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Author Topic: Cleveland: School News & Discussion  (Read 73416 times)

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Offline Confiteordeo

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #385 on: February 07, 2012, 11:07:22 PM »
Jackson and others seem to think they can wave a magic wand and everything will be better.  The problem is that the greatest issues that the district faces, the ones that affect student achievement and test scores across the district the most, are well beyond their control.

This is the heart of the issue, but somehow, most people don't get it.  There is wayyyy too much emphasis placed on the role of the district and the teachers on student performance.  They certainly do have an impact, but they're not as big as most people seem to think.

I totally understand why Jackson is doing this, though.  The biggest single factor that keeps families fleeing for the suburbs is the school district, and people want "accountability" from the leadership.  I think his heart is in the right place, and I agree with some of the proposed ideas (year-round school, flexible hours, even the boarding schools.)  To the extent that the district can mitigate the influence of a poor home environment, those are impactful ideas.

I just don't agree that trying for the sake of trying, even if the policies instituted end up being damaging, is a good thing.  I think there are big issues with what he is proposing.

I'm really interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this (if you feel like typing that much!)
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Offline Gramarye

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #386 on: February 08, 2012, 10:02:15 AM »
That plan doesn't sound that bad. The system is clearly broken. I think its better then leaving things as they are.

Well I don't think it sounds that great, either, though in fairness it was short on details.  But the research on the efficacy of teacher merit pay is mixed.

Maybe, but the existing system is a long-running "experiment" on the efficacy of non-merit pay, and the results are clearly negative.  I'll take "mixed" over that.

Quote
The problem is that many teachers don't get into teaching for the money.

This is a non-sequitur.  If it's true (and I have my doubts about that, given that the teachers' unions seem almost 100% interested in pay and benefits rather than in other things that would be more prominent if teachers were not in it for the money), then they would not care whether compensation was merit-based or not.  If it's not true, then merit pay is essential to attracting and retaining better teachers.

From personal experience, I also know that my high school district frequently lost good teachers to better-paying districts; it never lost good teachers to lower-paying school districts just because of some intangible benefit of teaching at the latter.

Quote
Working as a teacher in CMSD is, as I've come to understand, already not very desirable.  To throw another stressor into the mix, and make teachers fight for every penny (of their already meager salaries) based on a lot of factors that are beyond their control, is only likely to make things worse as even more good teachers either avoid taking jobs in the city in the first place or leave at the first suburban job offer they get.

The good ones, particularly the good young ones (i.e., the ones screwed the most by the seniority system), already leave at the first suburban job offer they get.  You can't use a drawback of the existing system as an argument against changing the system.

Quote
Jackson and others seem to think they can wave a magic wand and everything will be better.  The problem is that the greatest issues that the district faces, the ones that affect student achievement and test scores across the district the most, are well beyond their control.

I don't think anyone seriously thinks that any magic wand will make everything better.  Even the most dedicated institutional reformers acknowledge the cultural challenges faced by inner city schools, which cannot be entirely addressed by government action.  Nevertheless, the fact that reform will not solve everything is not an argument against it: The inability to do everything is never an excuse for doing nothing.

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #387 on: February 08, 2012, 11:27:25 AM »
Maybe, but the existing system is a long-running "experiment" on the efficacy of non-merit pay, and the results are clearly negative.  I'll take "mixed" over that.

So what is a district like Solon doing that Cleveland is not?  You do realize that all of the suburban systems in the state that are regarded as exemplary have the exact same "non-merit pay," seniority-based system that Cleveland has, don't you?

This is a non-sequitur.  If it's true (and I have my doubts about that, given that the teachers' unions seem almost 100% interested in pay and benefits rather than in other things that would be more prominent if teachers were not in it for the money), then they would not care whether compensation was merit-based or not.  If it's not true, then merit pay is essential to attracting and retaining better teachers.

Teachers' unions are often these days fighting for a bare minimum of a living wage and benefits for their members as compared to equally educated professionals in other fields.  I should have actually said that no teacher enters the profession to become wealthy, so I apologize for the confusion.  But the overall point of what I'm saying is that teachers still need to be fairly compensated for their time and effort.  Just because many of them followed their hearts into the profession does not mean that they should be exploited.  In fairness though, teacher's unions are also often arguing for other things like class size and conditions that are also beneficial to the children (even if those same things also happen to benefit the teachers).

