The 2015-2016 CEA Staff Survey results will be available prior to the Priority School/Department Round postings. In the meantime, here are the results of one of the many important questions we asked our members about their school.
The Columbus Education Association
The 2015-2016 CEA Staff Survey results will be available prior to the Priority School/Department Round postings. In the meantime, here are the results of one of the many important questions we asked our members about their school.
The CEA Staff Survey will close on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 11:59 p.m. Your Association urges all members to complete the online survey, so everyone will have an accurate picture of the professional climate in every building.
Members have been sent multiple emails with a survey link to their non-CCS email address since Friday, Jan. 22.
If you or your colleagues did not receive the email in your inbox or the junk/spam folder, please send an email from your non-CCS email account to firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name and your work location.
In his weekly radio address, President Obama introduced his plan for a $4 billion program to increase computer science education in American schools. Obama and White House officials said today’s students must develop the skill to compete in an evolving economy and allow the US to continue to lead the world.
The Washington Post reported that if Congress approves, the funds “would be doled out over a period of three years to any state that applies for the funds and has a well-designed plan to expand access to computer science courses, especially for girls and minorities.” The White House is also asking for another $100 million for a “competitive grant program for school districts with ambitious plans to reach more students, especially those who have been underrepresented in computer science classes.”
The Detroit Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit in Michigan state court against the city school system over what they claim are unsafe conditions. CBS News showed union president Ivy Bailey saying, “Educators have been snubbed, ignored, disrespected, and punished when they informed the school district of specific safety and health problems.” The lawsuit calls for repairs to schools and the firing of Darnell Earley, the governor-appointed schools emergency manager. The Washington Post reported that the lawsuit focuses on “terrible” conditions at Detroit schools, “including missing ceiling tiles, buckled floors, exposed wires and mold, as well as infestations of roaches and rats.” The lawsuit claims the facilities violate students’ constitutional right to a “minimally adequate education.”
Columbus City Schools is gearing up for its staffing and transfer process known as Article 211. Article 211 in the CEA Master Agreement details how transfers within our district will take place. It spells out how staff reductions are handled. Take the time to read over this very important article.
Martin Luther King III was 10 years old when his father was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Six years later, Martin’s paternal grandmother was killed while playing the church organ. Young Martin could have spent his life living in fear—had it not been for the example of his elders. Find out in the upcoming CEA Voice more about what the MLK Awards Banquet keynoter had to say about his life and the future of our country as we honored his father’s legacy.
Ohio’s schools rank 23rd in the nation. In 2008, we ranked 5th. This change in ranking was big news during the past week or so, and some observers are blaming our governor. During John Kasich’s tenure, unemployment has decreased – but child poverty has increased. Progress Ohio notes that nearly 1 in 4 of our kids lives in poverty. Check out the CEA Voice for more on this story.
The Detroit Free Press reported on Jan. 11 that teachers in Detroit have staged a sickout that closed some 64 schools demanding “that the district address what they’ve described as deplorable teaching conditions.” In response to the action, Mayor Mike Duggan vowed to “tour schools Tuesday to assess the condition of the buildings” and state schools chief Brian Whiston “called for health and safety issues in the district to be immediately addressed.”
Two interim school leaders took office as we began the new year.
President Obama appointed John King acting U.S. Secretary of Education in the wake of Arne Duncan’s resignation. King served as state commissioner of the New York schools. He has a Ph.D. in education and a law degree. However, King has not endeared himself to New York state’s teachers’ unions. He pushed reform on them, including forcing into place a new accountability system and he tried to collect student data for use by software marketers. The state’s courts have already stepped in. Congress will have to approve his appointment if he is to remain in the job after Obama leaves office.
As a search firm begins to seek a new Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lonny Rivera steps into the interim role. Rivera served as a deputy state superintendent, as superintendent of the nearby Oregon City Schools, a principal in Toledo, and as chief of staff for the Toledo Public Schools. Rivera temporarily succeeds Richard Ross, who resigned after revelations of state cheating on charter school success reports. He has said he will not seek permanent appointment.
The Associated Press reported on Dec. 17 that the Justice Department said on Wednesday that “it has settled a lawsuit it filed against the Chicago Board of Education alleging pregnancy discrimination against teachers.” The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Chicago last December, “said the board had a pattern of discrimination against pregnant teachers at Scammon Elementary School that resulted in the women receiving lower performance evaluations and threats of termination.” Under the terms of the settlement, “the board must pay $280,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to eight women and change its personnel policies to guard against discrimination based on gender and pregnancy,” and it “also must establish training requirements that reinforce a commitment to a workplace without gender-based discrimination.”
