Louisville Educators Strike, Board Refuses To Meet

Earlier last week we travelled to Louisville, a small community of about 10,000 near Canton. As of today the Louisville teachers have been on strike for 12 days. The primary diver for the strike is a board, buckling to outside corporate influence, insisting that test scores be tied to careers.

Sadly, the board refuses to meet, and has gone into hiding.

On Thursday, November 10, 2016 Senator Sherrod Brown reached out to both the Louisville Education Association (LEA) and the Louisville Board of Education, imploring that both groups return to the bargaining table for the sake of the community and the sake of the parties. The LEA responded verbally to the Senator’s office that they were both ready and willing to return to negotiate. Later that same day, the Louisville Education Association extended another invitation to the Board of Education asking them to return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith, in the hopes that if the parties meet, they can get this crisis resolved and the teachers of the LEA would be able to return to the classroom, where they most want to be caring for and educating the children of Louisville. To date, the LEA has received no response.

In addition to a complete lack of response to the LEA, leaders in the Louisville parent, religious and governmental groups have reached out to both parties to present a forum in which both parties can meet – the LEA accepted every invitation, while the Board of Education refused. Moreover, the Louisville Board of Education has cancelled their November meeting, and is not planning on meeting publicly until December. In addition, the Stark County ESC had a Board meeting scheduled for Sunday, November 13, 2016. They re-located the meeting to Columbus last week, then ended up cancelling that meeting late Saturday with no explanation.

LEA Spokesperson Angela Emmons states “the Louisville Board of Education, Superintendent Shaffer, and their attorney, Mary Jo Slick continue to ignore all attempts from the LEA to have meaningful negotiations. We have made numerous attempts to contact them, and all attempts remain unanswered. It is our belief that the Board of Education has an obligation to meet with the LEA and work to facilitate an end to the strike. The Board members who were elected by this community are refusing to fulfill their duties to Louisville, and instead have seemingly engendered themselves to the will of the Stark County Educational Service Center. We remain willing to meet, it is our belief that the parties can resolve this strike in a manner that would be acceptable to all involved, and most importantly would enable the LEA to return to the classroom, and to resume the education of our students.”

While the board hides, many students in this small community are staying home according to information provided to reporters at the Canton Rep.

According to a district spokeswoman, Monday student attendance rates were:

• 64 percent at Louisville High School, which is slightly higher than Friday.

• 67 percent at Louisville Middle School, which is higher than Friday.

• 68 percent at North Nimishillen Elementary, which is the significantly higher than Friday.

• 80 percent at Louisville Elementary students, which is significantly higher than Friday.

While we walked the picket lines and talked with educators, it was abundantly clear that the community support was behind the teachers. Parents and students joined the lines, and passing traffic continually showed support throughout the day.

The Louisville Board of Education owes it to their community to resist the failed corporate agenda being pushed by outsiders and instead join their teachers at the bargaining table so that students can get back to learning, and a small community in Northern Ohio can limit the damage prolonged strikes cause.

You can follow daily developments and show your support to the Louisville teachers via their Facebook page.

November 2016 School Levy Results

With a 150 school levies and issues on the ballot, schools had a good night. The new money requests passage rate exceeded 55%, and the renewal rate was over 95%.

N/R Failed Passed Total Passage Rate
New 32 41 73 56.2%
Renewal 3 74 77 96.1%
Total 35 115 150 76.7%