As I mentioned earlier, studies on merit pay have produced mixed and contradictory results.  It may be worth a shot, but only if there is a high enough salary floor (say $35,000-$40,000 or so) that potential teachers recognize that their basic living needs aren't hinging on one week's worth of test results of kids and families that don't care much about education.  And that's the other condition I'd like to see: There has to be a fair way of judging teachers that truly measures how much value they add and eliminates from the measurement other factors beyond a teacher's control.

From personal experience, I also know that my high school district frequently lost good teachers to better-paying districts; it never lost good teachers to lower-paying school districts just because of some intangible benefit of teaching at the latter.

I think this is more a function of the fact that teachers are generally already paid so little that even a couple extra thousand dollars can make a huge difference in quality of life.  Maybe people who are paid significantly more in other fields (sports would be a good example) can afford to turn down 5-10% raises to move to or stay in their position of choice or a position where they can have the most impact, but not as much with teachers.

The good ones, particularly the good young ones (i.e., the ones screwed the most by the seniority system), already leave at the first suburban job offer they get.  You can't use a drawback of the existing system as an argument against changing the system.

Sure I can, because I'm arguing that although the situation now in attracting good teachers may be bad, it can indeed get worse.  Though I do understand your point.

I don't think anyone seriously thinks that any magic wand will make everything better.  Even the most dedicated institutional reformers acknowledge the cultural challenges faced by inner city schools, which cannot be entirely addressed by government action.  Nevertheless, the fact that reform will not solve everything is not an argument against it: The inability to do everything is never an excuse for doing nothing.

Gray, that was not my argument.  The main point I am making is that I think that the "solutions" being offered could quite possibly make things worse.

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #388 on: February 08, 2012, 11:37:34 AM »
If I were in charge of CMSD, the first thing I would do would be to break up the district into four or five smaller sub-districts that would be extremely autonomous.  Each of these sub-districts would have neighborhood elementary schools and both neighborhood and magnet secondary schools (honors, arts, STEM, alternative/reform/behavioral/remedial, etc.).  Other large urban districts already have similar plans in place with sub-districts and magnet-clusters and I think it could work here if done correctly.

Also, if I were serious about the merit pay plan, I would petition the state to become a pilot district for such a program (since Kasich apparently likes this idea) and kick in some extra money for bonuses to initially attract teachers to come work in the urban school setting since such a plan would, as I mentioned above, very possibly turn away potentially good teachers that are already uncertain about teaching in an urban environment.

I would also look into outsourcing transportation, maintenance, food service, and janitorial services and put every dime of savings back into the classrooms.

For-profit charter schools would have no place in my district and would not receive one red cent.  Non-profit charters would be watched very closely, both for the good and the bad.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 11:39:16 AM by Clevelander17 »

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #389 on: February 08, 2012, 11:41:04 AM »
While the Cleveland school could use a lot of improvement, there are children who get good grades and go on to college, including some good ones. I've known Cleveland school teachers, parents and even some students, and to me the biggest problem isn't the school board, the principals or the teachers. It's the parents. Far too many parents look upon the schools to do their parenting for them, and to provide the bulk of the student's education.

One of my friends who taught at an elementary school in Glenville (which is one of the more stable inner-city neighborhoods) was horrified that when the school asked for a dozen parents to help volunteer to be student monitors during a field trip, only one parent responded. Another time, they did a survey and asked parents who is the most important person to their child's education, and a very small percentage responded "parents."

Until that culture changes, it matters less what the mayor, the school board or anyone else in an official capacity does.
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Offline gottaplan

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #390 on: February 08, 2012, 11:52:01 AM »
the biggest problem isn't the school board, the principals or the teachers. It's the parents. Far too many parents look upon the schools to do their parenting for them, and to provide the bulk of the student's education.

Exactly.  Everyone knows this is the core of the problem at every underperforming urban school across America.  New schools, more computers, more teacher education, etc is not going to change any of that. 