The Ohio Education Association has heralded the end of the “test, blame and punish” era of the No Child Left Behind Act with the new ESEA, just signed by President Obama, dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). OEA believes the new law puts educational decision-making back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, parents and communities – while keeping the focus on students most in need. ESSA recognizes that student success is more than a test score by allowing states to gauge student achievement through multiple measures.
“ESSA recognizes that the one-size-fits-all approach to student achievement does not work,” said Ohio Education Association (OEA) President Becky Higgins. “ESSA will allow Ohio to reduce the amount of standardized testing. In doing so, students will have more time to learn and develop critical thinking, and teachers will have more time to teach and inspire the joy of learning. The measure also provides an opportunity for educators to have a greater voice in shaping education policy.”
President Obama has signed the Every Student Succeeds Act. On Wednesday, in an 85-12 vote, the U.S. Senate approved the bill, which replaces No Child Left Behind as the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Most media reports focus on how unpopular NCLB has become, on how the new law devolves much education policy authority to states, and on the strong bipartisan nature of the vote. Here are just a few of the main aspects of this new set of federal regulations:
In a 359 to 64 vote on Wednesday, the U.S. House passed “a bipartisan K-12 education bill” that would replace No Child Left Behind and “significantly shift authority over the nation’s 100,000 public schools from the federal government to states and local school districts.” The Washington Post wrote that while the Senate still needs to approve the measure, “the House vote was seen as the higher hurdle because of resistance from some conservative Republicans, who said the bill did not reduce the federal role enough.” All of the “no” votes came from GOP lawmakers. The Post quotes Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying, “We are encouraged that the bill passed by the House today would codify the vision that we have long advocated for giving a fair shot at a great education to every child in America – regardless of zip code. The bill that the House passed today reflects more of that vision than nearly any observer expected.”
The final text of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which would reauthorize ESEA, was released Monday. The Washington Post reports that the bill, described as a “true compromise,” would “largely shift authority from the federal government to states and districts,” as states will be able to set their own academic goals, design their own systems for judging schools and what should be done for schools that struggle. The bill “attempts to thread the needle between conservatives” who want smaller federal control in education and civil rights groups “who worry that some states…will obfuscate or ignore the poor performance of schools serving low-income and minority students.” The legislation won endorsements on Monday from the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National PTA and the National Governors Association, along with the nation’s two largest teachers unions. The House is “widely expected” to vote on the bill “as early as Thursday.”
The Chicago Sun Times reports the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) will vote whether to strike on December 9. Several weeks ago, 97% of union members said they would authorize a strike if necessary. CTU President Karen Lewis said, “We must show the city, the mayor’s handpicked Board of Education and even our students and parents that Chicago’s public school educators will stand up for what is just and fair, and together we will fight to protect our professions and our classrooms.” The CTU’s last contract expired June 30 and Chicago Public Schools is still struggling to resolve a $480 million budget deficit.
The U.S. Department of Education just approved Ohio’s plan to ensure that low-income students have equitable access to high-quality teachers. Ohio’s plan is one of 42 approved so far as part of the federal “Excellent Educators for All Initiative,” proposing steps to eliminate access gaps with strategies and innovative solutions “to challenging problems that meet local needs.” In Ohio, the plan involves elements you already have been working on:
Read more here about the federal plan.
A Congressional conference committee has approved a bill to revise the No Child Left Behind law signed by President George W. Bush 14 years ago. News media report that the bill allows states to decide whether or how to use student test performance data, especially as they apply to teacher evaluations. It also prohibits the federal government from requiring the use of a particular set of standards, such as the Common Core. It does, however, retain a provision allowing states the power to intervene in the operations of the nation’s lowest-performing 5 percent of schools.
Tickets will go fast for this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Banquet. This year’s event is Jan. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Our keynote will be Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The evening also features two awards made to those who have demonstrated efforts to keep alive the ideas and spirit of the late Dr. King: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Helen Jenkins Davis Award. Tickets to this event are $30 each with tables of eight at $240. To reserve yours, call CEA.
