CEA Members Ratify Two-Year Contract

2009genmemmtgMore than 1,200 members of the Columbus Education Association converged on Veteran’s Memorial on Tuesday, June 2, to consider the two-year tentative agreement between the CEA and the Columbus Board of Education. After the introduction of local dignitaries, gathered members were welcomed by CEA President Rhonda Johnson.

“We are living in uncertain economic times,” said President Johnson. “Compared to when Issue 75 passed in November at 7.85 mils, fewer people are paying property taxes. This reduces the effective amount that the levy collects.” “Despite the passage of the levy and the federal stimulus money,” continued Johnson, “the treasurer would only certify a two-year contract.”

“Your bargaining team has worked long and hard to bring you the package that you see before you,” stated Negotiations Chair Deborah Huffman-Mirib.

“I got worried as I saw the economy happen,” said Chief Negotiator Rick Logan. “This round of bargaining was some of the hardest work from the core team since CEA’s first contract in 1969.

Among the items included in the package:

  • Clear and grieveable expectations of elementary grade-card access and entry.
  • Duty-free periods for elementary Senior Faculty Representatives
  • Additional professional development related to special education
  • Increased days for adoptive leave
  • Expansion of catastrophic sick leave provisions
  • Preservation of insurance benefits for current members
  • Addition of domestic partners for primary coverage under insurance and use of sick leave
  • Elimination of the Comprehensive Major Medical plan and the addition of the “single plus one” premium tier
  • Use of teacher-level value-added data as one factor in determining teacher eligibility for the Performance Advancement System (PAS)
  • A $4,000 stipend for eligible teachers who elect to serve at the superintendent’s discretion in “high-needs” schools
  • Addition of step 15 to the salary schedule and index changes in longevity steps
  • A 1.75 percent raise in the first year, and a 2 percent raise in the second year of the contract

After questions and debates, 89 percent of members voted resoundingly to ratify the tentative agreement. The Columbus Board of Education is scheduled to take its vote at a later date.

Speak Out: Quarterly Diagnostics

The Columbus Education Association has recently distributed an online survey to teachers who administer Quarterly Diagnostics to their students.

Your Association would like for teachers to share their experiences with administering Quarterly Diagnostics and the effects they have had on teaching and learning in your classroom.

You don’t have to be registered to leave a reply— simply click on the “Comments” link below, 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. 

Columbus Teacher: Required Tests Aren’t Worth The Lost Time In Classroom

This letter to the editor appeared in the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday, March 8th.

2064177274_1741a97dd3_m.jpgAs a middle-school Pre-Algebra and Algebra I teacher, I strongly agree with the teachers’ concerns expressed in the Feb. 13 Dispatch article “Teachers disgruntled over volume of tests.” However, some of the information was incomplete or inaccurate.

Not only elementary but also middle-school students were subjected to taking the full-length (2.5 hours per subject) practice Ohio Achievement Tests to prepare for the real tests in April. They had already done a week of half-length practice tests in September.

In January, eighth-graders were required to take tests in all four academic areas, immediately after completing a week of quarterly assessments in the same subjects. When I informed my homeroom of this Columbus City School District requirement, one young man pleaded, “Don’t they know we’re tired of taking tests?”

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