Archives for January 2010

Speak Out: How Did You Spend Your Snow Day?

"I Miss Summer" by Flickr user Fensterbme.

The convergence of an excessive accumulation of snow, high winds, low temperatures and treacherous driving conditions prompted Columbus City Schools to cancel classes and all extracurricular activities on Friday, Jan. 8.

Throughout central Ohio, thousands of CEA members woke up to the silent beauty of freshly fallen snow and the realization of an unexpected day out of the classroom.

Friday marked the district’s first use of a snow day for the 2009-2010 school year. For hundreds of first-year teachers in CCS it was their first snow day ever.

How did you spend your first snow day of the 2009-2010 school year?

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CEA Takes Race To The Top’s First Steps

"Run" by Flickr user Fe Ilya.

Last year, Congress passed the $900 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). To receive federal stimulus money, Ohio and other states promised to make the following educational reforms:

1) Implement standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed after graduation

2) Develop data systems measuring student growth and success

3) Recruit, support and reward effective teachers and develop incentives to retain them

4) Turn around lowest achieving schools

Race to the Top (RttT) is a $4.3 billion competitive grant program that builds upon the reforms set forth in ARRA. The United States Department of Education (USDOE) under the direction of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is administering RttT. Its purpose is to encourage and reward select states that are implementing significant reforms in four areas listed in ARRA.

The absolute priority of RttT is that states applying must be prepared to make a comprehensive and systemic approach to education reform. States must demonstrate that they are prepared to decrease achievement gaps and increase student achievement, as well as high school graduation rates.

The first round of RttT applications from states is due to the USDOE by mid-January. Individual school districts can sign up to be a part of the grant by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the state. Ohio’s MOU requires signatures from the school district’s superintendent, school board president and teacher union president to join the grant application. CEA President Rhonda Johnson has signed the MOU on behalf of the Association.

Once independent reviewers score each application, states that are selected to receive RttT funding in the first phase will be announced in the spring of 2010. States that are selected to receive grant funding in the second round will be announced in September of 2010. Ohio could receive up to $400 million, if the state’s application is approved.

CEA Lends Support To Federal Grant Application

Ohio could receive up to $400 million in federal education funding, and some of that could come to Columbus.

Last week the CEA Board of Governors voted unanimously to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the CCS Superintendent and the CCS School Board President, agreeing to join the State of Ohio’s application to receive Race to the Top (RTTT) funding.

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