Following the suspension of additional charter school funding, the U.S. Department of Education has told the Ohio Department of Education that it must verify and provide information about its program. A letter from the federal director of the charter schools program stipulates ODE must provide:
Ohio has plans to use federal aid to provide grants of up to $700,000 to applicants seeking to open new charter schools. However, the USDOE suspended the funding and media coverage across the country has focused on the inaccuracies and questionable claims included in the state’s grant application, written by former Ohio school choice director David Hansen. His application claimed that the state had no “poor-performing” charters in the 2012-2013 school year, even though one-third of them didn’t meet a single standard on state report cards that year. He also omitted grades of failing online school, boosting their ratings.
Richard Ross, 65, has announced, via the The Columbus Dispatch, that he will step down Dec. 31 after almost two years as Ohio’s public school superintendent. His announcement comes as the Ohio Department of Education continues to deal with revelations that David Hansen, who ran the charter school program, rigged school data to boost the schools’ ratings. Hansen, whose wife is Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign manager, resigned. The U.S. Department of Education has temporarily halted administration of a $71 million Ohio charter school grant until ODE can assure it the dollars will be spent responsibly. The Ohio Education Association, Youngstown Board of Education, Youngstown Education Association and other education associations also recently filed a lawsuit against Ross, ODE and the State of Ohio to stop the scheduled state takeover of Youngstown City Schools.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Chicago Teachers Union advised its members to prepare for a possible “protracted strike” next year, and the union was expected to take a practice strike vote. The union and Chicago Public Schools are reportedly threatening to strike in response over funding, as the $480 million of the CPS budget that comes from government assistance is still lacking. The paper reported that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged the Chicago Teachers Union not to strike, but rather to unite with Chicago Public School officials in a concerted effort to influence the state to disperse the pension assistance required to avoid layoffs.
The national debate about the role of police officers in school continued days after a school resource officer in Columbia, South Carolina forcibly removed a student from her desk. The Christian Science Monitor reported that many states give school resources officers “broad authority for charging students with minor offenses”, but more states have begun passing legislative changes to narrow their role in school discipline. The U.S. Department of Education recently hosted a summit for school leaders to discuss best practices in school discipline. The article quotes Janel George of the NAACP who argues for removing “willful defiance” as a cause for suspensions and school discipline.
The Hillsborough County (Fla.) schools are dismantling the teacher evaluation system developed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Superintendent Jeff Eakins announced that he has formed a committee to transition away from the $100 million Gates program in favor of a structure that has the strongest teachers mentoring others at their schools. This move comes after a report published Sunday in the Tampa Bay Times showed that the Gates program “fell short of many of its goals and cost more to sustain than the district could afford.” Meanwhile, relations between the district and its teachers union “imploded” on Thursday as salary negotiations for the current school year broke down.
President Obama on Saturday called for a cap on standardized testing as his Administration conceded partial responsibility for the over-reliance on the examinations. Media reporting – including two minutes on CBS – is sympathetic toward the new policy, but also focuses on the previous White House push for the testing as being a significant reason that the education system’s reliance on the tests reached the current level.
Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the former head of Chicago Public Schools, pleaded guilty to fraud on Tuesday, “admitting she steered $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for more than $2 million in kickbacks,” according to ABC World News. Associated Press reported that Byrd-Bennett “faced 20 fraud counts, each with a maximum 20-year prison term.” Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reported that “Byrd-Bennett faces up to about 7 1/2 years in prison” for a single fraud count that her plea agreement required. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Byrd-Bennett issued a “tearful apology” following her plea, in which she said Chicago’s children and educators “deserved much more, much more than I gave to them.” Byrd-Bennett served as CEO of the Cleveland Municipal School District from 1998 to 2006.
Education Week reported that “state and federal leaders, along with some advocates, are raising concerns that the state’s beleaguered charter sector may not deserve, or be ready for, such a windfall.” The article describes years of “scandal-ridden headlines” about Ohio’s charters, and notes that voices on both sides of the charter question “point to the Ohio charter sector as an example of the dysfunction that can arise from lax oversight.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Democratic members of Ohio’s congressional delegation are asking Education Secretary Arne Duncan “pointed questions about the $71 million grant Ohio just received to expand charter schools in the state.” (NEA Opening Bell)
Ohio Department of Education officials applied to the U.S. Department of Education for a boost in charter school funding despite the schools’ poor performance. A number of news outlets reported that federal lawmakers are investigating the details of Ohio’s $71 million charter expansion application because State Superintendent Richard Ross apparently waited until the application was submitted before addressing evidence of charter-school score scrubbing. Meanwhile, the Ohio legislature has sent to Gov. Kasich a bill overhauling charter school regulation.
