Ohio senate passes senate bill 5

Discussion in 'General Education' started by waterfall, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I know people were talking about the Wisconsin bill on here awhile back- this Ohio bill is basically the same thing. It ends collective bargaining for all public workers (INCLUDING police and fire workers, unlike wisconsin), gets rid of tenure, and institutes merit-based pay. The democrats were not even able to add any ammendments to the bill. The house still has to vote- but it is a republican controlled house so it's pretty much a sure thing. I don't live in Ohio anymore, but I have several family members and friends who are teachers in Ohio. I also worry that once one state does it, the rest will follow. What a sad day for education. Thoughts?

    Also, I haven't heard news on the other bills (I know there were similiar bills in both Wisconsin and Indiana)- have they been voted on?
     
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    The only thing I'm against is tenure. I hate not being able to get rid of crappy veterans as a an admin.
     
  4. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I don't fully understand tenure. But I do believe "crappy veterans" or any other sub-performing teachers should be let go...
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I understand why some people are against tenure- but it goes both ways too. On the one hand, I'm sure we've all had that teacher in highschool that stands in front of the class and lectures from the same slides they've had for the last 20 years, and refues to help anyone or put in any effort. However, on the other hand, this bill will allow good, experienced teachers to be fired with no reason other than to save the school money. My dad has been teaching for over 20 years and is an absolutely wonderful teacher. I've been in his classroom and heard amazing things from parents, students, and colleagues. I hope I can live up to that some day. However, with all of his experience and education (he has a masters +45) he is one of the most expensive teachers in the district. His district is known for operating "like a business" (they only care about numbers, money, and looking good to the public at whatever expense) and he is terrified that after 20+ years he will be out of a job. That's just plain sad.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree, Brendan, 100%.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I've tried having a discussion about this on a local forum and it kept being turned into an assessment of teacher performance. If people want to legislate the classroom, don't do it at the expense of not only our livelihoods, but those of police, firefighters and other state employees. No, it doesn't affect me directly as I am at a charter school, but it disheartens me immensely. This takes a potshot at public servants, and I'm not sure how well public service will weather the blow.

    Oh, editing to add... In that conversation I had on the Ohio forum, one of the inhabitants said, "Standardized testing is the only method to determing <sic> if students are learning and the standards should come from the state." He followed that with, "I don't know how to measure what a student learns without testing."
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I agree. On the political side, it seems that many Ohio citizens were unhappy with democrat Ted Strickland as govenor (especially teachers!) and after Ohio was blue in 2008 it took a huge swing to the right in this last election. I wonder if people are regretting voting conservatively- and I bet anything they go back to the left in the next election.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I, too, worry about being a teacher in a few years and just getting let go because I cost too much. It's a terrible thought. I also think some kind of tenure is necessary because some administration want to push an agenda and give teachers bad evaluations because they don't want to follow their agenda.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Why can't you evaluate them, put them on an improvement plan, and send them packing if they don't improve?
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I, too, worry about what affect this bill passing will have on other states.
     
  12. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    "Tenure" breeds complacency. That's the bottom line. For all the times that tenure has protected the "most expensive, great teacher" or the teacher who admin "just didn't like" ...for every one of those cases, there are 10 cases of teachers who, tenure has led them to become entitled, and bitter/cynical, and complacent.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    John, I disagree with you based on my experiences. In my school, crappy teachers are crappy from the beginning and are kept for various reasons (adminstration is oblivious, administration is too weak to make changes, there is hope for improvement, etc.). I feel the majority of teachers are happy to have tenure but don't allow it to influence their teaching.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I agree with this also. I think it's very, very rare for someone to just be a fabulous teacher and suddenly stop doing a good job because they have tenure. Being a good teacher requuires personal qualities that you don't just "lose" all of the sudden because you've been teaching for more than 3 years. And if someone does have tenure and truly is a complacent, lazy teacher, there are ways to get rid of them. My parents districts do it ALL the time. If they can't find a way to fire them, the admin makes their life a living hell until they resign. At one point in my dad's school, the admin was making one of the teachers turn in daily lesson plans that were extremely detailed. Then the principal would literally go into this teacher's room and say "your lesson plan says you will be on page 72 at 10:15- why are you on page 73?". Literally. Any crisis that came up whatsoever went to that teacher to deal with. Also, tenure means they have to offer you a position, not a position you want. They'd move people around to grades or positions that they absolutely did not want. I know tenure is greatly misunderstood by the general public, but it disappoints me to see other educators on here bashing it. I also wonder how people think the tenure thing won't effect them. Yes, I'm a young teacher now, but at some point I am going to be an older/experienced teacher! I certainly don't want to get tossed out of the way for someone whose is cheaper because they're right out of college!
     
