Saturday, October 15, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
What's that , Rep. Ron Amstutz (R- Wooster), about why politicians are exempt from SB 5?
STRS Retirement Board to meet October 19, 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Noon - Disability Review Panel (Executive Session)
Thursday, October 20, 2011
9 a.m. - Retirement Board Meeting, followed by Ad Hoc Committee for Retreat Review
The Retirement Board meeting will come to order on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, and begin with a Report From the Investment Department, followed by a Report From CEM Benchmarking Inc., the Executive Director's Report, public participation, a Report From the Finance Department, routine matters, old business, new business or any other matters requiring attention.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Massachusetts confirms that Ohio’s Education Director repeatedly provided false testimony: Plunderbund
- Dr. Robert Sommers, Director, Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education
- Stan W. Heffner, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction
Massachusetts successfully implemented a teacher-testing program that significantly improved student results. Teachers were tested on the content they were assigned to teach.
Massachusetts has been doing this for years. They attribute a lot of their progress based on this.
We are also going to test teachers in chronically failing schools. This process has been very successful for Massechuetts [sic] and is identified as a major factor in their educational system improvements.
We are also going to test teachers in chronically failing schools. This process has been very successful for Massachusetts and is identified as a major factor in their educational system improvements.
Unfortunately, you are incorrect in your observations of Massachusetts laws. Please note the right afforded in Massachusett [sic] to retest teachers in chronically underperforming schools. Details can be accessed at the following site. See specifically the references to retesting in level 4 and 5 schools.
Requirement of taking a mathematics content assessment The superintendent or the school’s receiver, if any, mayrequire all mathematics teachers at a Level 4 school to take a mathematics content assessment approved by the Department. The commissioner or the school’s receiver, if any, mayrequire all mathematics teachers at a Level 5 school to take a mathematics content assessment approved by the Department.
(3) Exceptions(a) A mathematics teacher who would otherwise be required to take a mathematics content assessment pursuant to 603 CMR 2.07(1) shall not be required to take it if the teacher:1. has passed the Elementary Mathematics, Middle School Mathematics, or Mathematics test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure or has passed or been deemed under 603 CMR 7.14(14)(g) to have passed the Mathematics subtest of the General Curriculum test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure; and2. is appropriately licensed for the mathematics the teacher is teaching.
Deputy Commissioner Karla Baehr said the Department is trying to move forward with draft criteria to identify Level 4 schools, and that federal Title I-G dollars would support Level 4 schools. Deputy Commissioner Baehr said the new legislation and regulations equate underperforming with Level 4. The deputy commissioner said this year performance would be used to identify the schools, while next year improvement will also be a factor.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Rich DeColibus: Another take on the NFL and public education
NFL players individually negotiate their contracts (or, more accurately, their agents do) and we should immediately move to a similar system. Staying with just Ohio, we have over 100,000 teachers which would require 100,000 agents to negotiate for them. Logic would suggest that maybe one agent could represent more than one teacher, which would diminish the agent problem. Actually, if teachers were grouped into cohesively geographic units, like school districts for example, one agent could represent large groups of teachers, further simplifying the representation issue. We used to have teacher unions that represented teachers in contract negotiations but the All-Wise State Government in Senate Bill 5 insisted teacher unions were evil, so we need to call them by another name, like Player Representative Facilitators.
Moving along, the median salary for NFL players is $770,000 (2009 figures) which takes into account roughly six months of training, pre-season, and regular season work. This is an acceptable beginning salary for a teacher, as long as it is adjusted upward for the fact teachers work nine months a year instead of six months. As we all know, as football players age, and take repeated physical punishment, their ability diminishes over time, while as a teacher gains more experience through a thirty-year career, they only get better and better. Therefore, the median $770,000 salary is a starting point which should only go up as time goes on. Yessiree, that NFL analogue is looking better and better. Later, we can adjust the salary proportionately for the fact NFL players work, at the ultimate most, sixty minutes a week while teachers, at the very least, work one thousand, two hundred minutes a week.
