Archives for April 2009

Speak Out: Honoring Teachers And Nurses

The National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. Tues. May 5 is National Teacher Day, begun over 60 years ago. In addition, National Nurses Day is Wed., May 6.

CEA recognizes the crucial role our teachers and nurses play in making public schools great for every child.

To that end, CEA asks its members to respond to participate in the latest Speak Out on The CEA Blog:

How have past and present CCS educators and nurses made a difference in your life or lives of our students?

You don’t have to be registered to leave a reply- simply click on the “Comments” near the title of the post, type your first name (or a screen name of your choice), email address and leave your comment. Once your reply has been moderated, it will be added.

Victory Friday: Testy About Testing Yet?

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roswellsgirl's

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roswellsgirl’s

Teachers throughout Columbus City Schools have already begun to administer the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) and will continue to test grades 3 through 8 in the coming weeks. Standardized testing can be an extremely stressful period of time, punctuated with moments of levity and sincerity on the parts of both teachers and students.

To that end, The CEA Blog has culled the best standardized testing vignettes from teachers and administrators throughout the national blogosphere and packaged them together for this “Victory Friday” edition.

Middle school teacher Pete explains where the term “Victory Friday” comes from.

What is Victory Friday? (It) is obviously celebrated on Friday as a victory over the work week. It also serves as a jumping off point to a relaxing weekend.

The CEA Blog wishes its members a hale and hearty “Victory Friday” for this week and those left in the school year. Click on the “More” tab below to continue reading.

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Performance Pay Not News To Us

The Columbus Education Association has been a leader in school reform at the local, state and national level for many years. Performance pay may be a buzz word now, but it is nothing new to the members of CEA.

Over the past decade, CEA has negotiated multiple performance pay programs. In 1997, CEA negotiated the Gainsharing program and, later, the Performance Advancement System (PAS). Nearly $2 million was awarded to teachers for improved student achievement for the 2007-2008 school year.

Gainsharing is a method of distributing funds for improved education and student achievement in Columbus City Schools. Teachers assigned to buildings for at least 120 days are eligible to receive a bonus if the school makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Teachers who do not work full time in a building may participate in Gainsharing though service agreements.

PAS is a program for all members of the CEA bargaining unit to engage in classroom action research. If teachers’ projects post mean student achievement gains greater than the district, CEA members will receive cash awards of $2,500 for meeting the PAS gain criteria.

In recent years, the district adopted the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in eight schools. TAP is a comprehensive school reform system that restructures and revitalizes the teaching profession with a goal of achieving measurable gains in student performance. Teachers received bonuses ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars for knowledge and skills and student growth in the 2007-2008 school year. The master and mentor teachers also received a stipend for extra duties and responsibilities.

Our 114 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) receive a $1,500 annual stipend from CCS, above and beyond the state stipend. At the Superintendent’s sole discretion, teachers who agree to work in high-needs schools can receive an additional stipend.

Any system that involves alternative pay should meet the “APPLE criteria” developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Systems must be administratively feasible, professionally acceptable, publicly credible, legally defensible and economically affordable.

“This is a time for innovation and opportunity in the field of education,” stated CEA President Rhonda Johnson. “I am proud to be a member of an organization that has always been on the cutting edge of school reform.”