TAWLS Tuesday 12/8/15

ESEA Reauthorization:  The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the reauthorization of ESEA by today.  This would mean the end of No Child Left Behind and more opportunity for students to learn.  If passed, the bill will go to the president’s desk to be signed into law.  This new version of the law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177) is a big step forward.  It will make great strides on what really matters-whether students in all ZIP codes have equitable access to textbooks, AP classes and state of the art equipment.  It will also help ensure that educators’ voices are part of the decisions, reduce the number of standardized tests and decouple the high stakes attached to them.

Kindergarten Petition:  Thank you to all TAWLS members who took the time to sign the kindergarten cutoff date petitions that have been circulating throughout the district.  This is an issue that effects all of us regardless of what grade level we teach.  Please return petitions to Lisa Raczkowski at Monac by this Friday, December 11th.

Changes Effective January 1, 2016:  Click below for a document that outlines the procedural details of how current and future improvement plans will be represented in eTPES. Please review in order to understand how these changes affect you and take a moment to read your next Ohio Schools magazine for information on the Ohio Professional Development Standards as they relate to existing and any future improvement plans.  OEA staff are available to answer any questions you might have about the attached sheet. Feel free to email Torian Hodges-Finch your questions so he can get the answers for you.

Changes Effective Jan 1 2016

Gratitude:  The Employee Memorial Scholarship Committee would like to send a big THANK YOU! to Jennifer Gent, Seth Evearitt & Theresa Evearitt for all of their hard work on the 2015 Candy Budd Amazing Race!  We would also like to  thank everyone that participated in the event in remembrance of Candy and in support of the Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund!  An AMAZING $2,111.04  was raised through the event!
It is amazing what we can do together! TAWLS STRONG!

Board Meeting:  A special meeting has been scheduled for Friday, December 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM.  The purpose of this meeting is to address consideration of personnel matters.

TAWLS Tuesday 11/10/15

OTES Made Simple:  If you have any questions about OTES, SLO’s, Value Added, Student Growth Measures, Safe Harbor, Teacher Evaluation, eTPES, our OEA Holland Office has the answers for you!  They are bringing OEA’s resident expert on such subjects, Ellen Adornetto, here from Columbus to help you sort through the confusion. OTES MADE SIMPLE – click here for more information!

Elementary Caucus:  This year’s Elementary Caucus will be held at Meadowvale on Tuesday, November 17, from 3:45-5:30 pm.   We will spend half of the time looking at past concerns along with new issues. During the other half we will be looking at elementary concerns for the upcoming contract negotiations. The main topics for the first half of the meeting will be planning time, data collection, starting date for entry to kindergarten,class size, and technology. Some of these topics may also be carried over into the second half discussion.  We are interested in having TAWLS members speak for 1-2 minutes on these above mentioned topics. If you have anydata, concerns, or solutions on any of these topics and you would be willing to share, please email Lisa Raczkowski at Monac.

SB Lit Drop:  A HUGE thanks to the following TAWLS members who assisted with the TAWLS SB Lit Drop!!  Fritz Schermbeck, Megan Tuttle, Samantha Kasparian, Rachael Szymanski, Kitty Boudouris, Crystal Anderson, Marissa Veronica, Amy Hannan, Pam Klem, Paige Scott, Jen Gent, Matt Durham, Kim Rupley, Erin Piasecki, Tracy Hovest, Sue Wagner, Micki Hetzel, Danielle Boyd, Nicole Dotson, Kari Frindt, Lisa Raczkowski, Chris Hodnicki, Rhea Young, Karen Herrera and Wendy McCall.

HB2 (Charter School Reform Bill):  Governor Kasich signed HB2 on November 1st, this bill will become effective 90 days.  This wide-ranging bill seeks to make repairs to Ohio’s broken charter system.  Reforms include stronger performance, accountability and reporting requirements for charter school sponsors, governing boards and operators.

HB377 (Right to Work Bill):  A “Right to Work” is WRONG Bill that applies to private employees has recently been introduced in the Ohio House by Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati).  A similar bill that would apply to public employees has not been introduced YET.  OEA strongly opposes this bill and will work with the WE ARE OHIO coalition to try to stop it if it should gain any traction.  The trick-titled “Right to Work” legislation is WRONG.  It is a deceptive effort to pay working people lower wages, take-away hard earned benefits and undermine workplace safety requirements.  It is being pushed by a small group of out-of-state billionaires and millionaires who stand to gain even more by stripping workplace people of these rights.