Here's the full list of unofficial results

County District N/R Result
Allen Bath Local Renewal Passed
Allen Lima City Renewal Passed
Allen Perry Local Renewal Passed
Allen Spencerville Local Renewal Passed
Ashland Ashland City Renewal Passed
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Renewal Passed
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Renewal Passed
Athens Alexander Local New Failed
Athens Athens City Renewal Passed
Auglaize Minster Local Renewal Passed
Auglaize Minster Local Renewal Passed
Belmont Bellaire Local New Failed
Brown Fayetteville-Perry Local New Failed
Butler Monroe Local Renewal Passed
Clark Clark-Shawnee Local New Failed
Clark Southeastern Local Renewal Passed
Clark Tecumseh Local Renewal Passed
Clermont Bethel-Tate Local New Failed
Columbiana Lisbon Exempted Village New Failed
Cuyahoga Bay Village City New Passed
Cuyahoga Berea City New Passed
Cuyahoga Cleveland Hts.-University Hts. City New Passed
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Euclid City New Passed
Cuyahoga Fairview Park City New Passed
Cuyahoga Garfield Heights City Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Independence Local Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Mayfield City New Passed
Cuyahoga North Royalton City New Failed
Cuyahoga Olmsted Falls City New Passed
Cuyahoga Parma City Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Polaris JVSD New Passed
Cuyahoga Strongsville City Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Westlake City New Passed
Darke Mississinawa Valley Local Renewal Passed
Defiance Ayersville Local Renewal Passed
Defiance Central Local Renewal Passed
Defiance Northeastern Local Renewal Passed
Delaware Big Walnut Local New Failed
Erie Perkins Local New Failed
Erie Sandusky City New Passed
Fairfield Amanda-Clearcreek Local Renewal Failed
Fairfield Fairfield Union Local Renewal Passed
Franklin Bexley City New Passed
Franklin Columbus City New Passed
Franklin Hilliard City New Passed
Franklin Westerville City Renewal Passed
Fulton Four County Career Ctr New Passed
Geauga Cardinal Local New Failed
Geauga West Geauga Local Renewal Passed
Greene Fairborn City New Passed
Greene Greene County Career Center Renewal Passed
Greene Xenia Community New Failed
Guernsey Cambridge City Renewal Passed
Guernsey Rolling Hills Local Renewal Passed
Hamilton Cincinnati City New Passed
Hamilton Deer Park Community City New Passed
Hamilton Madeira City New Passed
Hamilton Norwood City New Passed
Hamilton St. Bernard-Elmwood Pl City New Passed
Hamilton Sycamore Community New Passed
Hamilton Winton Woods City New Passed
Hardin Riverdale Local Renewal Passed
Holmes East Holmes Local Renewal Passed
Huron New London Local Renewal Passed
Huron Norwalk City Renewal Passed
Jefferson Jefferson County JVSD Renewal Passed
Jefferson Steubenville City New Passed
Knox Centerburg Local New Passed
Knox East Knox Local New Passed
Lake Auburn Vocational New Failed
Lake Riverside Local New Passed
Licking Licking Heights Local New Failed
Licking Northridge Local New Failed
Licking Southwest Licking Local New Failed
Logan Bellefontaine City Renewal Passed
Logan Bellefontaine City Renewal Passed
Lorain Amherst Exempted Village New Passed
Lorain Clearview Local Renewal Passed
Lorain Elyria City New Passed
Lorain Lorain County JVSD Renewal Passed
Lorain North Ridgeville City New Failed
Lucas Anthony Wayne Local New Passed
Lucas Sylvania New Passed
Mahoning Boardman Local Renewal Passed
Mahoning Sebring Local Renewal Passed
Marion Elgin Local Renewal Passed
Marion Pleasant Local Renewal Passed
Marion Ridgedale Local Renewal Passed
Marion Tri-Rivers Career Center New Failed
Medina Buckeye Local Renewal Passed
Miami Milton-Union Exempted Village Renewal Passed
Montgomery Brookville Local Renewal Passed
Montgomery Jefferson Township Local New Failed
Montgomery Oakwood City New Passed
Montgomery Valley View Local New Failed
Montgomery West Carrollton City New Passed
Ottawa Benton Carroll Salem Local Renewal Passed
Ottawa Geneva Area City Renewal Passed
Ottawa Put-In-Bay Local Renewal Passed
Paulding Antwerp Local Renewal Passed
Portage Aurora City Renewal Passed
Portage Crestwood Local New Passed
Portage Field Local New Failed
Portage Field Local New Failed
Portage Ravenna City New Failed
Portage Rootstown Local Renewal Passed
Portage Streetsboro City Renewal Passed
Portage Waterloo Local New Failed
Preble Preble-Shawnee Local New Failed
Preble Tri-County North Local Renewal Passed
Preble Twin Valley Local Renewal Passed
Richland Lucas Local Renewal Passed
Richland Ontario Local Renewal Failed
Richland Plymouth-Shiloh Local Renewal Failed
Richland Shelby City Renewal Passed
Sandusky Fremont City New Failed
Sandusky Woodmore Local Renewal Passed
Seneca Fostoria City Renewal Passed
Seneca Old Fort Local Renewal Passed
Seneca Tiffin City Renewal Passed
Shelby Sidney City New Failed
Stark Massillon City New Failed
Stark Sandy Valley Local Renewal Passed
Summit Cuyahoga Falls City Renewal Passed
Summit Norton City New Failed
Summit Revere Local New Passed
Summit Stow-Munroe Falls City New Passed
Summit Tallmadge City New Passed
Summit Tallmadge City New Passed
Summit Woodridge Local Renewal Passed
Trumbull Champion Local Renewal Passed
Trumbull Champion Local Renewal Passed
Trumbull Hubbard Exempted Village New Failed
Trumbull Lakeview Local Renewal Passed
Trumbull Mathews Local New Failed
Trumbull McDonald Local Renewal Passed
Trumbull Warren City Renewal Passed
Tuscarawas Dover City New Passed
Tuscarawas Indian Valley Local Renewal Passed
Tuscarawas Strasburg-Franklin Local Renewal Passed
Union Fairbanks Local New Failed
Van Wert Crestview Local Renewal Passed
Warren Kings Local New Passed
Washington Warren Local New Failed
Wayne Green Local Renewal Passed
Wayne Wayne County Schools Career Center New Passed
Wood Perrysburg Exempted Village Renewal Passed
Wood Rossford Exempted Village New Passed

