OEA Representative Assembly Summary

OEA Representative Assembly at Greater Columbus Convention Center: May 8, 2015
BEA Representatives: Mindy Hall, Erin Clary, David Schottner

1. We voted on four ways that OEA will change the way it does business.

a. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to remove the requirement that the OEA Representative Assembly meets twice per year. This would give OEA the flexibility to meet only once per year instead of twice, if the Board of Directors deemed that most appropriate. This could help save financial resources and allow them to be re-allocated to serve other needs within OEA. RAs in recent years have cost anywhere from $50,000 to $110,000. For years, it was held at Veterans Memorial. Having to move to the Convention Center or Schottenstein Center has resulted in huge cost increases. This proposal FAILED.

b. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to give college student members of OEA a voting seat on the OEA Board of Directors. This proposal PASSED.

c. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to pro-rate union dues. Currently, if members join the union in the middle of the year, they are required to pay dues for the entire year. This change would allow local unions to have membership drives that encourage members to join at any time and not be financially penalized. This proposal PASSED.

d. The OEA Board of Directors proposed to change the beginning and ending dates of terms for the offices of OEA President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. They would begin on July 15 instead of September 1 to allow them to transition and acclimate to their new roles prior to the beginning of a new school year. This proposal PASSED.

2. The East Liverpool Education Association shared that they are in crisis, similar to what happened in Reynoldsburg last year. Their school board has imposed a last, best, and final offer and refuses to continue negotiations with a federal mediator. The teachers of East Liverpool have authorized their bargaining team to serve a 10-day notice to strike to the school board.

3. The dues to be an OEA member are going down a few dollars for next school year. Dues are calculated based on the average teacher salary in Ohio. The average salary has decreased due to retirements as well as decreased funding of public education from the state.

4. The OEA Officers have been meeting with the State Superintendent and testifying in front of the State Legislature to advocate for reduced testing requirements and to not eliminate the 5 of 8 rule. Unfortunately, the 5 of 8 rule was eliminated by the State Board of Education. The OEA Officers continue to urge us all to be on alert regarding a potential Right to Work ballot issue coming to Ohio.

Partnership Council Meeting on May 14

BEA Members, please join us for Partnership Council next Thursday, May 14 at 4 PM in the Community Room. It’s a great way to see how collaboratively labor and management work together in Bexley! If you can’t come but have questions or concerns for the agenda, please email erin.clary@bexleyschools.org or david.schottner@bexleyschools.org.

Statewide Educator Symposium

Statewide Educator Evaluation Symposium
Empowering Educators to Improve Student Achievement
Greater Columbus Convention Center
May 25, 2012

All Ohio Educators Are Invited

Principals, teachers, superintendents and administrators, educational service center staff, community school staff and sponsors, board members, and all education stakeholders vested in the process of improving education in Ohio.

Frameworks for Educator Evaluation
Participants will learn about educator evaluation models and promising practices for piloting and implementing the Ohio Principal Evaluation System
and the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.

Please see the attached document for more information.

Hosted by the Ohio Department of Education.

Questions?? Contact Lisa Lyle Henry with ODE at Lisa.Henry@education.ohio.gov.

Grades May Miss What’s Important

A letter from Bexley teacher Deborah Forsblom, as it appeared in the March 17, 2012, Columbus Dispatch:


Grades matter, but grades need to evaluate what matters. In the March 9 Dispatch article “Not so easy,” about the new state school-system evaluations, state Superintendent Stan Heffner said, “Report cards will be easier to understand because the state will issue letter grades instead of using ratings like ‘effective’ and ‘academic watch.’ ” The letter grades may seem easier to understand, but the way in which they are decided is far from simple.

I attended a meeting on March 8 in which Bexley Superintendent Mike Johnson tried to explain to a group why, after 11 straight years of being rated “excellent with distinction,” Bexley would be getting a B. Apparently, the calculations are a conglomerate of many diverse measures, not easily explained to the public and not necessarily measuring what truly matters in a district’s curriculum.

