talking points simply don’t support the facts.

The Reynoldsburg School Board first put out a “Vision Statement” that was full of propaganda and absent of facts, and now the District has an FAQ page on their website [...]

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When the Ohio General Assembly finally adopted changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) through House Bill 362 last week, there was one positive remnant left from the original Senate Bill 229 introduced in late 2013 that does offer school districts some relief from the time-intensive process.  With the majority of teachers in in the state being expected to receive a rating of skilled or accomplished, and with those ratings being aligned with teachers who are effectively doing their jobs by demonstrating desired classroom practices and expected student growth (according to the legislators and Ohio Department of [...]

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When House Bill 362 was amended to include changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and quickly passed through both the Ohio Senate and House this week, legislators trumpeted their efforts as evidence that “Columbus listened to local concerns” and districts will have flexibility to modify their implementation of the system in the 2014-2015 school year.

Not so fast…

First, let’s look at the key changes to Ohio Revised Code that were adopted in HB362:

Student Growth Measures are still legislated to be 50% of a teacher’s evaluation unless a school district elects to use [...]

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Senate Bill 229 is officially dead.  The bill that received unanimous approval for providing local school districts greater flexibility to focus a greater proportion of a teacher’s evaluation on research-based practices vanished today in Ohio’s General Assembly so quickly that the public had absolutely no time to react or provide additional feedback on the changes.

Try to follow along…

First, the Senate Education Committee met this morning to discuss House Bill 362, a bill described when it reached the committee as “[authorizing] the STEM Committee to grant a designation of STEM school equivalent to a community school [...]

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In Reynoldsburg, a small suburb east of Columbus, the district and teachers have entered into negotiations on a new contract.  The proposal from the School Board displays a complete lack of understanding of the research surrounding best practices as well as the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

The Board’s proposal includes two very significant changes from traditional contracts described in a slick marketing flyer (see end of post).

First, the elimination of health coverage provided by the school district:

The Board will convert its current spending on one-size-fits-all health insurance coverage to cash payments directly to employees.

The amount of this [...]

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The Cleveland School District is in the news this week as they are working to remove teachers who have received good evaluations while simultaneously expanding their contract with Teach For America.  This contract expansion will replace these experienced and qualified teachers with untested, under-trained TFA corps members (who each come with a “finders fee” paid out to Teach For America which will total $400,000 in additional spending).

At the Cleveland School District Board of Education meeting this past Tuesday, hundreds of teachers gathered to protest these changes that caught these successful teachers off-guard.  One of the key speakers to [...]

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If you’ve been following us regularly, you’re aware that Senate Bill 229 was created to make some small and reasonable tweaks to Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  The Senate adopted the bill unanimously, but the House Education Committee failed to follow suit and “hijacked” the bill, transforming it into a sweeping overhaul of the system despite the fact that the House Education Committee Chair, Gerald Stebelton, questioned why any changes were being proposed.

At this time, Senate Bill 229 appears to be dead in the House.  Thanks to the efforts of educators [...]

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Last week, the House Education Committee received hundreds of pages of testimony opposing their version of Senate Bill 229.  They introduced a new substitute bill on Wednesday, May 14, before the testimony was considered, but the bill is still exceedingly more complex and convoluted than the Senate-passed version of the bill.  In the testimony, educators from across Ohio urged the committee to revert back to the simple and reasonable modifications that the Senate’s version would put into place.

On that same day, the Senate Education Committee met to hear testimony on House Bill 487, the [...]

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As John Kasich has started rolling out campaign ads detailing his personal life, we felt the need to produce a more policy-centered campaign video for the Governor titled “Education”.

It’s not personal, Governor, it’s business.

#RememberInNovember

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