Maybe the best part of a NFL contract is it's a contract. The management has to pay you no matter what. Twist an ankle and have to sit on the bench for five months, those paychecks just keep on rolling in. Just think: you're on the way to school, you slip on the path to your garage, oops, sprained knee. Can't possibly work this fall but, of course, management would still have to send you your $29,615 bi-weekly paycheck. Not bad for a first-year teacher. They may drop you after your contract runs out but, after 26 paychecks of $29,615 each, who cares; you'll just sign up with another district next year.
It goes without saying all health care and medical expenses are picked up by management, as well as all transportation costs associated with educational responsibilities and all clothing and attire expenses related to classroom teaching. Each teacher's name will be trademarked and cannot be used in any kind of public declaration without negotiated compensation between the teacher and management.
Fran Tarkenton and a scenario: The NFL and teachers' rules?
RHJones on: Fw: STRS's Executive Director Mike Nehf writes write to the top...we have had our plans in place for months now......
STRS's Executive Director Mike Nehf writes write to the top....we have had our plans in place for months
Each of the five statewide public retirement systems has its own laws in place regarding compensation increases that can be counted toward members' final average salary. For Ohio's public teachers, strict anti-spiking laws have been in place since 1991. The statute limits the amount of compensation increases during the educators' two highest years that can be included in their final average salary calculation. These prohibitions have helped ensure that the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio pays benefits that are not inflated during the final years of a member's working career.
In January, the State Teachers Retirement Board passed a pension-reform plan containing five steps designed to strengthen the financial condition of the retirement system. The plan was sent to the Ohio legislature and is currently on hold. The passage of this reform would further tighten the anti-spiking laws. STRS Ohio recommended a change in calculating the final average salary -- going to the average of the member's five highest years of earnings rather than the three highest years. That would further mitigate the impact of pension spiking, but that is not the main purpose for our change in the rule, since the practice is effectively governed by statute.
This debate underscores the importance of the pension legislation that now rests before the Ohio House and Senate. All five retirement systems have submitted reform plans designed to preserve the financial security of more than 1 million public servants and retirees. These changes would also benefit Ohio's taxpayers, since the proposals would help make the pension funds more financially sound and able to continue to pay benefits that help stoke Ohio's financial engine. The revised benefits should also enable public employers to continue to recruit and retain a skilled work force. We urge the General Assembly to act on these plans, which have been before them for many months.
Michael J. Nehf, Columbus
Nehf is executive director of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
RH Jones: The NAACP is right 'on the money' on this one!
Subject: NAACP on our side
It is of great pleasure that I, as a Life Member of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA), report to you that the over 100-year-old organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is on our side and on our same page. I especially invite my fellow ORTA members and all of you to the read the article that appeared in the Beacon today, 10/08/2011, Community page, entitled: “NAACP leader speaks of rights at fundraiser; Russell addresses controversial bills” by Beacon Journal staff writer Marilyn Miller.
As retired career teachers, we welcomed and loved all of our students regardless of race, nationality or color. They were all simply students to us. Not being able to except all children of all the people would exempt any of you of being able to survive your long years of teaching. Being prejudiced, you could not teach, nor be legally able to teach in our Ohio public school system. Therefore, as a person who strongly values the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, you most certainly must agree 100% with the words of the keynote speaker Leon Russell, the vice chairman of the NAACP organization’s national director to move the nation forward.
Here is my brief synopsis of the Russell’s speech: We need a nation free of prejudice, however,
1) Recent efforts in Ohio to deny American dream by threatening civil rights
2) An Ohio effort to discourage people from voting and preventing workers the right to collective bargaining or having a voice in how a workplace operates
3) Schools more segregated now than before the 1954 Brown decision
4) Charters take away from public schools hurting there ability to educate the masses
5) NAACP working on education, criminal justice economic development, civic engagement and health.
6) There must be collaboration across party lines. Due to race, the NO vote prevails
7) We must demand accountability and “get over the fact that people have made the word compromise a dirty word.”
He goes on to state “the NAACP is nonpartisan, but not nonpolitical”. This is an ORTA model for change that would help the ORTA to go forward. I urge everyone to go on Ohio.com and look up this wonderfully enlightened article.
RHJones, ORTA member and proud member of the Concerned Ohio Retired Educators