  15. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    The republicans played dirty to get this thing passed. They replaced two of their own committee members from the labor & finance committee so they had the votes their way in order to get it passed to the floor. When a democrat senator proposed the entire bill be read to the senate floor before a vote, the republicans passed a motion to not read it.

    The bill now goes to the house. I am a little more optimistic about it going to the house because all 99 representatives are up for reelection next year. I have already started my phone calls and e-mails!

    The last resort is to petition to have it put on the ballot for a public vote. It is very disturbing how all of this is going down, and how quickly everything is happening. I have never felt like more of a hypocrite than teaching my students just today how our government is a democracy. It certainly doesn't feel that way.
     
  16. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Seems like a highly political stance to me......

    Is this thread now open to political discussion?
     
  17. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    As a republican voter, I feel i have the right to say I am very disappointed in my elected representatives, and what went down at our statehouse today.
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This is the view point that I agree with!
     
  19. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Maybe the forum rules regarding politics have changed ..... and I haven't heard about it.. Have they?.......:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  20. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    I work in a school system where the director has hired his BIL, SIL and nephew. I am just dying to give up tenure so I can be replaced by his niece.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    lol. I haven't heard of them changing either, Major...
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    But, from what I understand, tenured teachers can be removed, you just have to go through the process. I know a P who had a tenured teacher let go. She just had to go through all the motions.
     
  23. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    :yeahthat:

    A great and passionate teacher will always be that way no matter what. A bad teacher was that way from the beginning, and the admin and other powers that be should have caught this or some warning signs of it in the years it took for tenure to be obtained.

    Plus there's way too much favoritism, politics, and personal biases involved from those at the top (the admins and HR board) as to why bad teachers are allowed to stay.
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The bill was NOT passed along strict party lines, so Major is correct in attempting to keep this a teacher issue and not a political one, as difficult as that may be for many. Let's keep the discussion going while we figure out the implications when it becomes law.
     
  25. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I don't know how the removal process works at your school, but at mine it's extremely hard to implement.
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    You don't feel that the protection tenure provides lets people feel more comfortable than they should? In my school, I see teachers who take days off like it's 2003, and just generally operate like there aren't thousands of qualified people chomping at the bit behind them. To say that "good" people don't let job security affect their job performance, I disagree. It's why people when get in a relationship/married--they put on weight. They get comfortable. It's why sports teams don't like to give guaranteed contracts even to premier, star (i.e. "great") athletes. It's because among other things (injury), complacency can tend to seep in.

    That's basically what we have in education: guaranteed contracts to members in our team. What would happen if you owned a sports team, with guaranteed contracts for every member on your team?
     
  27. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Just my 2 cents... I did hear a couple of teachers say they can't get rid of me!!! I knew a lot of teacher's that did the same thing over & over & over again. I'm sure you do something's the same, but to make adjustments or put other's ideas with yours.
    I think when I was a new teacher, some of the other teacher's used some of my resources because it was "fresh."
     
  28. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Ya know, these days it's impossible to discuss just about anything regarding education or teaching and not get political.

    I never liked that rule much anyway.

    What people outside of government don't understand is that if you take away collective bargaining rights and due process rights from public employees, you transfer a huge amount of power to all sorts of non-elected government officials. And this is the exact type of government power that all of those anti-government people who stand around in triangle shaped hats claim to hate.