ODE Contracting Out It's Charter Oversight Responsibilities - Thinks it Will Only Take 600 Man-hours

ODE is preparing to outsource its Charter School Oversight to a private company and thinks it will only take 600 man-hours.

A weekend Gongwer report on the catastrophic failure of Ohio's charter school sponsors, provided some additional details on the expected process

On the new evaluations, 21 sponsors were rated poor, which means they are facing losing their authority to sponsor schools. Unless they file and win appeals of the ratings, their nearly 30 schools will likely be turned over to ODE's Office of School Sponsorship.

The office, along with 38 other sponsors, was rated ineffective. While that rating equates to those sponsors being prohibited from taking on new schools, ODE is exempt from the sanctions.


The sponsors who were rated poor will lose their licenses 30 days after the release of the evaluations unless they appeal to Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. He must appoint an independent officer to hear the appeal within 30 days of it being submitted.

The hearing officer's report will be reviewed by the State Board of Education, which will have 45 days to determine whether the revocation of sponsorship authority should stand, according to state law.

Because the school year is underway, any schools run by sponsors whose authorities are revoked will turn over to ODE. Those schools then have this school year and two additional to find different sponsors.

But buried in this report is the shocking news that ODE is not actually capable of performing its statutory duties, despite having months to prepare. Back to the Gongwer report

Following the release of the ratings, ODE's Director of School Sponsorship Mark Michael wrote in a Friday email to stakeholders that the agency is looking to beef up its staff in anticipation of taking on any schools that lose their sponsors.

"With the release of the sponsor evaluations, we are anticipating a substantial increase in the number of schools under our sponsorship," he wrote.

A bid posting says ODE would like proposals from contractors who can provide specified oversight, monitoring and technical assistance services for community schools.

The bid posting was only created a week ago, on October 6th. How could ODE be so asleep at the wheel as to wait that long? ODE has known since the passage of HB2 that it would require a far greater effort overseeing charter schools (as its ineffective rating more than demonstrates).

Why Does ODE need to privatize it's oversight function with this RFP? Why can't ODE simply hire experts in the field and perform the important function in house? Here is what ODE is looking for

On behalf of the Department, the contractor will:
• Implement Department policies, procedures and guidelines for monitoring and evaluating assigned sponsored community schools;
• Implement Department policies, procedures, and guidelines for the analysis and use of assigned sponsored community school academic and/or compliance data.
• Provide specialized program assistance to assigned sponsored community schools;
• Monitor assigned sponsored community schools for compliance with ORC, OAC and requirements of the community school contract (e.g., accountability and school performance/turnaround);
• Serve as point of contact for assigned sponsored community schools;
• Analyze data to determine technical assistance deficits;
• Provide technical assistance verbally and in writing to assigned sponsored community schools;
• Perform analysis and writes reports (e.g., evaluation reports for annual community school evaluations; recommendations for contract agreement changes, probation or termination);
• Perform analysis and writes reports regarding assigned sponsored community school’s academic performance regarding legal and contract requirements.
• Recommend training on various aspects of community school operations, which may include state reporting systems (e.g., EMIS, CSADM, CCIP, EMAD, FLICS);
• Attend board meetings in person or via phone per Department guidelines.
• Conduct opening assurances, fall and spring site visits using Department forms, processes and procedures;
• Work with the Department to verify and monitor each assigned community school’s implementation of and compliance with documentary submissions.
• Monitor the overall financial health of sponsored community schools;
• Perform monthly reviews of financials;
• Conduct monthly meetings with the school’s fiscal officer in person or via phone
• Prepare monthly reports regarding the fiscal operations of community schools identifying any areas of concern;
• Recommend intervention where appropriate

