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Spotlight on Women’s Health

President Obama expands women’s access to preventative services. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services – including well women visits, and domestic violence screenings – without charging a co-pay or deductible.[1] This new law will save money for millions of Americans and ensure Americans nationwide get the high-quality […] Continue reading →

We deserve to be at the table, not on the menu

The governor’s yet-to-be-unveiled education overhaul plan actually doesn’t belong to the governor so much as it belongs to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering acknowledged that Jackson’s plan contains many provisions that were “also in Senate Bill 5.” Jackson’s plan, says Lehner, “…takes the best of Senate Bill 5.” Rather than speak with the Cleveland Teachers Union about his transformation plan, Mayor Jackson held back-door conversations with city’s business community. Instead of putting teachers at the table, Jackson’s plan puts them on the menu. Continue reading →

Early Literacy: Making It Happen

There is no doubt that literacy is important in today’s world, yet we still live in a nation where more than 20 percent of adults read below a fifth grade level. The statistics in our correctional institutions are eye opening. Almost 85 percent of the children who enter the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, while 60 percent of the adults in prison are considered illiterate (Ellis, 2011). We cannot allow this to continue to happen in our nation. Illiteracy is a viscous cycle and we as a nation need to stop the cycle. The question is where do we begin? It is because of statistics like these that programs like Reach Out and Read are so important. Reach out and Read is a program that promotes early literacy and school readiness. Continue reading →

OEA Opposes Ohio House Bill 136

Representative Matt Huffman (R-Lima) held a press conference on Monday, December 12, 2011 to outline changes to a proposed statewide voucher program. The “PACT” scholarship program was proposed in House Bill 136 which had narrowly passed the House Education Committee and has yet to reach the House Floor. OEA strongly opposes HB 136, a bill […] Continue reading →

Linda Darling-Hammond gets to the heart of education policy problems

“Why is Congress Redlining Our Schools?” is Linda Darling-Hammond’s incisive piece on No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and the marginalization of our poorest children in the Nation (www.thenation.com) magazine’s most recent issue. There are many things in the Darling-Hammond piece that surprised me, such as why the U.S. ranks so low in international education rankings – poverty! – and how the Reagan revolution dismantled reforms that really worked in the 1970s. Continue reading →

Ohio Requires Credentialing of All Teacher Evaluators

House Bill 153, signed into law on June 30, 2011, significantly changes the way teachers in Ohio will be evaluated. HB 153 creates mandates at both the state and local level that will shape teacher evaluation policy development and teacher evaluation practices and procedures over the next several years. If we commit to take the lead as the architects of this process in each of our districts, we can build high quality local teacher evaluation systems that work for our teachers and their students and strengthen the teaching profession. Continue reading →

Alternatives to merit pay

A newly released report highlights incentives that can be much more effective in attracting and retaining quality teachers than simple merit pay programs. The report shows how merit pay programs that reward teachers based on their students’ standardized test scores do little to improve student achievement and offers information on other incentives that could be more successful. Learn more at www.greatlakescenter.org. Continue reading →

Unsafe for Special Needs Students

Larger class sizes and cut backs on supplemental services have negative consequences for students with special needs. As a special education teacher, parents not only trust me to educate their child; they also want me to make sure their child is safe. Issue 2 will hurt our students, not only their education, but their safety too. For me, that’s just too much to risk, which is why I am voting NO on Issue 2. Continue reading →

Shared Responsibility and Fairness

Educators step up to do their part by providing the stable, nurturing, inspiring environment that makes it possible to reach each student individually. If we are serious about preparing all young people—from pre-K to high school to college and beyond—then we all need to work together, but some Columbus politicians think they’re excused from the kinds of sacrifices we’ve all had to make. Simply put, the rules don’t apply to them. That’s not fair to my students, their families or mine—and that’s why I am voting NO on Issue 2 to repeal Senate Bill 5. Continue reading →
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