pay attention in ohio

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Taken from the Diane Ravitch blog – historical fact – when associations were strong in the country – we were number one economically…

What have unions done for working people? Reduced working hours, improved working conditions. Think of the Triangle Waist Fire. Think of Chinese factories where workers live in dormitories 24/7 and work long hours seven days a week in dangerous conditions.

Here is the CTU statement on the Harris v. Quinn ruling:

” CTU Stands in Solidarity With Home Care Workers in
Wake of Harris v. Quinn Ruling

CHICAGO –Today, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis released the following statement upon the announcing of a decision in the Harris v. Quinn ruling:

“This unfortunate court decision will not deter Illinois health workers from fighting for democracy and employment security nor consumers who deserve to have quality healthcare services. It is ironic that this ruling comes as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in which hard won gains are slowly being rolled back,” Lewis said.

“It is therefore fitting that I echo the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said: ‘In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as “right-to-work,” it provides no “rights” and no “works.” Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining…. We demand this fraud be stopped….’

“Harris v. Quinn proves that organized labor must be vigilant and deliberate in our fight against the right-to-work efforts trying to muddy our state and disrupt the quality of life for thousands of citizens. The CTU joins our brothers and sisters impacted by this ruling and stand in solidarity in this fight for economic and social justice.”


charter school misconduct


OEA urges State Auditor to probe allegations of charter school malpractices

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) today called on State Auditor David Yost to look into the serious questions raised by one of its members, Matt Blair, about activities that he observed while teaching at a the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, Ohio.

In a letter sent yesterday to the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, Blair said that he witnessed what he believes to be unethical behavior, including “officials pulling at-risk students out of class during standardized testing (and) Turkish men who came in on a Saturday to darken ‘in the answers for students who wrote too lightly’ on standardized tests.”

Blair asked Board members to “determine whether the apparent cheating and other irregularities I witnessed were properly investigated and whether they continue today.”

The initial reaction by officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to Blair’s allegations, which first appeared on the OEA website in December, 2013, was to try to put a positive spin on the activities at the charter school. No real effort appears to have been made to investigate Blair’s claims, according to publicly-released documents.

“ODE’s apparent failure to conduct a thorough examination of the issues raised by Matt Blair does not inspire confidence in ODE’s ability to oversee charter school operations,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “It is for that reason that we urge Auditor Yost to act and to conduct a probe worthy of the serious questions that have been raised.”

The Ohio Education Association represents more than 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.

hey – it might be working

C/P from email list…


Lorain County Schools Community Engagement Project: a survey of opinions on charter schools, vouchers and other so-called “reforms”

The school superintendents of Lorain County have set the pace for the public education community in speaking out in regard to the so-called “reforms” that are being imposed on public school districts. Among their many activities is the Lorain County Schools Community Engagement website.

The Engagement Project focused on a survey of 620 registered voters in Lorain County. Among the findings are:

  1. Biggest problem-school funding
  2. Local tax dollars should not go to charter schools
  3. Opposition of vouchers to private schools
  4. Support for pre-school for low income students
  5. The increase in state testing has not helped students

The results of the entire survey can be found on the website.

The rollout of the results took place at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce.

ESC Superintendent Greg Ring and his colleagues have been meeting in various areas of the state to inform those who are interested in replicating the project.


pay attention…

check out Plunderbund this summer as well – follow them.

Think whole school districts can’t be charterized-think again–it has already happened in New Orleans

Change agents seek out major crises or create such to advance their agenda. The privatizers of public education viewed the Katrina disaster as a great opportunity to replace the public common school system in New Orleans with vouchers and privately-run charter schools. The complete transition required only a few years. The lights have been turned out in the all but six public schools in New Orleans. No doubt this token group of public schools will be eliminated in time.

The most democratic of all public institutions has been replaced with privately-held educational fiefdoms. The social compact and sense of community are gone. The choices that parents have in New Orleans are only those that have been created for them. Someone else has determined what is “good for them.”

In Ohio, the average charter school teacher is paid about half as much as public school teachers but the typical for-profit charter school management company operators are getting very, very wealthy. The American people are being duped with the choice propaganda.

At this juncture, readers may be thinking, “It can’t happen here.” The choice program in Ohio in 1999 cost Ohio school districts less than a dozen million dollars. This year, the choice price tag was over $1.14 billion. There is no indication that the exponential growth will slow down in Ohio. The marketing budgets of charter schools and choice promoting groups are astronomical.

The head of the charter school promotion organization in New Orleans is leaving that post to export the New Orleans model to other cities. In view of the political support charter school operators have garnered, no public school district in Ohio is safe from complete charterization. The charter school crowd will be energized by the New Orleans turn of events. No public school district will be safe.

Some Ohio public boards of education will be turning the lights out during this generation, unless the public is made aware of this creeping assault on democracy.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

getting out and about

for those that missed this – we had some of out staff out for the Blossom Time 5 miler on Sunday…to benefit the Leukemia Society…once again Aaron C is in the mix…along with Vanessa D, and Lori D…

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Also another NHEA family day this Thursday…

everyone head home at your end of the day stop time!!

some more comparison data

so as of late I have sent out information for our county in terms of pay rank and median income…well here is some data for the country as a whole…

from the Diane Ravich blog…

Regular reader Lloyd Lofthouse has gathered some useful information on teacher salaries.

He writes:

Here’s a link to a map that was published by The Washington Post that shows the average annual public school teachers pay for each state for 2013. Now, to be clear, an average means many teachers are paid less and some paid more.