In order to successfully perform the Work, the contract must demonstrate some or all of the following competencies:
• Educational leadership;
• Curriculum;
• Instruction;
• Assessment;
• Special Education;
• English Learners;
• Other special education needs;
• Performance Management
• Accountability;
• Community School Finance and Fiscal monitoring/review;
• Facilities;
• Non-profit, public office governance and management;
• Governing Authority Relations;
• Technical Assistance-Identification/Response.
The contractor must be able to devote sufficient resources to fulfill these responsibilities on behalf of the Department; structure funding to avoid conflict of interests and keep the students’ interests in mind in the performance of the Work.

Even we think that's asking a lot at this late stage, but ODE's RFP gets even more ridiculous in its expectations. All of that, according to the RFP should not exceed 600 hours of total work.

Here's ODE's RFP

NAACP Call for Charter School Expansion Moritorium

Here's their blockbuster statement

October 15, 2016

CINCINNATI – Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors ratified a resolution Saturday adopted by delegates at its 2016 107th National Convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice.

“The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

The National Board’s decision to ratify this resolution reaffirms prior resolutions regarding charter schools and the importance of public education, and is one of 47 resolutions adopted today by the Board of Directors. The National Board’s decision to ratify supports its 2014 Resolution, ‘School Privatization Threat to Public Education’, in which the NAACP opposes privatization of public schools and public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools. Additionally, in 1998 the Association adopted a resolution which unequivocally opposed the establishment and granting of charter schools which are not subject to the same accountability and standardization of qualifications/certification of teachers as public schools and divert already-limited funds from public schools.

We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:
(1) Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools
(2) Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
(3) Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and
(4) Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.

Historically the NAACP has been in strong support of public education and has denounced movements toward privatization that divert public funds to support non-public school choices.

“We are moving forward to require that charter schools receive the same level of oversight, civil rights protections and provide the same level of transparency, and we require the same of traditional public schools,” Chairman Brock said. “Our decision today is driven by a long held principle and policy of the NAACP that high quality, free, public education should be afforded to all children.”

While we have reservations about charter schools, we recognize that many children attend traditional public schools that are inadequately and inequitably equipped to prepare them for the innovative and competitive environment they will face as adults. Underfunded and under-supported, these traditional public schools have much work to do to transform curriculum, prepare teachers, and give students the resources they need to have thriving careers in a technologically advanced society that is changing every year. There is no time to wait. Our children immediately deserve the best education we can provide.

“Our ultimate goal is that all children receive a quality public education that prepares them to be a contributing and productive citizen,” said Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the National NAACP Education Committee, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and a former educator whose committee guides educational policy for the Association.

“The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Our NAACP members, who as citizen advocates, not professional lobbyists, are those who attend school board meetings, engage with state legislatures and support both parents and teachers.”

“The vote taken by the NAACP is a declaratory statement by this Association that the proliferation of charter schools should be halted as we address the concerns raised in our resolution,” said Chairman Brock.

New Ohio Charter School Sponsor Ratings Cause Crisis

ODE finally released their charter school sponsor ratings, after the initial effort to do so was marred by ODE insiders getting caught fixing the result.

Sponsors are graded using 3 framework components

  • Alignment of academic performance to Ohio’s report card;
  • Compliance with laws and administrative rules; and
  • Adherence to quality sponsor practice measures

Each of these components receive an equal weighting, which result in one of four possible grades: exemplary, effective, ineffective and poor, in descending order of performance - though we're not sure what sounds worse, being ineffective or poor.

Sponsors rated as poor can no longer sponsor schools, while those rated ineffective will not be allowed to sponsor new schools, and will also close if they do not improve over the coming 3 years

Not a single sponsor managed to grade out as exemplary. Here's the breakdown

Ohio Charter School Sponsor Ratings 2015-16

One third of Ohio's charter school sponsors, if they fail on appeal, will close, with another 60% not allowed to sponsor any new schools. That alone should be cause for massive concern, but the crisis only deepens upon further inspection.

