Teacher only school in TPS? (and other thoughts)

Good idea
34% (33 votes)
Bad idea
52% (50 votes)
I don't know
14% (14 votes)
Total votes: 97
No votes yet

for the idea. Back in August I suggested the two poor schools be changed into two schools that will compete for good grades. One is a teacher only school and the other would be a completely principal controlled school. although it was essential that there was balance so there was competition. You can't have one type of school without the other. Here was my e-mail I sent on 8/15. Regardless, this is the TFT idea. Other ideas can be brought to the table (see below). My hope was the principal controlled school would show some dramatic results and provide the momentum to get more principal controlled schools in other locations. This is probably a reason why there is only talk of a teacher controlled school.

But the district better beware of the actual requirements of the No Child Left Behind act when it comes to developing these plans. I am sure the district has been learning a lot about the law since July when I noted they were not following it.

Be aware that in Philadelphia, a citizens group filed a complaint with the Penn. state education department because they did not properly involve the community in the development of these plans.
Read the complaint here (Adobe PDF) You can read newspaper coverage of the complaint here.

I, and I am sure other community members, are not hesitant to file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Education if the district does follow its legal obligation regarding schools failing to meet ad. yearly progress (AYP) and the development of restructuring plans. I will be watching to make sure the district follows state and federal law including the development of these plans within reasonable time THIS academic year.

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What NCLB says:
“an adequate opportunity to (I) comment before taking any action [on the restructuring plan for that school] and (II) participate in developing any plan [for restructuring of the school]. 20 U.S.C. § 6316(b)(8)

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From: Chris Myers
Date: August 15, 2007 2:38:47 PM EDT
To: john.foley
Subject: Fulton vs Pickett

Mr. Foley,

I was brainstorming and I came up with something that may work and success would come
from competition (of course with proper community buy in).

Proposal: Teachers vs Principals

Goal: improve scores in Fulton and Pickett

Concepts:
Principal school would be Pickett
Teacher school would be Fulton

Rules:
-Each school gets a lump sum of money for operations and salaries to operate and pay the
employees for each year (5 million?). Amount should be equal.
-Schools cannot have regression of scores-improvement is a must. The district has the
right to end the experiment if the scores decline.
-The group in charge of the school has freedom to create academics and bring in the
people they want as long as they follow appropriate district/state/federal guidelines,
rules, and laws as well as working within the budget-this includes hiring the people and
running the programs within budget. Schools would have as much flexibility as everything
allows.
-Each group will allow the leader of each school to do what they want.

Pickett would be a principal school. This means one principal has the power to do
everything in the school including hiring and operating the school within budget.
Teacher Union will waive the contract regulations for this school.

Fulton would be the teacher union school. There would be no principal and the teacher
union would run the school and make decisions within the rules. Principals waive the
their contract for this school.

Being that both could prove their value and that it would be a tradeoff on
responsibilities both Unions may be willing to take part in the experiment.

There would be inherent competition between the two schools on who can get the best
scores the fastest, because each union would want to prove itself. The winner will be
the students and the district.

Just a thought.

Chris
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Because I'm confused. In all the hand wringing about the TPS educational system, no one ever mentions that it is only one of two systems in the State of Ohio that has an Administrators Union. So what happens? Where does the Buck stop? Who's the boss?
TFT looks out for the teachers.
TAAP looks out for the principals.
Who looks out for the students?

lew

See previous thread.

lew

what is TPS doing to help the community help these failing schools. How strong is their PTO groups or do they even have a PTO. Have they seeked any outside resources to help them help the students in these schools pass the achievement tests. We have always been told that it takes a village to raise a child. What the hell is the villages in these areas doing!!!!!!

I attended the meetings my sons first year but all the PTO seemed to be concerned about was raising money. If you brought up something that wasn't about raising money you were told that they would take it up with the principal and you'd never hear anything about it.
I haven't been able to go to meetings this year as the meeting time is at the same time as my son's cub scouts meeting, so maybe its better but I kind of doubt it.

my wife and I decided we should be active in our children's school. We went to the PTA meetings. All they talked about was how to support teachers and raise money. Appreciation for this and that and when you asked about a problem and what we could do, we were politely told by teachers and the principal with the aid of "those parents brown nosing the system" that this was not our charter and we could never, ever question the professionals in charge of our school. Of course we were told this in an subtle leave it alone tone - we really do know best.

Well it started me asking why? I'm still asking why, but now I go out and get my own information to answer the questions.

Actually I believe that TPS schools today are even less parent friendly than 15 years ago. And I'm not talking about the Sandy's of the world, I'm talking about every parent and how they are encouraged to participate (stay within the role we define for you). Well I thought then and I still do that parents have a role in policy decisions in their schools. Note: I did not say parents should run the schools as TFT president Lawrence would like to portray my views!

