Thursday, August 18, 2016

Portfolio School Reform and Unregulated Charters Harm Ohio as School Year Begins | janresseger

Portfolio School Reform and Unregulated Charters Harm Ohio as School Year Begins | janresseger:

Portfolio School Reform and Unregulated Charters Harm Ohio as School Year Begins


 On Monday, children in Cleveland, Ohio began the 2016-2017 school year, but problems in a one-party Republican state whose legislature has warmly embraced “corporate school reform” will affect their education this year.

First of all, as the school year began on Monday, the Cleveland Teachers Union presented the school district with the required 10-day notice of a strike, to begin on the Friday before Labor Day unless the district and the teachers union can reach agreement on a long-running problem.  Teachers, who have been without a contract since early July, are wearing blue t-shirts that proclaim, “I don’t want to STRIKE, but I will!”
Why begin the school year with such conflict? Actually it isn’t a new problem. In 2012—with support from the Cleveland business establishment, the philanthropic sector, and the mayor and his appointed school board—the Ohio legislature passed a portfolio school reform plan (Manage the district like a business portfolio with a marketplace of school choice including rapid expansion of charters that receive local tax dollars.) and imposed it on the Cleveland schools.
Plain Dealer reporter Patrick O’Donnell explains that the Cleveland Transformation Plan also has affected salaries for teachers, and continues to affect contract negotiations four years later: “Negotiations on this contract are more complicated than in most districts, thanks to the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools…. That Plan called for a teacher pay plan ‘based on performance,’ instead of the traditional teacher salary schedule other districts use. That made Cleveland the only district in Ohio that no longer gives raises for years of experience and degrees that teachers earn. But the district and union have failed for four years to create the full pay plan called for in law and in the last teacher contract, reached in 2013. Though the sides agreed in their last contract that teachers would receive raises for multiple reasons, the district is only awarding them when teachers receive strong ratings on annual evaluations.  Ignored, so far, are contractually-agreed items like teaching in hard-to fill jobs or undesired schools; completing pre-approved courses and training that directly affect teaching; and Portfolio School Reform and Unregulated Charters Harm Ohio as School Year Begins | janresseger:


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