So knowing this is the real problem, why isn't it being faced head on by our leaders?  Why instead is the conversation being focused on new buildings, new CEO's, lower teacher to student ratios, new technology, different testing standards....

Offline surfohio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #391 on: February 08, 2012, 11:59:38 AM »
For-profit charter schools would have no place in my district and would not receive one red cent.  Non-profit charters would be watched very closely, both for the good and the bad.

So you would theoretically shut down a charter that was outperforming a neighboring public?

Some Charters are great. Some are terrible.

You're painting with too broad a brush.

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #392 on: February 08, 2012, 02:15:55 PM »
For-profit charter schools would have no place in my district and would not receive one red cent.  Non-profit charters would be watched very closely, both for the good and the bad.

So you would theoretically shut down a charter that was outperforming a neighboring public?

Some Charters are great. Some are terrible.

You're painting with too broad a brush.

The ones that are "great" (and there really aren't that many in this category) tend to be great because they're getting highly-motivated students/families.  They're basically magnet schools that have a little more flexibility in certain areas and maybe a little less public funding (though they don't necessarily spend less because oftentimes funding comes from other places).

I think charters have some promise and benefits, don't get me wrong, but I don't see them as the panacea for urban education that they're often described as.

But to directly answer your question, there would be no such thing as for-profit charter schools in my hypothetical district.  Non-profit charters would have a limited role, but I'd want to see them partnered with and sponsored/managed/hosted by other non-profit entities like CSU, CWRU, CC, UH, CMA etc.  I'd be very cautious about bringing corporations into the mix, though I think they could potentially have a role to play.

Some of the best schools in the country are also "lab schools" run by universities.

Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #393 on: February 08, 2012, 02:16:54 PM »
But its not all the parents fault. I know a child who went to charter school and was a slow learner. In second grade the very involved mother switched the child into CMSD for a reason I cannot remember, and the child had to skip to the fourth grade because of his level of intelligence. So the standard of knowledge for a second grader at the charter school was equal to the standard of knowledge of a fourth grader at CSMD.

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #394 on: February 08, 2012, 03:00:40 PM »
But its not all the parents fault. I know a child who went to charter school and was a slow learner. In second grade the very involved mother switched the child into CMSD for a reason I cannot remember, and the child had to skip to the fourth grade because of his level of intelligence. So the standard of knowledge for a second grader at the charter school was equal to the standard of knowledge of a fourth grader at CSMD.

Nothing is "all" one thing or another.

My point is that this year's 10-year plan to remake the school district anymore than the last one. It may help. It may target some of the problem areas. But the most important persons to a child's education is the parents. And I think you will discover there is a marked difference between the parental involvement of students in urban/poor vs. suburban/rural/wealthier districts.

But what politician is going to issue a plan to tell parents how to raise their kids and expect to be re-elected? Yet politicians can ask Americans to give their lives for their country and still get re-elected....
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Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #395 on: February 08, 2012, 03:07:57 PM »
So the standard of knowledge for a second grader at the charter school was equal to the standard of knowledge of a fourth grader at CSMD.

Ignoring context for a moment because we have no idea what schools you're talking about or any other details about the anecdote, but even if we did there's no way anyone could draw such a conclusion from such a limited piece of information about one student's experience.

Online Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #396 on: February 08, 2012, 03:42:21 PM »
Maybe, but the existing system is a long-running "experiment" on the efficacy of non-merit pay, and the results are clearly negative.  I'll take "mixed" over that.

You'd have a point if you can link the school system's failures or shortcomings to teacher performance, which I don't think you can without 'mixed' results.


If it's true (and I have my doubts about that, given that the teachers' unions seem almost 100% interested in pay and benefits rather than in other things that would be more prominent if teachers were not in it for the money)

Not true.  Absolutely not true.  Classroom size, course material budgets, safety, and testing are just a few issues that Teachers unions use their collective efforts to improve year in and year out.

This whole idea that unions are just a bunch of greedy bullies runs contra to the fact that unions were created to collectively fight back against greedy bullies.   
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Offline Gramarye

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #397 on: February 08, 2012, 04:14:12 PM »
Maybe, but the existing system is a long-running "experiment" on the efficacy of non-merit pay, and the results are clearly negative.  I'll take "mixed" over that.

