Flawed Logic: Literacy without Libraries or Librarians

Library-blog Many librarians have stories about teacher librarians being laid off or riffed back into classrooms, and libraries being closed with entire collections pilfered and dismantled. Ohio is one of 13 states that require students to be proficient in reading by the third grade or be kept from advancing to the fourth grade, yet few states, including Ohio, provide extra funding to help those struggling students. Most do not require schools to have libraries, or certified librarians. The Strengthening America’s Schools Act includes a little known provision, called Improving Literacy and College and Career Readiness Through Effective School Library Programs, that simply must be included in the final version of the ESEA. Continue reading →

What We Did Over Summer “Break”

Summer-featured For most people summer is the season of family trips, Slip-and-Slides and staying up late, but it’s no “all play and no work” time for teachers. Even though school isn’t in session, teachers have a variety of education-related activities keeping them busy. The bells may be turned off in school buildings across the state and yellow buses may be nestled in garages, but teachers are certainly not lounging in hammocks during June, July and August. Whether it’s prepping for courses, gaining additional training or advocating for public schools, there has been plenty of action in the education community this summer. Continue reading →

Part 2: Facilitating a Community Power Study

blog-power-map Your local would like to start a campaign to improve conditions at your workplace, and need to influence a school board leader to do so. But once goals and targets are set, your association’s members may disagree about the means to achieve your goals, or even more often, don’t know how to begin to develop a goal-oriented plan. Organizing a community power study is a great way to engage members in critical discussions about goals, power and strategic planning. Continue reading →

Third Grade Guarantee — Or Your Money Back

3rd-grade-reading-guarantee Part 1 of 2 Slogans, jingles, and taglines have caught consumers’ attention for years with promises of satisfaction … guaranteed. Pizza will be delivered hot, teeth will be whiter, and our internet faster — guaranteed or your money back. As consumers of Ohio REVISED Code 3313.608, known as the “Third [...] Continue Reading… Continue reading →

It all Starts in Cleveland

sit_in_the_corner Recently The Cleveland Plain Dealer and StateImpact Ohio pulled a little PR stunt by publishing teachers names and “value-added” scores. They also made an amateurish attempt to mask this unethical report by also pointing out some of the flaws of using the data to evaluate teachers. Then, after saying it was wrong and inaccurate, they published anyway. I guess competent reporting takes a back seat to tabloid-like, website hit generating drama. Continue reading →

Value-Added Scores Can Never Complete the Picture of a Teacher’s Work with Students

value-added Listing teachers as effective or ineffective based on narrow tests not designed to be used for this purpose is a disservice to everyone. Trained educators can use a student’s value-added data, along with other student data, to improve student instruction. But you should never promote a simplistic and inaccurate view of value-added scores as a valid basis for high-stakes decisions on schools, teachers and students – even if Ohio legislators have gone down that misguided road. Continue reading →

I am an OEA Member and I Lobby

i(3lobbying As a first time attendee of OEA lobby day, I can now say I have fought the good fight, by trying to explain to my elected officials what it is like in Ohio’s classrooms. Lobbying together, we were mothers and fathers with children at home, retired teachers with grandchildren, parents of private school students, and members of both political parties; an eclectic group to say the least with the same message: public schools must be adequately funded! Continue reading →

One Member’s Concerns About Common Core

common-core-blog Over the past year, I have been a member of the English Language Arts team in my district, looking at ways to best implement Common Core.  The collaboration has been great, as I have learned what and how my colleagues teach.  However, even after a year of working with [...] Continue Reading… Continue reading →

Part 1: Organizing a Community Power Study

power-mapping-3 Whether you are negotiating for a new contract or lobbying for a new law, power mapping provides a tool in which an organization can identify community stakeholders and develop a plan to influence them. Participants in a community power mapping exercise identify who has power, and then develop appropriate campaign-oriented targets, tactics and messaging. Power mapping provides a means to build community influence and pressure stakeholders to do the right thing. Continue reading →

Equitable Pay: The Underlying Principle of the Single Salary Schedule

gender-wage-gap It seems the budget bill, House Bill 59 (HB 59), has become a dumping ground for the worst ideas our legislature can think of. One bad idea, among many, is the elimination of the single salary and minimum salary schedules for public school employees. The single salary schedule has been around for nearly a hundred years, having evolved from the inequity of elementary and high school salaries; men were paid more than women, white teachers more than African American teachers, and administrators’ favorites more than equally qualified coworkers. Continue reading →
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