From the NEA’s “Morning Bell” newsletter: Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s surprise announcement on Friday that he is stepping down generated a large amount of media coverage over the weekend, with reports focusing on the abrupt nature of Duncan’s departure, on his legacies as education secretary, and on President Obama’s decision to tap John B. King Jr. to serve as acting secretary for the remainder of his term. The Associated Press reported that Duncan’s seven years in office were “marked by a willingness to plunge head-on into the heated debate about the government’s role in education.” The Hechinger Report offers insight into Duncan’s “aggressiveness and urgency” as he pushed for more preschool funding and for performance-based teacher evaluations. It notes, however, that the tide is turning toward stronger state control over public education.
The U.S. Department of Education will distribute $157 million to create and expand charter schools throughout the nation, despite criticisms that the agency has done a poor job of overseeing federal dollars sent to charter schools. Read more here.
In related news, the North Carolina Senate voted 25-19 to share with charter schools more sources of funding that were previously available only to public schools. Read about it here.
On Sept. 16, CEA celebrated the progress made through five years of funding from the National Education Association Foundation’s “Closing the Achievement Gaps” project. With more than $1.25 million in seed money to grow partnerships in the community, we initiated the pilot “100% Project” in the 14 schools of the Briggs and Linden-McKinley high school feeder patterns. With CCS and the United Way of Central Ohio, we brought teachers and families closer together; inspired more teachers to grow professionally; expanded teachers’ opportunities to collaborate; and significantly increased third-grade reading and math scores, gains on high school student performance and improvements in the graduation rate.
Pictured at our celebration on Sept. 16 are (left to right): W. Shawna Gibbs, Columbus Board of Education; Tracey D. Johnson, CEA President; Harriett Sanford, CEO of the NEA Foundation; Daniel Good, Columbus City Schools Superintendent; and Gary Baker, President of the Columbus Board of Education.
Your recent issue of the CEA Voice detailed the changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) that begin this year. We want to remind you of their importance.
The process of calculating and including value-added ratings for inclusion in the evaluation process is NEW. This year, ALL teachers must do two Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) at the beginning of the school year.
The Ohio Department of Education has also clarified that any employee who works with students 50 percent or more of the work day must be evaluated using OTES. That means that now, all tutors and part-time hourly teachers will be included in the teacher evaluation process.
Pertinent details of the CCS-adopted format for this school year include:
Half of the teacher rating is based on summative evaluation of performance, while the entire rating for Licensed Support Professionals (LSPs) will be based on performance.
Evaluations are at these intervals, depending on your rating:
Teachers new to CCS will be evaluated by their PAR Consulting Teachers. Teachers who have moved from an LSP position to a teaching position, or vice versa, will move through the full annual evaluation cycle in their new capacities.
The CCS ILEAD Portal will have up-to-date information regarding the CCS teacher evaluation process. If you have specific questions, contact Teri Mullins, CEA (253-4731) or Greg Mild, Office of Learning and Licensure (365-5039).
After failed negotiations, Seattle teachers formed a picket line today. The first day of school has been canceled for all of the district’s 53,000 students. The National Education Association shared that teachers are also going on strike in southeast Washington in Pasco while the state legislature struggles to increase funding for education due to a state supreme court order that sanctions the state $100,000 every day that the lawmakers failed to “adequately pay to educate the state’s 1 million school children.”
The Seattle School Board has voted to take legal action against the striking teachers. The strike in Seattle is the first in 30 years. Read more here.
Register for regular NEA education updates here.
Fun facts for our new school year:
OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro spoke publicly about this issue just as we were getting ready to welcome our students. House Bill 2 was tabled just before summer recess. The bill includes widespread reform for charter schools. It holds sponsors accountable for the schools’ successes and failures. It requires sponsors to monitor each school’s progress and provide technical assistance, including ensuring each has a plan to improve performance. Some legislators and officials want more fiscal transparency as well and some have called for key accounting changes to make it easier to monitor how the schools’ tax dollars are spent.
DiMauro said: “We’re troubled that the opportunity was lost to start a new school year with an improved system, and hope that members of the House will act swiftly to pass the Senate bill and resist pressure from some who profit from the current system to water down the legislation. Given the scandal around the Ohio Department of Education’s failure to enact charter sponsor ratings in a clean and lawful way, the urgency for action is greater than ever.”
The people have spoken:
The result: The U.S. Senate voted 81-17 on July 16 to pass the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act.