You'd have a point if you can link the school system's failures or shortcomings to teacher performance, which I don't think you can without 'mixed' results.

Of course if I accept that rule, then nothing will ever change because the shortcomings will never be attributable to one single cause.

The establishment does not get a presumption in its favor.  Not in politics.  This isn't a courtroom.  Therefore, why don't you prove that merit pay is a bad idea?

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #398 on: February 08, 2012, 04:32:13 PM »
But what politician is going to issue a plan to tell parents how to raise their kids and expect to be re-elected? Yet politicians can ask Americans to give their lives for their country and still get re-elected....

I think this is the lynchpin of the argument.  In a few hours, this forum discussion already got sidetracked by talking about teachers unions, class sizes, standardized testing, etc, yet everyone agrees parental involvement is #1 factor in a child's success in school.   

Hmmm....  what could possibly motivate these people to be more involved with their children's educations.....

Offline surfohio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #399 on: February 08, 2012, 04:44:25 PM »
For-profit charter schools would have no place in my district and would not receive one red cent.  Non-profit charters would be watched very closely, both for the good and the bad.

So you would theoretically shut down a charter that was outperforming a neighboring public?

Some Charters are great. Some are terrible.

You're painting with too broad a brush.

The ones that are "great" (and there really aren't that many in this category) tend to be great because they're getting highly-motivated students/families.  They're basically magnet schools that have a little more flexibility in certain areas and maybe a little less public funding (though they don't necessarily spend less because oftentimes funding comes from other places).

I think charters have some promise and benefits, don't get me wrong, but I don't see them as the panacea for urban education that they're often described as.

But to directly answer your question, there would be no such thing as for-profit charter schools in my hypothetical district.  Non-profit charters would have a limited role, but I'd want to see them partnered with and sponsored/managed/hosted by other non-profit entities like CSU, CWRU, CC, UH, CMA etc.  I'd be very cautious about bringing corporations into the mix, though I think they could potentially have a role to play.


First off, thanks for answering. Second, I should preface my comments with: My wife works tirelessly as a teacher and an administrator at a public charter school.  While the school does center on some interesting educational methods, overall it's a pretty normal, but with smaller class sizes.

So I am biased. But I also have a good knowledge of the teachers and students that are so important in her life. I grade their papers, and as an aside, I know right quick which students have parent(s) that value education.

Not every kid is cut out for public school. Heck, not every teacher is cut out for public school. So if a public charter is offering

- something outside the box
- something that works
- and parents see that school as an attractive option

then it just doesn't seem right to deny them that opportunity.

Online Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #400 on: February 08, 2012, 04:54:24 PM »
^You grade their papers?

Therefore, why don't you prove that merit pay is a bad idea?

For teachers, I don't know if I can.  For other public employees, particularly safety forces, history has already proven that it leads to corruption and chronyism.

And, to be clear, it is not the CONCEPT of merit pay which I have a problem with.  The concern is how do you accurately and fairly measure merit in the teaching profession.  If you show me a good merit system, I would be interested to look at it.  If you tell me we will measure merit of teachers largely based on standardized test results, I'll be adamant against it.
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Offline surfohio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #401 on: February 08, 2012, 05:04:06 PM »
^ sure I grade papers! Believe me, it's pretty humbling when I need the answer key for 3rd grade vocabulary questions.

^ Gram, I cannot think of a fair, accurate and worthwhile method to measure teacher performance. I'd be fearful of even more blanket reliance on standardized testing.

Offline Gramarye

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #402 on: February 08, 2012, 06:30:15 PM »
^You grade their papers?

Therefore, why don't you prove that merit pay is a bad idea?

For teachers, I don't know if I can.  For other public employees, particularly safety forces, history has already proven that it leads to corruption and chronyism.

And, to be clear, it is not the CONCEPT of merit pay which I have a problem with.  The concern is how do you accurately and fairly measure merit in the teaching profession.  If you show me a good merit system, I would be interested to look at it.  If you tell me we will measure merit of teachers largely based on standardized test results, I'll be adamant against it.

How do you measure merit in any profession?