Well I do create "jobs" for parents to be a part of the school. At Walbridge we have quarterly reward academic achievement dances for students, where parents can come set up or dance with their child. We have many parents enjoy this opportunity. I also organized a "fashion show" to the variety of student uniforms, that parents organized. I ask parents to volunteer in breakfast and lunch. Walbridge has "Ohio Skate Night", where families can get to know one another and skate together with their children. Our PTO is collaborating with teachers for a Academic Achievement night and free dinner, parents are encouraged to help there too. We have Family Movie night........We have McDonalds night.............I coordinate Box Tops and another mom does soup labels. We enourage our parents to host classroom holiday parties.

Walbridge is hosting a Family Fun Night for the entire Libbey Community on Feb. 20. We are bringing 50 community resouces to the school for families to learn about. We have free hot dog dinners and back packs for the first 500 guest. We have local mascots and wonderful door prizes for families of all Libbey feeder schools.

Walbridge was one of two TPS schools to receive a grant through the Ohio Arts Council this year, that our staff applied for. Our "PTO funding" offset the cost for the artist to come to Toledo. It was amazing how much our students learned in 9 days and our "community performance" was wonderful to watch.

My point: Schools do have opportunities for families to be involved. For parents that work full time, by just simply making sure their child's homework is done and assignment book signed daily, is a bonus! I understand some administrators are more "parent friendly" than others. If that is the case, I urge you to contact your parent coordinator, that is their job (contact info. on TPS web-site). They will work with the district administrators, schools and parents to find creative ways for you to be involved in.

I am lucky at Walbridge, but I do find other areas in the district to voice my opinion. Our administrators, teachers and families are a team! We are family!

I attend many meetings and advocating for Special Education is my heart! I volunteer endless hour for TPS Special Olympics. If you or anyone would like to help in that area, we are run by volunteers to serve all school aged students in our schools and do not receive funding from the district! Parent Congree and I are organizing a "district wide bake sale" to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics on March 4, during lunch hours, so please volunteer in your school for this!

I do not always agree with TPS and I advocate more than you know. Believe me when I say this...............I love to write letters and advocate for change. I think we all advocate for change, just in different forms. I try to be private and work together with the district. Many people like to bring issue to the public. Not that neither is right or wrong, we just have a different way of handling issues.

So "Sandy's World" works very hard , as a volunteer, to create parent involvement and make all our children successful. "Sandy's world" does not always agree with TPS. "Sandy's world" gets a smile out of each and every student I see daily and they know I am there for them. This is why I continue every day......................the students!

I tried the quiet way and so have many others! It does not work. You go ahead and try. You won't get to the point where you can help many kids as long as the TFT sits on both sides of the negotiating table, But perhaps you don't understand the political dynamics and the concept of "self dealing". The TFT does not represent children. TPS administrators when they negotiate wages with the TFT are really negotiating for themselves due to "me too" clauses and the fact that the cabinet has always gotten the same benefits and raises. So when administrators negotiate for us, they are also negotiating for themselves. You have to change the dynamics if you want to change the details!

Sandy, I don't see many opportunities for parents to really involve themselves and be participants in decisions in their schools in what you mention. What you have mentioned is certainly important but that is the only role that administrators and teachers (as a group) want to give parents.

And what percentage of parents participate? And don't you put all the blame on parents for not wanting to participate. I've heard that argument until I'm going to up chuck.

Well, from my perspective, there is always room to improve and many of us are trying. At Walbridge, we have many parents volunteer including; Field trips, decorating the school, tutoring, teacher helpers and the variety of activities I addressed.

As far as decisions.........you are right. But ultimately the administrators are responsible for their buildings and students. That is a lot of responsibility, that I myself, would not want.

The political avenue..........I am learning. However, that is life..........it is everywhere. From health insurance, public schools, evironmentalist, disabilities and war, all revolve around a political spectrum. It is not just TFT and TAAP.

All I am saying is "Sandy's World" is not always a TPS Cheerleader. I work with my schools to promote change and advocate for issues, you just do not hear about it. I spend hours and hours of volunteering to promote opportunities, not only for families, but students.

You like this "political spectrum"?

The antiquity and breadth of an error is no justification for its perpetuity. Just because it happens everywhere does not mean we should accept it! I refuse to wear a "V" on my forehead for victim or accept we can't change a situation because we are powerless.

Did you ever hear all politics is local? Well all changes start somewhere and from my research they usually start at a local, grassroots level before politicians accept and respond - before even becoming national in scope. With instant communications today, it comes to national attention sooner. Some changes occur only after it "sinks in" to citizens that these conditions exist. Money corrupts the political process and I don't distinguish between union or business influence, but public service unions are in a unique position of being able to select through election their boss so different rules are appropriate.

Do you think the TFT should control both sides of the negotiating table?

TPS teachers are well represented! Who represents our children and this community when "independence" can be influenced by money!