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SLOs, OTES, SGM, Value Added …

hb555 Who can keep it all straight? And yet, these acronyms represent things that will determine our teacher ratings and potentially our careers. When it came to determining how to implement these things, as it pertains to HB 555, there was no consultation with teachers. There was no “heads up” about the changes in this legislation. The only growth I can be sure will come from these changes is not student growth, but a growth of disenfranchisement from quality, hard-working teachers, who tried to get ahead of the changes coming in the fall, only to be tripped up by lawmakers. Continue reading →

Radical Rhee and the so-called education “reform” movement

rhee-blog The trend of blaming teachers for the problems in education probably won’t fall out of favor any time soon. During School Choice Week, so-called education “reformers” will do their best to scapegoat teachers instead of acknowledging the real systemic problems — such as school funding and poverty — that lead to poor performance and problems in education. For Rhee, and other so-called reformers, well-established facts confirming the correlation between poverty and the achievement gap don’t matter. Continue reading →

Stories from the Front: Working in a RTW State

RTWstories Knowing how often things get sensationalized, I work hard to find reliable sources for information. With a RTW group petitioning to put a Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot, I need to find information I can trust, so I can form an educated opinion. What I’ve found is that the most reliable and meaningful information has come, not from newspaper articles or television shows, but from other educators. Listening to their stories about what it’s like to teacher in states with RTW laws has given me the insights I need to understand why these are harmful and what I can expect if they are enacted in Ohio. Continue reading →

Fifteen can’t miss educational apps

EducationApps Nothing excites me more than an app that is beautifully designed, easy to use and cheap. Still I understand how educators who are just trying to keep up with the every day business of teaching can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of educational apps that are available and need help finding good ones for classroom use. Here are a few of my favorite apps that I can recommend wholeheartedly, many of which are free. Continue reading →

About RTW and Those Behind It

RTW When I checked out the site for “Ohioans for Workplace Freedom,” the group supporting what OEA chooses to call the No Rights at Work Amendment, I thought about my students, and how confused and misled they would be if they accessed the page. The text of the website sounds logical and inoffensive. However, if people took a minute to delve deeper into those claims and into the individuals behind “Ohioans for Workplace Freedom,” the biased and misleading statements would quickly become readily apparent. Continue reading →

Right to Work Around the Union

DSCN8688 “Right to Work Around the Union,” as Jon Stewart calls it, has so many ramifications beyond joining or not joining the union. Just put it next to Senate Bill 5, something that Ohioans are familiar with, to understand the huge implications. If SB5 and Right to Work were dogs, SB5 would the neighbor’s annoying poodle that barks in the middle of the night and wakes you up. Right to Work is a pit bull. Senate Bill 5 is “Right to Work Lite.” Although the provisions of the two pieces of legislation use different wording and different restrictions, they both serve to weaken unions and the ability for workers to collectively bargain. Continue reading →

Reflections on the Election

reflecting Since August, I have been fully submerged in Campaign 2012. For three months, I basically put every aspect of my life on hold in order to focus on the election. I turned my fantasy football team over to a friend and took a sabbatical from my book club. With the elections a month behind us, I have had a chance to spend some time with my family, take a few naps and reflect on the election results. Continue reading →

It’s time for the PEOPLE to be in charge, as our forefathers intended.

OEA-Walk-PDF-Color---OVF-1209-15A-1 They’ve stolen our voice, our vote, and our power. Every ten years, Ohio goes through a process known as “redistricting” in which the boundary lines for Statehouse and Congressional districts are redrawn. Instead of ensuring fair and balanced district lines, the politicians and lobbyists have rigged the system to make sure they have all the power to protect themselves and their friends. With uneven, unfair district lines, the voters never have a real choice. Continue reading →

5 Reasons Why Every Educator Needs to Vote

Vote-blackboard Vote to set an example for your children. As a child, I remember my parents getting ready to vote. They took the editorial page from the Akron Beacon Journal and scribbled notes in the margins. They took their union recommendations. They carefully folded everything up and made the special trip to the polls. They waited […] Continue reading →
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