    In many cases, public employee unions are the only check on the power of unelected government officials.
     
  29. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    I agree, silverspoon65, 100%. There is already a process in place that adminstrators could easily follow (but many choose to not). They want to get rid of tenure because it makes their jobs easier but they overlook the possible effect its loss would have on great teachers. Do the paperwork, adminstrators! That is one of the reasons for the pay differential from the classroom teachers.
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    But it's not something that any sane person would want to go through.

    Right now, I have pretty good job security due to seniority, and credentials in many different areas. so, then, why do I give a rat's behind about my evaluation this year?

    Quite simple. If I get a good evaluation, they will give me more freedom to do what I want in my classroom. If I get a bad evaluation, I will be under a microscope for at least a year. And that's something I will do whatever I need to do in order to avoid.
     
  31. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    How can you talk about changes in education in the United States in 2011 and not have a conversation be political?
     
  32. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I think the problem is that the general public is completely ignorant about what this bill means- putting it in their hands would do nothing. Absolutely everyone I've talked to (and friends/family coworkers have all had the same experience) who is not a teacher think its just about teachers whining that their benefits are being cut. In the private sector people are already paying 50% for healthcare, so they think we've just been "spoiled" up until now. The unions offered to take the salary/benefit concessions. It's not about that- its about basically busting the unions. People don't realize that. People also think we're lazy because of all the breaks we get. Personally, I would love to work through summer and get paid more for working those months. Instead, I have to get a random minimum wage job that any highschooler could do for 3 months because my professional job is unavailable. I don't consider summers "off" a "benefit." I'm digressing- back to the orignal point- the general public is extremely unsympathetic.
     
  33. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I'm FOR tenure! Because the job has gotten so political, you need protection from the crappy administrators who use formal observations as a weapon and NOT the improvement tool it was designed to be!
     
  34. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    :clap:
     
  35. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    This is what really drives me insane. There is this perception that unions protect teachers' jobs. Unions ensure due process - they do not hire or fire. In most states that I am aware of, dismissal simply requires that the supervisor presents proof of the teacher's inability to perform. If the supervisor is unwilling or unable to gather said proof, this is hardly the union's fault, just as it isn't the DA's fault if the prosecuting attorney can't produce evidence to put someone in jail.
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Exactly right.
     
  37. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Here's my view from 2 years as an AP:

    The administration before the current one (4 years ago) simply did not care. They swept problems underneath the rugs and never took the concerns of administrators seriously. Fast forward a few years and I am in a building where there are several coach-teachers who don't care one bit about education and don't put in any work. I have Math teachers who not only refuse to change for their students, but who don't take questions. Worst of all I have English teachers who don't give Essays. All these teachers are 10+ year veterans who have just lost it. The one's who I've been able to put on a plan, I had to basically fight with union reps about it and even if they don't improve they'll be there for at least another year. Union in my mind, simply rewards those average teachers, guess what? I DON'T WANT average teachers, I want great teachers.
     
  38. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Did the union argue the improvement plans because the teachers had 10 years of "good" teaching (ie no one bothered to honestly evaluate them so they got good evals)? I have seen that happen before. But again, it isn't the fault of the unions or tenure - it's the past admin.

    But I do agree - if that is the case, it is frustrating.
     
  39. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    As I was told recently by a teacher friend: just because you did a good job for ten years doesn't mean you get to keep your job when you start to do a bad job in any other profession.

    Not to say that I am against tenure because I truly believe it is a valuable part of education to allow good teachers to continue to do well when the administration wants to change things to not best practices.
     
  40. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    In my district they simply required stuff. English teachers had to start giving essays, grading them on a rubric, and reporting the scores to the district. Our contract says that the district has the right to determine the time, place, and manner of instruction. They did that. Teachers who didn't follow the rules started getting written up.

    The lazy teachers became less lazy.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No, John, I do not agree with you.
     

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