 

TAWLS Elementary Caucus Tuesday, November 17

This year’s Elementary Caucus will be held at Meadowvale on
Tuesday, November 17, from 3:45-5:30 pm.

 

  We will spend half of the time looking at past concerns and new issues. The other half we will be looking at elementary concerns for the coming negotiations. The main topics for the first half of the meeting will be planning time, data collection, starting date for entry to kindergarten, class size, and technology. Some of these topics may also be carried over into the second half.  We are interested in having any TAWLS member speak for 1-2 minutes on these topics. If you have any data, concerns or solutions on any of these topics and you would be willing to share, please email Lisa Raczkowski at Monac, and let her know.  All topics above involve everyone at the elementary level. We are professionals and we need to work together to provide the best learning environment and educational opportunities for our students.  We look forward to hearing your voice at the caucus.

 

TAWLS Tuesday…Friday Edition (10/2/2015)

WLS School Board Candidate Forum:  TAWLS and the WLS Administration are partnering together to host a School Board Candidate Forum on Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Whitmer Auditorium beginning at 7:00 PM.  The event will be moderated by WTOL news anchor Jerry Anderson and will allow all candidates to express their interest and qualifications for serving on the WLS school board. All candidates will have the opportunity to have their voices heard as they each respond to questions that have been developed collaboratively by TAWLS and Administration.  We encourage all of our TAWLS members to attend if possible and hope we can count on you to help spread the word.  

Candidate Flyer

House Bill 2 Update:  The Ohio House of Representatives is back in session after a summer recess without having completed action on HB 2, a bi-partisan charter school reform bill that was passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate last June.

We urge you to contact your State Representative and ask him or her to support the Senate version of HB 2, so that long-overdue accountability and transparency reforms can be enacted without further delay.

A vote could happen as soon as today.

“Students in Ohio are being ill-served by the large number of poor-performing charter schools,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “There is broad, bi-partisan consensus that the problems that have plagued Ohio’s charter schools need to be fixed and the time to act is now.”

Among the key provisions in the Senate-passed version of HB 2:

  • Stronger accountability and oversight measures for charter school sponsors/authorizers;
  • Greater transparency for how charter school operators spend large sums of public funds;
  • Higher expectations for the Ohio Department of Education to protect students by holding charter schools accountable for performance and complying with the law.

“These are modest, common sense reforms in the charter reform bill passed by the Senate,” said Higgins.  “House Republicans, including one of the co-sponsors of HB 2, and Democrats have voiced support for the changes made by the Senate.  Again, we urge the House to move swiftly to pass HB 2.”

TAWLS BANQUET:    Mark your calendar!  This year’s banquet is being held on Thursday, April, 28, 2016.  The TAWLS Banquet Committee is in need of additional volunteers to serve on the committee.  If you are available to assist, please contact Joy Roberts for further information.

OEA Calendars:  If you would like an OEA calendar, please contact Rhea Young.

OPPORTUNITY to have your voice heard in the development of Ohio’s new state tests

Below is an OPPORTUNITY to have your voice heard in the development of Ohio’s new state tests

Department seeks more participants to help develop Ohio’s state tests in English language arts and mathematics

The Ohio Department of Education is now accepting applications for participants to serve on assessment committees. Ohio’s educators and content specialists play a vital role in creating valid and reliable assessments by serving on these committees.

Standard-Setting Committees for English Language Arts and Mathematics

The committee for each test will meet only one time to set the test performance levels using “cut scores” or threshold scores. To develop these, committee members will determine the threshold score a student must earn on a test to have his or her performance classified into one of several performance levels. The department will report the results of Ohio’s state tests in English language arts and mathematics according to five performance levels, ranging from one through five.

For the standard setting panels, the department must select Ohio educators from across the state who have expertise in the content and grade levels for which they apply.

To determine the performance levels, panelists will participate in several rounds of discussion and decision-making. In the initial round, panelists make their own individual judgments on the threshold scores. In a second and possibly third round, committee members review “feedback” that includes judgments made by other panelists and/or impact data that indicates the percentage of students who would perform at each level if Ohio used the threshold scores from the initial round. Following this feedback review, panelists may adjust their judgments. By the conclusion of each meeting, the panels will produce recommended threshold scores for each performance level of the state tests in English language arts and mathematics in their grade level and content area.

These meetings will be held in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 15-17, 2015.

Please note the following:

·       Meeting participants who are more than 45 miles from the meeting location, hotel accommodations will be provided;

·       All eligible meeting participants will have the cost of substitute teachers directly reimbursed to school districts;

·       All meeting participants will receive reimbursement for mileage within the state of Ohio ($.52 cents per mile);

·       Meeting participants will receive a stipend of $75 per day if they will not receive payment from their employers for the dates of the meeting.