Is there a quantifiable way to measure a good attorney vs. a bad attorney?  (Simply avoiding malpractice suits isn't good enough to be "good.")  Probably not.  Does that lack of quantifiable measurements mean there's no such thing as better and worse attorneys?  Hardly.

What about a plumber, carpenter, or electrician?  Well, not flooding the building or setting it on fire is a start, but once again, even beyond that, there are clearly better and worse skilled tradesmen.  Union and other professional certifications can help distinguish some people, and those can be worth a lot, depending on how selective a given qualification is.  Beyond that, though, you have to go by reputation and other factors that quantification-obsessed people nervous.

The same applies to teaching.  I seriously do not understand the special treatment it gets or the special status it enjoys in some people's minds.  It is not alone among professions that make quantifying quality difficult.  Yet in all other professions, we generally trust executives to hire the right people and accept that some will get it wrong, even in cases where others can get hurt in the process (because the construction company hires a bad plumber and the house floods, or the firm hires a bad attorney and a client gets screwed, or the trucking company hires a bad driver and the customers' cargo ends up in a ditch).

The only way this insistence that we cannot distinguish between good and bad teachers makes any sense is as a union-generated PR campaign to protect the sinecures of the most senior members of the profession.  At the end of the day, rules as rigid as the current system only makes sense if you have absolutely zero confidence in the judgment of principals and school boards.  The alternative is that one seriously believes that every single teacher is cut from completely identical cloth and that every single teacher gains an identical amount of skill with each passing year.

I don't care if some teachers keep their jobs under a more flexible system because they're popular sports coaches, some keep their jobs because they're relatives of the principal, and some keep their jobs because they're better at office politics.  I would consider even that preferable to the current system.

At this very moment, with levies dropping like flies, there are going to be significant teacher layoffs at the end of this year.  These will almost all fall on graduates of the Class of 2008 and later.  Is that fair?  Did we really become that much bigger of idiots in the last four years that we should not bother looking at the individual aptitudes of any of our teachers and just assume that anyone who graduated after then must be the chaff that can be tossed out to balance the bottom line?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 06:34:27 PM by Gramarye »

Online Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #403 on: February 08, 2012, 07:14:58 PM »
I think other professions lend themselves to result oriented analysis much easier than teaching.  I don't think you can compare teaching kids with whether you are capable of unclogging a sink.  And I'd like to see how you would perform as an attorney when your client does not get you what you need and doesn't even show up for court.  We are talking about public school teachers here and there really isn't a comparable to use.... not even their private school counterparts.

And you can keep parroting that 'union-generated' (fill in what's wrong with the world) BS, but these are real concerns held by many like myself who aren't in the teaching profession, aren't in any union, and are able to see past any PR no matter who is generating it.

You are also, consciously or not, following the script by trying to leave the impression that management cannot assess merit in deciding who to retain year in and year out.  'Bad Teacher' was a movie.  That's not real life.  If you don't do your job, the school board can fire you.  If you are a 'bad teacher', the school board can fire you.  Try being a teacher and don't show up for class, or hit a kid, or drink at your desk and then see how much your union can help you.  Of course, those are extreme examples and the board's discretion goes way beyond that in terms of finding just cause to terminate a teacher.  But that is a wholly separate issue from merit pay and the situation you brought it back to which is when a reduction in force occurs.

In layoff situations, then yes, one of the main purposes of the union is to protect the most senior workers and I think you know why since I trust you have read your history on this topic.
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Offline Flee2theCleve

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #404 on: February 08, 2012, 09:15:18 PM »
Did anyone see the news about the partnership / collaboration between Akron u and Akron city schools?

Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #405 on: February 26, 2012, 05:36:42 PM »
Cleveland kids' fate rests in legislators' shaky hands: Brent Larkin

When it comes to Cleveland's future, Mayor Frank Jackson's plan to save the schools isn't a matter of pass or perish.

But it's awfully close.

As Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly begin to marshal their feeble excuses not to give Jackson the legislation he needs to implement his plan -- and they're already busy doing just that -- they should keep this in mind:

A "no" vote is essentially a vote in favor of Cleveland's demise. It's a vote in favor of keeping Cleveland's children mired in a life of poverty.