According to Johnson: “The report card does not acknowledge quality issues such as supporting the arts, AP programming, world languages, gifted education, etc. Although our school district will get the B grade, the other indicators of a high-quality education are not acknowledged or reinforced. The report card is minimalistic at best, because it ignores completely the efforts our school district and community are taking to support a high-quality, well-rounded educational experience for its children.”

The new state rating system is a business model. Public schools are not businesses. Public schools teach all the students who come in the door: rich, poor, mentally or physically challenged or outstanding, emotionally healthy or not. There are few or no businesses in which there is no control over raw materials.

Also, the goal of an education is not to have a good test score. Really. The goal of education is to help children explore their potential and become lifelong learners. Districts with no funding for the arts are cheating their students out of a well-rounded education. Districts that teach only what is necessary to get that state “A” are not doing the full job.

We are in the 21st century, and the skills needed for this century — the ability to work in groups, to think critically, to communicate well and to think outside the box — are not necessarily the skills that are being tested. If Ohio wants to create jobs and be competitive, we will need people who have been trained in these skills.

I would like to see a report card that acknowledges districts striving to go forward, not those striving to put out uniform widgets. Who designed this new report card? What was their goal? To spend the least? To have the simplest answer to complicated questions? To make schools look bad? To improve education?

If the latter is the case, I believe this new system will fail. We should be encouraging innovation and creativity, not doing our best to shame districts that are working tirelessly to help children learn.

Everyone should write to their legislators and demand that this system of rating schools be changed from a business model to a 21st-century model and that those who develop the ratings consult with superintendents and teachers while they do it. Don’t wait for school districts to waste valuable time and resources trying to work the numbers.



The Ohio Education Association Reacts to Kasich’s Budget Proposal

March 14, 2012

COLUMBUS – Today Governor Kasich released his mid-biennial budget proposal. The following can be attributed to Ohio Education Association President Patricia Frost-Brooks:

“The first Kasich budget exacted harmful cuts on public schools across Ohio. The result has been larger class sizes, job loss and fewer learning opportunities for students. The Governor has yet to propose a system for funding public schools in our state. So far, we’ve only seen the cuts.

“If the Governor is truly interested in helping all Ohioans, a responsible increase in the current severance tax is needed so that companies pay their fair share. However, this revenue should be used to restore funding to our schools and local communities. Investing in the success of our students and the health and safety of our local communities is a better remedy for Ohio’s economy rather than a modest decrease in the income tax which benefits the wealthy far more than middle class families.”

The Ohio Education Association represents 124,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.

Michele Prater
Media Relations Consultant
Ohio Education Association

A Message from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel

From: NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
Sent: Fri, January 27, 2012 3:57:59 PM
Subject: Thank You

Wednesday night, we convened a great tele-townhall meeting from the White House hosted by NEA Vice-President Lily Eskelsen. I would like to thank the thousands of you who were able to participate. The questions were insightful and the discussion with Lily and our special White House Administration officials, Cecilia Munoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President on Education, was informative.
Now is the time for all of us to mobilize and grow the middle class. Putting people back to work, giving students the opportunities they deserve, and making sure our profession is respected and strengthened must remain a priority for the country. You can learn more about what NEA is doing to advocate on these issues and how you can be involved by joining Education Votes (www.educationvotes.org).

A lot is at stake. We must advocate for a country where we will have a voice on the issues that impact us, our schools, and our communities. We must make the choice between making sure the students we serve get more help and are offered the opportunities to excel, or if they will be forgotten by those who do not make them a priority. Now is the time to fight for a country where there is shared responsibility and everyone gets a fair shot and plays by the same set of rules.
We need your help to make sure that President Obama can continue the path of progress for America. Please join Educators for Obama at www.neafund.org and become an activist.

The voice of educators will be a strong and growing voice and we need you to join us.
Thanks again for your commitment to public education.

Dennis Van Roekel