What Teachers Want


  • An end to the teacher blame game.
  • Administrators who have at least ten years of actual teaching experience.
  • Involved, competent parents.
  • Adequately funded schools.
  • Input regarding curriculum decisions (and the input is actually followed).
  • Flexibility when it comes to methodology.
  • Administrative support in matters of discipline.
  • An end to the “teach to the test mentality”.
  • Acknowledgement that teaching involves so much more than test scores.
  • Acknowledgement that as a teaching professional, teachers might actually know what’s best for the students.

Feel free to add to the list in the comments!

Massive budget cuts having massive effect

Policy Matters Ohio have published a report titled "The state budget and Ohio’s schools: Big cuts, hard choices, local impact" based upon a survey of Ohio's school distrcits. Their findings are not a surprise to anyone following the state of education policy in Ohio. It provides more evidence governor's budget was no "jobs budget", but instead the most delivered the most draconian cuts to public education in the history of Ohio

The state budget, House Bill 153, will provide $1.8 billion less in funding for Ohio’s elementary andsecondary schools this school year and next, compared to the prior two years. Respondents to a 2011Policy Matters Ohio survey to Ohio’s school districts anticipate rough times ahead. However, theyare not going to the community for local resources: 73 percent did not plan to go to the polls through November 2012. Instead, survey respondents said they are cutting teachers and programs, boostingclass size, and requiring students to pay to participate in extracurricular activities. More than aquarter of respondents anticipate being in official fiscal distress in the coming year.

The effects can be see in 2 graphs

The graph above shows that two thirds of school districts in the survey will experience a budget shortfall, with 1 in 5 believing it to be at least 5% and upwards of 10%.

How districts are dealing with these shortfalls can be seen above. A lot of educators and support professionals are going to lose their jobs, with many positions not being filled, leading to larger class sizes, reductions in curriculum and diminuation of services.

As the legislature takes it time to ponder a school funding formula, it must, as a matter of great urgency consider additional fnding for Ohio's public schools if the state is to have any long term future. There are solutions.

The state budget and Ohio’s schools

Teaching Experience Matters

Decades before he became the 2005-2006 New York State Teacher of the Year and was heralded as one of the nation’s leading educators, Stephen Bongiovi almost became something far less glamorous – fired.

The retired English teacher from Long Island was reviewing his personnel files as part of the teacher of the year application process when he received a shock – after his first year of teaching, at least one administrator recommended that he not be retained.

“Someone must have stood up for me,” Bongiovi said, because he was invited back and was allowed to continue what became a stellar career.

But at a time when education “reformers” are criticizing seniority-based layoff policies that prioritize teacher experience, or are advocating for alternative certification programs that may provide only a couple months of teacher preparation, Bongiovi’s story is a powerful reminder that great teachers are not made overnight. Experience matters.

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Events Reminder

A quick reminder of an important event TODAY that we're involved with and hope to see many of our readers at.

Rally for Good Jobs and Strong Communities
Thursday, May 5th, 2011 staring at 5:00pm
On May 5th, the House will be voting for Governor Kasich's budget. Come show your support for Good Jobs and Strong Communities in Ohio.
WHERE: Ohio Statehouse, Columbus

OSBA Refutes Education Matters Report

A short while ago we brought to your attention a report by Ohio Education Matters that claimed their study revealed Ohio School Districts could save over $1 billion in non-instructional spending. At the time we thought that "Some of the extrapolations seem excessive".

It appears the Ohio School Board Association thought so too, and they commisioned a report to look at these findings.

On a related matter, our three organizations spoke out yesterday criticizing a recent study that claims schools are overlooking significant savings. An analysis prepared by Education Tax Policy Institute (ETPI) consultants refutes the report by Ohio Education Matters and the KnowledgeWorks Foundation claiming schools are leaving over $1 billion on the table because they are inefficient.

We commissioned the analysis by ETPI because we were skeptical of the validity of the “Benchmarking Ohioʼs School Districts: Identifying districts that get more for their money in non-instructional spending” report published by Ohio Education Matters, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks.

Here's their report

Analysis of Ohio Education Matters Benchmarking Report