Then here’s an opinion piece by Dave Eggers that appeared in the New York Times in 2011

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries. What does Eggers say? Here’s a pull quote:

At the moment, the average teacher’s pay is on par with that of a toll taker or bartender. Teachers make 14 percent less than professionals in other occupations that require similar levels of education. In real terms, teachers’ salaries have declined for 30 years. The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible.

So how do teachers cope? Sixty-two percent work outside the classroom to make ends meet.

Value Added?

link to the site below

The studies of value-added measurement keep on coming, and the findings usually show what an utterly absurd idea it to think that teacher quality can be judged by student test scores. In a just world, Arne Duncan would be held accountable for the stupid and harmful theories he has imposed on the nation’s public schools. The U.S. Department of Education has become a malignant force in American education. I cannot think of any time in our nation’s history when public schools and teachers were literally endangered by the mandates coming from Washington, D.C., where the leadership is wholly ignorant of federalism.

This story in Education Week summarizes the latest batch of studies of VAM. some researchers, having made this their area of specialization, continue to prod in hopes of good news.

But look at this:

“In a study that appears in the current issue of the American Educational Research Journal, Noelle A. Paufler and Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, a doctoral candidate and an associate professor at Arizona State University, respectively, conclude that elementary school students are not randomly distributed into classrooms. That finding is significant because random distribution of students is a technical assumption that underlies some value-added models.

“Even when value-added models do account for nonrandom classroom assignment, they typically fail to consider behavior, personality, and other factors that profoundly influenced the classroom-assignment decisions of the 378 Arizona principals surveyed. That, too, can bias value-added results.

“Perhaps most provocative of all are the preliminary results of a study that uses value-added modeling to assess teacher effects on a trait they could not plausibly change, namely, their students’ heights. The results of that study, led by Marianne P. Bitler, an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine, have been presented at multiple academic conferences this year.
The authors found that teachers’ one-year “effects” on student height were nearly as large as their effects upon reading and math. The researchers did not find any correlation between the “value” that teachers “added” to height and the value they added to reading and math. In addition, unlike the reading and math results, which demonstrated some consistency from one year to the next, the height outcomes were not stable over time. The authors suggested that the different properties of the two models offered “some comfort.” Nevertheless, they advised caution.”

So, let’s get this right: teachers’ effects on students’ height were nearly as large as their effect on reading and math.

Perhaps Arne can just arrange to have all teachers fired (except for TFA), close every school (except “no-excuses” charter schools), and turnaround the whole country.

upnates for weeks of 5/12

Hey everyone – greetings and long time no UpNate… here is why – much on the calendar in the next week…

1.  Tuesday 5/13 = Our last Executive meeting with building reps and the like where we honor the teacher of the year…Aaron Coleman at the HS is our lady of the hour this year – same time for the meeting/dinner – it will be at Eddies Creekside in Brecksville.

2.  Wednesday 5/14 = We have a bargaining session on Wednesday evening from 5-7:00 at the BO.

3.  Friday 5/16 = OUR YEAR END SOCIAL – @ Spennatos…in Northfield – here is link to directions - we will again be starting things after the HS and LE get out from about 2:45 on…so come one come all…we have reserved a big room at the back of the restaurant.


Room D103 -

park in the back and enter the building through the ramp doorways by the southwest side of the building for Monday’s Board of Ed. Meeting.


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some common core controversy

check out this critique in the new yorker

also a lil commentary here for the Diane Ratvich blog…

I laugh a bitter laugh every time I hear someone refer to the Common [sic] Core [sic] State [sic] Standards [sic] as “higher.” These were hacked together by amateurs, overnight, without any professional vetting. They were paid for by plutocrats who wanted one national bullet list to tag their educational software and assessments to. The ELA “standards” are backward, hackneyed, unimaginative, often prescientific, and dramatically distorting of both curricula and pedagogy. And one could drive whole curricula through their lacunae. Learning involves acquisition of both world knowledge (knowledge of what) and procedural knowledge (knowledge of how). The Common Core in ELA contains ALMOST NONE of the former and expresses the latter so vaguely that, not being concrete or operationalized, they cannot be validly tested, and so the new tests being put together based on the Core are completely invalid. The lead author of these “standards” had absolutely ZERO relevant experience. The authors hacked these together based on a quick review of the lowest-common-denominator groupthink of the state standards that preceded them. Educational publishers are now taking these amateurish, puerile “standards” as a de facto curriculum, producing texts filled with activities that model the egregiously narrowed activities on the new Common Core College and Career Reading Assessment Program (C.C.C.C.R.A.P.) tests. Basically, these “standards” have turned K-12 education in the U.S. into low-level test prep. The “standards” are invariant. Kids are not. These “standards” belong to an extrinsic punishment and reward theory of education that is entirely discredited, for extrinsic punishment and reward is inherently demotivating for cognitive tasks. The “standards” are the product of a takeover of U.S. education by know-nothing plutocrats and business people and politicians who have decided to micromanage U.S. education based on dangerous, backward ideas, and these “standards” will have, are having, precisely the opposite of their intended effect. However, they are making and will make a lot of money for a few software vendors and testing companies. This piece by Nazaryan is clueless. Teachers oppose these “standards” not because they fear being held accountable but because the “standards” themselves are very, very badly conceived and are doing enormous damage, every day, in classrooms around the United States.”