Among other things, it provides more opportunity for all students, and reduces the high-stakes associated with standardized tests. The NEA declared that it “returns decision-making to the people who know the names of the students they educate — a paradigm shift from No Child Left Behind that will help restore the original focus on providing opportunities for all students, especially those most in need.”
The House of Representatives passed its own version (voting 218-213), the Student Success Act. The House tweaked it with help from educators, with an amendment to protect schools from being punished when parents choose to opt their children out of standardized tests.
Last week, the top official governing the state’s charter schools — School Choice Director David Hansen — resigned after admitting that he simply left out failing grades for some charter schools in their evaluations. He said that the “F” grades of those schools would “mask successes elsewhere.” Read some thoughts from a fellow educator on the Ohio Education Association’s blog.
Ohio will spend $23.6 million to replace PARCC with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) as its Common Core test provider. AIR will give Ohio’s math and English tests next year, along with the science and social studies tests AIR already gave this past year. Read more about AIR here.
The Ohio Education Association has expressed great disappointment in Governor Kasich’s decision to veto the Tangible Personal Property (TPP) provision. The TPP supplemental foundation aid in FY 2017 was intended to guarantee that districts do not receive less funding (state foundation aid and TPP replacement) than FY 2015 levels. This veto reduces approximately $78.3 million in FY 2017 for nearly 100 districts that are reliant on theses TPP replacement payments – most of them higher-wealth districts.
Legislators sent the governor a budget that included $955 million more in basic state aid for K-12 schools than the last two-year period. But Kasich’s pen stroke – that sealed vetoes on 44 items within the $71 billion budget – cut public school funding by a total of $84 million. Read more here. Read about the state budget here.
Summer break has started – but not at the Statehouse. As the budget deadline nears, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee adopted its own version of the House’s Bill 64, the state budget bill. This version includes fewer dollars for K-12 education than the House version On June 16, the Committee adopted an omnibus amendment with its suggested changes. After the Senate approves of the changes, a conference committee will begin its work to address differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The OEA has compiled an analysis here.
In case you didn’t hear about it, Columbus has had good news about its reading scores: 87 percent of third-graders met the state’s reading requirements and will move on to the fourth grade, compared with about 74 percent last school year. Our strategies are working, and we are not about to stop now. Thirteen percent of our third-graders still are at risk of failing. An extra-special thanks to our social workers, who in recent days have begun going door to door in the district to let families know that their children get another chance to take the reading tests, in July.
As we told you in the May 11 issue of The CEA Voice, the Ohio Senate Advisory Committee on Testing completed its recommendations to improve state testing for next school year:
The 30-member panel, which included CEA member Kimberly Jones (Mifflin MS), took only two months to complete its task. Read the full report here. The Senate is expected to review the proposals.
Under Gov. Kasich’s budget plan, more than half of Ohio’s school districts would receive less funding than in the previous budget. The reason? Formulas that determine which districts are “needy,” and which have the “capacity” to generate more local revenues. Charter schools also receive state funding, and according to a recent study, that funding affects the allocation to school districts. OEA is tracking the developments. See the full story here.
The Ohio Senate’s Advisory Committee on Testing has laid out its plan to address complaints about the time spent on, stress imposed by, and evaluative use of Ohio’s plethora of standardized tests. CEA Governor Kim A. Jones is on the 28-member panel of school teachers, administrators and policy experts. The first meeting, held March 18, focused on the next steps: review of the PARCC and AIR tests, and a review of the testing schedules across the state. The committee recently sent a survey to principals, teachers and superintendent asking them to describe amounts of time spent on testing versus instruction, technology issues they have experienced with the tests, and for any other comments. Jones said she believes the committee will conduct a thorough review. Its report is due later this spring. Learn more here. The committee’s website includes a public comment area.
The Ohio Education Association testified on House Bill 64 (Ohio’s proposed 2016-2017 budget) on March 5 regarding a number of changes to education policy. Among their concerns:
Read more here.
The annual CEA Staff Survey is administered prior to the Article 211 selective interview process in the spring of every year. The results are published prior to Round One postings so that our members can use the survey ratings to help guide any Article 211 decisions they might make. To access the results, go here.
On Feb. 2, Gov. John Kasich presented his proposed budget for 2016 and 2017. It sets limits on standardized testing time and eliminates the fall Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Kasich claims it will provide an additional $700 million in state foundation support to schools. However, the approximate $235 million cut in business’ tangible personal property tax reimbursements to school districts would result in a significantly lower amount. Read OEA’s analysis here.