·       Participants will receive expense forms and reimbursement guidelines at the meeting.

Those who are interested in participating on either of the standard-setting committees or wish to nominate someone else may complete the application at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H7KF2C2.

Applicants should describe the nominee’s experience in education, including expertise with Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts or mathematics. Please be sure to identify grade level and content area assignment preferences. Submit applications for a standard-setting committee by 4 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Selected applications will receive notification during the week of Nov. 9, 2015. Please be sure to include an active email address for notifications. Applications MUST BE COMPLETED to be considered for participation on a committee.

Range-finding Committees for English Language Arts and Mathematics

Every test has an ongoing range-finding committee that meets after test questions undergo field testing. The committee members review scoring guidelines for test questions that are open-ended and require written responses or questions that use a rubric or set of parameters to score the question. These committees establish the range of acceptable responses, including no credit, partial credit and complete credit. They use sample student responses to help determine the range. Committee members will meet in late spring on dates that will be announced at a later time.

Those who are interested in participating on one of the range-finding committees or wish to nominate someone else may complete the application at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H7KF2C2.

On the application, please describe the nominee’s experience in education, including expertise with Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts or mathematics. Also, please identify grade level and content area assignment preferences. Submit applications by 4 p.m. EST on Friday, January 29. Selected participants will receive notification by the end of February. Please be sure to include an active email address for notifications. Applications MUST BE COMPLETED to be considered for participation on a committee.

 We hope you will be interested in nominating yourself or a representative of your district or organization to serve on one of these committees.

TAWLS Tuesday 9/15/15

Amazing Race:  The Third Annual Candy Budd Amazing Race will be taking place on Saturday, October 3rd beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Sidelines Sports Eatery & Pub.  The team that completes the most tasks in the shortest amount of time will be declared the winners.  All funds raised will benefit the Washington Local Employee Scholarship Fund.  This event is a public event open to EVERYONE…not just TAWLS Members.
CBC Road Rally Flyer 2015
Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Registration Cost is $20.00 per participant
Registrations should be sent to McGregor School Attention:  Theresa Evearitt
Questions??  Contact Jen Gent at jgent@wls4kids.org

 Volunteers Needed:  We are in need of volunteers to supervise the pit stops during the Candy Budd Amazing Race.  Volunteers would be required to verify that a challenge has been completed and then provide the team with the clue to their next pit stop.  If you are available to help, please email jgent@wls4kids.org

 OEA Delegate ElectionsAt this time TAWLS is seeking nominations for delegates to represent TAWLS at the Ohio Representative Assembly (RA).  So…what is the RA?

 The Representative Assembly (RA) is the policy-making body of the Association. The OEA RA meets semi-annually in the fall and spring in Columbus, OH to establish Association policies and objectives, elect officers, establish dues, adopt Association budget, adopt/evaluate a legislative program, act on resolutions, act on new business items and conduct necessary business. The RA is comprised of members who have been elected as delegates to represent their local associations.  Dates for this year’s RA are December 5, 2015 and May 13-14 2016.  Hotel, mileage and food expenses incurred by delegates is reimbursed by TAWLS.

If you are able to represent TAWLS, please email Jennifer Mayo jmayo@wls4kids.org by Friday, September 18th!

 OEA Press Release 9/14/15: 

Ohio teacher unions jointly call for independent investigation of ODE’s role in charter school data rigging!

Columbus – The Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers today sent a letter to the Ohio State Board of Education President Thomas Gunlock. Following is the text of that letter:

 Dear President Gunlock,

As representatives of Ohio’s professional educators, we share the concern that you and other members of the Ohio Board of Education have expressed about the apparent violation of the law that occurred in the decision by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to exclude the poor grades of online schools in the evaluation of charter school sponsors. In light of the recent disclosure that this decision was made without the apparent knowledge of State Superintendent Ross, we urge you and colleagues on the Board to support an independent investigation of what happened at ODE.

While we welcome the stated intention of Dr. Ross to examine the breakdown in the internal control process, we believe that an external investigation is warranted in order to restore public trust in the decision-making process at ODE. As you know, there is broad bipartisan support on both the Board of Education and in the General Assembly for greater charter school accountability and transparency, and ODE has a critical role to play in achieving that goal. An investigation of the data manipulation by Mr. Hansen and the knowledge that others in the Department had of that decision would help to restore public confidence in ODE’s ability to be a fair and impartial evaluator of charter school sponsors.