Those charters currently being operated under the guidance of these 21 poor sponsors will not close, instead their sponsorship will transfer to ODE. 

ODE itself is already a sponsor. ODE's own grade is ineffective, with the academic performance of the schools they sponsor receiving an F.

Let's pause to contemplate this for just one moment. All but 5 sponsors of Ohio's schools are even marginally proficient, and the fall back to their failure is the state who itself is graded as ineffective. This is a real crisis.

Yet the problem is still not fully exposed. Of the five sponsors who are rated as effective, they do so not because of academic performance, the most important measure, but because they are good at paperwork.

None of the 5 effective sponsors scored higher than a D for academic performance. Instead they relied upon compliance and rule adherence to lift them above poor performance. Steve Dyer highlights this phenomenon in a post titled "Ohio Sponsorship Ratings: It Pays to be a Bureaucrat"

Finally, to round out the absurdity. The sponsors that oversee the charter schools with the highest academic performance are School Districts, but because of the ridiculous weightings,  we get this:

But it should be made clear that the 33 charter school sponsors that receive As, Bs and Cs on academic performance are all public entities.

Equally telling?

All 33 are rated ineffective or poor. Which means the state would say that the 33 highest rated charter school sponsors in academic performance would be banned from opening new charters, or in the case of the poor rated sponsors, would have to immediately shut down.

Meanwhile, regardless of all this charter school "reform" once again confirming how bad the sector is, schools like ECOT continue to provide substandard education to students while draining real schools of needed resources.

Below are the results for each sponsor.

Sponsor Name Overall Rating
Auglaize County ESC Ineffective
Barnesville Exempted Village Ineffective
Bowling Green State University Ineffective
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation Effective
Buckeye Local Ineffective
Cardington-Lincoln Local Ineffective
Cincinnati City Poor
Cleveland Municipal Ineffective
Coshocton City Ineffective
Cuyahoga Falls City Ineffective
Dayton City Ineffective
Educational Resource Consultants of Ohio Ineffective
ESC of Central Ohio Effective
ESC of Lake Erie West Ineffective
Fairborn City Ineffective
Findlay City Ineffective
Franklin Local Ineffective
Groveport Madison Local Poor
Hamilton Local Poor
Jackson City Poor
Jefferson County ESC Effective
Kids Count of Dayton, Inc. Ineffective
Lakewood City Ineffective
Lakewood Local Poor
Lawrence County ESC Poor
Lima City Poor
London City Poor
Lorain City Poor
Mahoning County ESC Poor
Margaretta Local Ineffective
Marion City Ineffective
Massillon City Ineffective
Maysville Local Ineffective
Miamisburg City Ineffective
Mid-Ohio ESC Ineffective
Montgomery County ESC Ineffective
New Philadelphia City Ineffective
Newark City Poor
North Central Ohio ESC Ineffective
Northmont City Ineffective
Norwood City Poor
Office of School Sponsorship Ineffective
Ohio Council of Community Schools Ineffective
Oregon City Poor
Pickerington Local Poor
Pleasant Local Ineffective
Reynoldsburg City Poor
Richland Academy Ineffective
Ridgedale Local Ineffective
Rittman Exempted Village Poor
Rolling Hills Local Poor
Scioto County Career Technical Ineffective
Southwest Licking Local Poor
St Aloysius Orphanage Effective
Summit County ESC Poor
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Effective
Toledo City Ineffective
Tri-County ESC Ineffective
Tri-Rivers Ineffective
Urbana City Ineffective
Van Wert City Poor
Warren County ESC Ineffective
West Carrollton City Ineffective
Youngstown City Poor
Zanesville City Ineffective

Nobel Prize Winner For Economics Opposes Teacher Merit Pay

Via Larry Ferlazzo.

Bengt Holmstrom, this years' Nobel Prize winner for Economics, has some interesting things to say about merit pay, specifically as it pertains to teachers and education.

"Payments for teachers linked to student test results, for example, risk generating good grades at the expense of any teacher effort in developing harder-to-measure skills in students, such a creativity."

And then there is this:

A teacher rewarded only on the basis of student test scores might spend more time than is optimal on test preparation and too little time teaching equally important (but harder to measure) skills such as creativity and independent thinking. A fixed salary, independent of any performance measures, would lead to a more balanced allocation of effort across tasks"