CEA is offering a wonderful opportunity to learn how you can leverage your CEA membership by getting involved in the issues. We are holding an Organization and Activist Training session from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the OEA headquarters, 225 E. Broad St. There are so many issues that impact our abilities to make a difference on the job: election results, poverty, the availability of mental health resources for our students, OTES, SLOs, PARCC – and so much more. This event includes CEUs. Register at http://bit.ly/orgactivist.
The deadline to apply to become a PAR Consulting Teacher has been extended to Friday, February 27, 2015 at 5pm. Eligible teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree in education, an active teaching license, and a minimum of five years of teaching experience, three of them with CCS. Submit a letter of interest, resume and three reference letters (from your current building administrator, a current CEA member and another professional) to CEA President Tracey D. Johnson, 929 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205.
To download a list of the principal placements for Article 211, click here.
Please note: Article 211 of the Master Agreement permits members to request to staff reduce themselves from schools, programs or buildings for health or safety reasons or for philosophical differences (i.e. instructional program, teaching assignment, etc.). The reduction must be mutually agreed upon by Human Resources and CEA.
If you want to make a request to be staff-reduced from your current teaching assignment based on philosophical differences, you must write a letter that clearly states the reason(s) for your request. Letters should be sent to Victoria Frye, Human Resources, Columbus City Schools, 270 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215. You should hand deliver the letter and ask for a copy to be time stamped for your records. The deadline to request to be staff reduced is Friday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. Emails and faxes will not be accepted. You will not be allowed to make requests for staff-reduction status after Friday, Feb. 13.
CCS is looking for Consulting Teachers (CTs) to join the Peer Assistance & Review (PAR) program. PAR CTs provide consulting, coaching and support services to intern and intervention teachers who enter the PAR program. Eligible teachers must have five years of teaching experience, including three in CCS.
PAR is a nationally recognized program that has become a model throughout the country. CTs also serve as evaluators for the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. Submit a letter of interest, a resume and three reference letters (from your principal, a current CEA member and one other professional) to CEA President Tracey D. Johnson, CEA, 929 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43205.
The deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13 for voluntary staff reductions.
Submit signed written requests – with the specific reasons for your request – to Victoria Frye, Human Resources, Columbus City Schools, 270 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215. Emails and faxes will not be accepted. CEA strongly suggests you hand deliver your letter and request a time-stamped copy.
This is likely the last opportunity for additional voluntary staff reductions until after the Feb. 13 deadline.
Under the gray skies of a cold January afternoon in Franklinton, a new chapter was started in the book of Columbus labor history. On Thursday, Jan. 22, three charter school teachers at the Franklinton Preparatory Academy (FPA), housed at the former CCS Chicago Avenue Elementary School, stood up for their students, their families and their profession. They read a letter to Marty Griffith, the school’s founder, principal and CEO, informing him of their intent to make FPA the first unionized charter school in Central Ohio.
FPA teachers Geral Leka, Ryan Marchese and Julie Pfeifer took turns reading the in the hallway of the school. The teachers were joined by a delegation of supporters, including OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro, OEA Organizers Jeremy Bainman and Matt Ides, Central Ohio Labor Council Executive Director Walt Workman, CEA Vice President Phil Hayes and other community and labor members.
“Today we will file authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board,” read FPA teacher Ryan Marchese, “representing the overwhelming majority of our educators and non-management staff, triggering a representation election to certify Franklinton Preparatory Academy Education Association (FPAEA) as our bargaining agent.”
These three teachers spoke out because they know that their teaching conditions are their students’ learning conditions. Specifically, the teachers addressed the need for a comprehensive discipline policy, adequate educational resources and the respect they deserve as education professionals.
“Educational resources are an important part of every school,” read FPA teacher Julie Pfiefer, “and in order to do the best job possible for our students and administrators we need certain items. These items include textbooks, manipulatives, a fully stocked school library with both fiction and non-fiction books, and videos, just to name a few.
FPA occupies several floors of a former district school– Chicago Avenue ES. CCS opened Chicago Avenue ES in 1897 and closed it 1982, along with Central HS. FPA opened in August of 2013, under the sponsorship of St. Aloysius. Charter School Specialists LLC, a for-profit consulting and operations firm that contracts with numerous charter schools is a partner with FPA.
The National Labor Relations Board will supervise an election to certify the FPAEA as the teachers’ exclusive bargaining representative in about a month and a half. You can read the full letter from the FPA teachers regarding their intent to unionize here.