 Everyone with a stake in Ohio’s education system – policy makers, administrators, educators, charter school sponsors and operators, and above all the students – is hurt by the dismal performance of too many charter schools in this state. Reading media accounts that refer to charters in Ohio as “a national joke” makes us wince. An investigation of what occurred at ODE in the manipulation of data for charter school sponsor ratings is critical to turning around the perception and reality of charter school performance in Ohio.

 We urge you to join those State Board members who are seeking an independent investigation of what took place at ODE in the decision to exclude certain data in ODE’s ratings of charter school sponsors.

 Thank you.
Sincerely,
Becky Higgins, President, Ohio Education Association
Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers
cc:           Dr. Richard Ross, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Members of the State Board of Education

 WLS Board Meetings:  A special WLS board meeting is scheduled for tonight at 5:00 PM at Lincolnshire.  The regularly scheduled September Board Meeting is tomorrow, September 16th , same time, same place.  TAWLS members are always encouraged to attend.

2015: LETTER FROM TAWLS PRESIDENT

UNITY, INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONALISM

 WELCOME BACK TAWLS MEMBERS!                                                                   September 5, 2015

After a restful and revitalizing summer break, the start of each school year is always the perfect time to engage new ideas and embrace new opportunities.  Doing so, requires enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. Your embodiment of those ideals remains a role model for inspiring each other and our students. Our efforts and actions challenge each other daily to become better learners in order to step forward and make a difference.

Our ideals of unity, integrity, and professionalism have never been as strong as in this upcoming school year. Not only have we experienced the agony of legislation from Columbus, the changes in OTES, SLOs, new standardized testing, but we face another school board election and a year to negotiate our contract. We have all watched the humiliation of public educators from Strongsville to Youngstown, as legislators and school boards have sought to eliminate the integrity of teaching. We are fortunate that there has always been strong respect and collaboration between TAWLS, the Administration, and the school board. Keeping that relationship strong, successful, and for the betterment of our community, it is imperative to support David Hunter, Eric Kiser, and Lisa Canales.

Even with victory, that does not mean we should be complacent. Continue to be active with TAWLS by standing together and working cooperatively with other teachers will help us maintain our professionalism and integrity. It is also your duty as an educator to call attention to injustices or remarks by being assertive yet professional. It is collectively through our voices that we can improve education.

As we advance through the school year, remember that we are a professional association here to listen, support, and advocate for you. We will always listen to your concerns, ideas, recommendations, and suggestions for assistance, professional development, and help to enhance your achievements. We will continue to support and celebrate your successes in the classroom and the work you do in the district, while always continuing to advocate for your rights and fair treatment as a professional, because you have earned it. Let us remain strong and united to work together for our kids and our district to make this a great year!

Mr. Christopher Hodnicki
TAWLS President

TAWLS Tuesday 9-8-15

 

Welcome Back!!

We hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend!!!

Tuition Reimbursement:  The deadline for tuition reimbursement is next Tuesday, September 15, 2015.  Reimbursement forms/guidelines can be found using the following link http://wlsteamwork/tawls/index.cfm.  Contact Tammy Conlan @ Shoreland if you have any further questions.

TAWLS T-shirts:  In honor of the new school year and in conjunction with our new pay of the year, please plan on wearing your TAWLS T-shirt this Friday, September 11th.  Any NEW teachers who haven’t received theirs yet, please email Chris Hodnicki to let him know & we can send one over to you.

Amazing Race:  The Third Annual Candy Budd Amazing Race will be taking place on Saturday, October 3rd beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Sidelines Sports Eatery & Pub.  The team that completes the most tasks in the shortest amount of time will be declared the winners.  All funds raised will benefit the Washington Local Employee Scholarship Fund.  This event is a public event open to EVERYONE…not just TAWLS Members.
CBC Road Rally Flyer 2015   
Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Registration Cost is $20.00 per participant
Registrations should be sent to McGregor School Attention:  Theresa Evearitt
Questions??  Contact Jen Gent at jgent@wls4kids.org

Labor Day Parade:  THANK YOU to those TAWLS members and their families who came out to represent TAWLS in the 2015 Toledo Labor Day Parade!!!