Jackson is hardly one prone to overstatement. Keep that in mind when considering what he told me last week:
"I've never had an attitude that the city is just dying away. But if we do not do this, then I don't care what other positive things we do in this city. If we do not do this and begin to achieve educational excellence, Cleveland and this region is doomed."

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/02/cleveland_kids_fate_rests_in_l.html

Offline Boreas

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #406 on: February 26, 2012, 08:53:28 PM »
The comments section after Larkin's opinion column was worth reading. 
It had more details than Larkin's editorial. 
Thanks for posting
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Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #407 on: March 12, 2012, 01:12:24 PM »
Mayor Frank Jackson's plan to revamp Cleveland schools still needs legislative support

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mayor Frank Jackson wants to make it easier for the city's public school brass to fire or re-assign ineffective teachers to help turn around low-performing buildings.

The Democratic mayor also wants the school system to share school revenue raised through tax measures with high-performing Cleveland charter schools, a holistic schooling approach aimed at reversing the city's dismal record for educating children.

"We're past this fight about whether or not you are a public or charter school. We're past that," Jackson told The Plain Dealer. "We're focusing on quality education for Cleveland children, and it doesn't matter to me whether you are a public or a charter."

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2012/03/bad_teachers_funding_charter_s.html

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #408 on: March 12, 2012, 03:16:25 PM »
Charter schools have gone from being laboratories of innovation to being a money grab for private corporations and a way for conservative politicians to put teachers in their place.  Reading more about Jackson's plan and hearing from actual teachers in the district, I'm quite skeptical of what he's trying to do.

Offline jar3232

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #409 on: March 17, 2012, 10:48:00 AM »
There seems to be a lot of mis-information about teachers unions in this thread, especially regarding merit pay. While hts has done a great job detailing some of the negatives, there a lot more.  if there is interest I would be happy to clarify further.

While i am not a member of CTU, I do sit on the board of directors for the states largest teacher union, the Ohio Educational Association (OEA), and locally on the North Eastern Ohio Educational Association (NEOEA).  I have been a "union" leader for 3 years and currently running for reelection.   I represent ~5,000 teachers locally.  There is no aspect of the "union" I am not familiar with.  I sit on several committess within the organization (internal political action, information systems, local leadership and development, new member orientation and a couple smaller ones )  I am also a 10 year vetern in the classroom. 

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #410 on: March 22, 2012, 12:56:34 PM »
There seems to be a lot of mis-information about teachers unions in this thread, especially regarding merit pay. While hts has done a great job detailing some of the negatives, there a lot more.  if there is interest I would be happy to clarify further.

I'd like to hear your opinion on the negatives of merit pay, eliminating LIFO/seniority, and tenure.  These are changes that are often called for by "reform" advocates, but I'm not sure what the research shows on those measures. 

Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #411 on: March 22, 2012, 01:02:55 PM »
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's school plan gets show of support from bipartisan group of lawmakers

COLUMBUS, Ohio A bipartisan cast of Statehouse lawmakers stood with Mayor Frank Jackson Wednesday and pledged to move forward soon with a dramatic reshaping of Cleveland public schools through legislation.

While the lawmakers, including two Cleveland Democrats -- Sen. Nina Turner and Rep. Sandra Williams -- stopped short of fully embracing Jackson's school plan, they sounded ready to shake up the status quo.

Williams, who heads the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, told reporters at the Statehouse news conference that she agreed with most of Jackson's plan but still had a few reservations about the bill's collective bargaining provisions.

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2012/03/jacksons_school_plan_gets_show.html

Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #412 on: April 01, 2012, 01:19:15 PM »
Cleveland residents back Mayor Frank Jackson's plan for city schools, poll shows

CLEVELAND, Ohio Cleveland residents aware of Mayor Frank Jackson's plan to improve schools in the city support it by a 2-to-1 ratio, according to a poll sought by Jackson and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.
Sixty percent of those people said they have a positive opinion of the plan.

