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 [...] Continue Reading… 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 →

SB 5 threatened our ability to make a difference in students’ lives

Eleven years ago I started teaching special education so that I could make a difference in the lives of the students who need it most—children with severe and multiple disabilities. I live and work in one of the state’s highest poverty per capita areas, and I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. I didn’t become a teacher to get rich; I became a teacher to serve. Continue reading →

Issue 2 would hurt the future of public education

Collective bargaining becomes collective begging if one of the parties involved has the legal power to decide the final outcome with no legal recourse for the other party. Senate Bill 5, which is now Issue 2 on the ballot, does not revisit collective bargaining—it destroys it. It is similar to going to a dentist and he pulls all the teeth because in his professional opinion a few were bad. Continue reading →
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