TAWLS Implements Committee Communication Reports / Testing Update

There will be a change that will be taking place this year regarding sharing information on behalf of your committee at the monthly TAWLS Executive Meetings.  New this year is we are asking you that if there is any information you would like to be shared regarding your committee to please submit that to me by 5:00 p.m. the Tuesday prior to the actual meeting day.  All information submitted will be compiled into one document and distributed to all attendees.  Attached you will find a copy of the committee reports template along with an example of what a TAWLS Committee Reports will look like this year.  Any committee chairs that are in attendance at the actual meeting will have the opportunity to elaborate on the information that is a part of the reports if they so choose.  We are hoping that the method listed above will help to improve communication among all of our TAWLS members and to make the use of our time together the most effective.

TAWLS Committee Report Template

TAWLS Committee Report Example

Click here for the most recent information pertaining to the 2015-2016 testing schedule.

StateTest_FactSheet_Schedule

TAWLS NEWS

 

Tawls 2012 - Red and BlueGood Afternoon!

HB74 (Testing):  On Wednesday, May 13th by a vote of 92-1 the House passed its version of testing reform.  Among the changes proposed, HB74 would:

  • Limit each state assessment or end-of-course exam to no more than three hours.
  • Require that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) issue a request for proposals for new state assessments. Multistate consortia (such as PARCC) are ineligible to submit a proposal.
  • Change graduation requirements by reducing end-of-course exams to five (eliminating English II and geometry).
  • Eliminate the requirement of online testing for 2015-2016.
  • Eliminate writing and math diagnostics for grades 1-3, with the exception of math in the 2nd grade.
  • Allow districts to offer an alternative to the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA).
  • Require the State Board of Education to review and make recommendations for changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).

The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate.  The Ohio Senate recently received recommendations from the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing.  The recommendations called for state tests to be shorter, in a single window closer to the end of the school year.  However, the recommendations did not specify eliminating PARCC.  Instead, it stated if the current vendors of state tests do not make changes to accommodate the recommendations ODE must find a vendor that will.

HB64 (The Budget Bill):  On Monday, April 20, 2015, the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 64, the budget bill, along party lines. Prior to passage, the committee accepted an omnibus amendment that contained approximately 90 changes to the substitute bill.

The omnibus amendment contained many changes that OEA supported and for which we had advocated. They include: removal of the attack on higher education faculty collective bargaining rights; removal of the provision that would have excluded charter school employees from membership in STRS or SERS if they elect to organize under federal collective bargaining laws; an extension of safe harbor provisions for teachers, districts and students to the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years; the creation of a new $102 million fund to guarantee that school districts do not receive less funding than FY 2015 levels due to the phase out of the tangible personal property tax; and an update to the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to choose the programs in which they wish to participate including disability and facility specific workshops.

After House floor deliberations on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Ohio House passed House Bill 64 by a vote of 63-35. The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and subcommittees for consideration.  Details of the major changes from the House substitute bill to the House-passed bill are attached to this email for reference.

OEA Spring RA:  Chris Hodnicki, Rhea Young, Matt Durham and Jennifer Gent represented TAWLS at this assembly.  Below is a report of the New Business Items that were passed by the 898 delegates in attendance.  The last item, SP-2015-11 caused quite a bit of discussion as it relates to Opting Out of standardized testing.

  • SP-2015-01 – The OEA President shall appoint a joint committee of higher education and K-12 members to study the College Credit Plus (CCP) program and make recommendations to the OEA Board of Directors regarding the formation of a unified organizational strategy on CCP.  The recommendations should include legislative, bargaining and local organizing approaches to implement the strategy.  Recommendations of the committee shall be presented to the OEA Board of Directors and the Executive Director no later than the September 19, 2015 Board meeting.
  • SP-2015-05 – The OEA shall consult with NEA and other allied organizations to develop a strategy that would educate members about the impact of the tax on “cadillac” health care plans and to develop a plan to address said tax’s impact on OEA members.
  • SP-2015-06 – OEA shall consult with NEA to investigate potential civil rights implications of Ohio’s graduation requirements tied to standardized testing results regarding their impact on English language learners.
  • SP-2015-08 – OEA staff to investigate the feasibility and report back to RA about a statewide program to strengthen the relationships between schools and targeted community and legislative leaders through conducting interactive school visits within every legislative district in the Ohio area.
  • SP-2015-10 – OEA will use communication tools (for example; an article in newsletter or an OEA website) to advise district representatives regarding radon testing.
  • SP-2015-11 – OEA will lobby the state legislature to require that ODE notify parents of their right to refuse and the implications of refusing statewide standardized tests that are not required for any grade promotion or graduation.

Click Here to Open the Latest Legislative Watch  Publication

Legislative Watch 4_24_15

Have a wonderful week!!!