The poll by the Triad Research Group in Rocky River also shows support for Jackson's plan rising to 75 percent after respondents were questioned about issues the Cleveland School District faces and about parts of the mayor's plan.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/04/poll_shows_overwhelming_number.html
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 01:19:49 PM by ClevelandOhio »

Offline TBideon

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #413 on: April 01, 2012, 02:41:39 PM »
A nice try but a worthless effort, and we all know it in our hearts.

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #414 on: April 01, 2012, 03:02:36 PM »
A nice try but a worthless effort, and we all know it in our hearts.

Wow, such defeatism. Sorry, but no effort is ever worthless. Even some of the most horrific crimes against humanity had some worth, such as in lessons learned.
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Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #415 on: April 01, 2012, 03:20:11 PM »
A nice try but a worthless effort, and we all know it in our hearts.

Worthless?  The only "worthless" effort is none!  The economy has changed in Cleveland its become a white collar city.  Now that people WANT to live in Cleveland and perceive that the school system is its worst asset, he needs to make a change with a LTP!  Seems like this plan has a good buy in with current residents and set the foundation for future residents.

But of course, you have a better plan for the schools, right? ::) ::) ::)
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Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #416 on: April 01, 2012, 04:24:53 PM »
In moving forward with this plan, it seems a lot of assumptions are being made about the ability to accurately and fairly judge "performance," whether it be of individual teachers or entire schools. 

A lot of what passes for education "reform" these days is nothing more than the implementation unproven right-wing ideas rooted in "market" forces that are supposed to magically improve everything.  Unfortunately you're now starting to see a lot of Democrats, like Jackson in this case, being snookered into implementing these ideas because they're desperate in trying to improve something for which there is no magic bullet.

Offline TBideon

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #417 on: April 01, 2012, 04:30:07 PM »
Kjp, there may be some value in the effort on an emotional level, but it doesn't come close to addressing the root problems of our academic failures, because we are unwilling to address reality and instead come up with feel-good, politically correct band aids that have failed miserably for over 40 years. I find all these efforts and plans and political self-congratulations pointless and cliche.

You want to fix public education? It cannot be done in today's inner city communities, not on any grand and meaningful scale unless we make some radical changes to federal and local laws that would never ever happen. School closings, teacher reviews, union compromises, etc, have nothing to do with our academic failures,  yet we focus on those because we're too afraid to attack the real culprits: kids and parents, for various complex reasons, who just don't care and challenge attempts at reform on every level. Not all of them, but enough to destroy any attempts at an education comparable to our western and eastern friends overseas.

Personally I believe we need to rethink the idea of what an American citizen is defined as, and tie it in with education on some level..... which of course would never happen. And yet it would make a world of difference if our  governments had the balls to pass such reforms.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 04:31:59 PM by TBideon »

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #418 on: April 01, 2012, 06:26:35 PM »
No initiative, however wonderful, ever accomplishes everything you want. There is always compromise to satisfy divergent stakeholders. I've seen some real progress in the school district over the past decade, with some schools (School of the Arts, Alcott, Whitney Young, John Hay, MC2STEM, etc.) performing as well as if not better than suburban counterparts. Another 20 schools are performing as well. You take every little bit of progress you can get, work to maintain it, and bring up the others that aren't progressing. But you NEVER EVER STOP TRYING when it comes to children. If you're going to stop trying, then how are you any better than the students, parents, teachers, administrators or policymakers you fault?
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Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Cleveland: School News & Discussion
« Reply #419 on: April 02, 2012, 01:29:11 PM »
No initiative, however wonderful, ever accomplishes everything you want. There is always compromise to satisfy divergent stakeholders. I've seen some real progress in the school district over the past decade, with some schools (School of the Arts, Alcott, Whitney Young, John Hay, MC2STEM, etc.) performing as well as if not better than suburban counterparts. Another 20 schools are performing as well. You take every little bit of progress you can get, work to maintain it, and bring up the others that aren't progressing. But you NEVER EVER STOP TRYING when it comes to children. If you're going to stop trying, then how are you any better than the students, parents, teachers, administrators or policymakers you fault?

I hope you realize what a lot of those success stories (including almost all of the ones you mentioned specifically by name) have in common.

I don't really buy the idea that change for the sake of change is always a good thing, especially as that idea pertains to education, and in particular changes that are meant to hammer teachers.