Toledo Board of Education gets teachers' plan to run city school - updated

Last evening at the regular Toledo Board of Education meeting TFT President Fran Lawrence proposed a teacher led, teacher driven school.

Toledo Board of Education gets teachers' plan to run city school

What was amazing was the way in which this idea was proposed to the Board of Education and the community. Lawrence held a press conference on Monday, 11/26 and provided details to the media before the Board had even seen the proposal (although at least one Board Member appeared to be briefed and ready to proceed) and before the Superintendent and Treasurer could review the details of the plan. Some Board members apparently had not seen the entire proposal but had been informed about it by Lawrence on Monday, 11/26. The TPS Superintendent was not aware of all the details and the TPS Treasurer and Business Manager had not "costed out" the proposal. The details of the proposal indicate that the school would be more costly than the configuration and operation of almost all TPS schools.

Apparently Board President Steel had a resolution written by Lawrence for consideration at the Board meeting, but other Board Members were apprehensive and wanted to review all the details before consideration. Lawrence was expecting the Board's endorsement at the Board meeting (See page 12 - Timeline in the GEM proposal - link below).

Anyway, you can find a copy of the proposal at TPSINFO.COM - TFT's GEM Academy Proposal

You can also find comments about the plan at TPSINFO.COM

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School or business has to have a leader. Nothing good can come from having to many cooks in the kitchen.


It seems the Board members largely forgot to bring in their rubber stamps. Perhaps Francine is jumping the gun in thinking she owns the Board now?

At any rate, having the TEACHERS run the school is what I've advocated for, all along. They can run the school on the committee system, and elect a yearly Principal from among their number.

How on earth that will cost MORE, is beyond my understanding. Please, can someone post a few details on how such a thing costs more money?

GZ - there is a link to the proposal made by the TFT. It specifically spells out increased compensation based upon a system called TRACS that provides incentives to teachers who work at "challenging" schools. Also for those teachers not qualified for the TRACS program there is a 5% increase in compensation. In addition, there are numerous programs suggested for the school that will cost additional dollars.

We don't need more academies. We need to put in place the ideas already working here at the other academies (which were supposed to be incubators of ideas). There are some fine ideas that should not cost more.

This school will provide instruction to 3-400 hundred children. I've not looked at recent numbers, but TPS has 17-20,000 elementary students. What about all the other children in the district's underperforming schools.

The TPS Treasurer will be costing this out - should be interesting.

Additional costs should not surprise you. What is the basic reason for the existence of a union and what is the leadership tasked to do?

I am not famaliar with her as a person, but I do think that the union should be in the business of representing the employees and let management, manage.
This whole set up is really out of kilter.

I think it's great the teachers want more responsibility. Now let's have them put their money where their mouth is. If the school gets a failing grade next year the teacher's get a pay cut. If it gets an improved grade they get a pay raise and if it stays the same so does their pay.
Letting them have control is one aspect. Letting them have a stake in it is another.


How can management manage when there is no management? It is my understanding that Toledo is one of two school systems in the entire state of Ohio where the Administrators are unionized (TAAP). And, don't forget, there is also a service workers union to contend with. So, everyone at TPS belongs to a union----------------except the students!


Management is unionized to deal with the state is not the same as the teachers becoming management.

I too was in a local union some years ago and the international rep's were unionized and they were part of the overall structure of the union.

The employees should be employees and not be the management at the same time.

I recently stated that as it works, on the ground today, the exercise of public education in America is a proven failure.

Methinks Fran is on the same page??? Eerie to say the least.

On the conclusion however, we differ. Since the unions have gained the great control over the process as we have today, the results have become worse and worse.

To make that final leap into the frying pan and give the biggest point of issue in the system Carte Blanche is an exercise in stupidity.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

The timeline for a plan to transform one of Toledo Public Schools' poorest and lowest-performing elementary buildings into a teacher-led academy by the next academic year may be too aggressive to
implement necessary legal and contractual changes to meet the proposal's start date, one school board member said.

Darlene Fisher, of the five-member TPS Board of Education, said the TFT plan, which was designed by the Toledo Federation of Teachers (TFT) and presented to the board at its Nov. 27 meeting, might have to wait until as late as March before necessary steps are taken to make it viable.

"Scott HS" has no principal, & is run by 8 co-leaders.

I see the results from across Collingwood & it's not pretty.
Now 3 commercial buildings down the block are up for auction.
It's hard to have customers interact with hooky students [I've even been stoned - like Iraq.]


I'd hate to see an experiment like this go up and people expect the students' scores to increase by the end of the first year. As a matter of fact, their scores may go down the first and second years (although, if the school is truly that underperforming, perhaps there isn't much room to go down ~ be interesting to have a comparison group). Many curriculum developers talk about 5-year windows for teachers to be introduced to new curriculum, become knowledgeable and then proficient in it, and then to have that filter down to students. It just takes time, and that is something that we're usually pretty unwilling to give for new initiatives to show results.

Reading the proposal, if that is all the detail there is, how CAN it receive an endorsement? I mean, cripes, the use all this fuzzy talk about "research-based instruction", but no speciifics about what that would mean. There are a bajillion flavors out there, and many are contradictory. They'll do better at "differentiation" identification and grouping? Well, the sheer concept of grades by age limit how you differentiate. If they're really thinking about differentiation, how do you truly meet the widely varyingneeds of the different levels of students? There is nothing in that document that looks to be beyond rhetoric and NCLB verbage, with no specific meat to layer onto it. It's all "this is important", but no real "this is how we will address that which is different than before." That makes me sad - I love the idea of tinkering with the school structure, and it is sorely needed.

Ironically, though, hasn't it been the teacher's union that in the past has fought tooth and nail against some innovations in the TPS system? Like administrators being able to pick their teams of teachers?

And the cost would have to be significantly more. With teachers receiving more professional development than they do now, that takes time and money. And infusing technology in instruction in authentic and powerful ways also takes regular access to the equipment, and regular work with teachers to themselves become adept at the technologies they will be integrating in the classroom.

states that all schools in Ohio must have a principal. If that is so what about Scott and the 8 teacher leaders?

Can somebody explain that ? Are there waivers, exceptions or something?


What makes you think that the law, the Constitution,(U.S. or State of Ohio), or the will of the people have anything to do with what's going on in Toledo now?

It's completely out of control, out of context, out of statute and out of the interest of the tax payer. Much, MUCH less than this went on when people with backbone threw a shipment of tea into the Boston Harbor. But not here. Not when the union and the local paper can tell you what to do. Like the last 30+ years.

Toledo??? HOWZDAT working for ya?????

It's merely a political feeding frenzy at this point with no possibility for course correction.
Just like Detroit and the other economically bankrupt city's. What makes you think we're immune to the same hyena's?

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Each small school at Libbey and Scott has two administrators. A School Leader and a Counselor. Scott does NOT have 8 teacher leaders. Geez purnhrt you love to embelish.

The state law is pretty clear that there has to be an administrator at every school (TAAP would probably fight this to death). There are NO waivers, so the TFT's proposal will probably be compromised in some way IF it does take shape. I also noticed that the Blade article backed off of making Pickett or Fulton the schools for this teacher-led school. I think the building their possibly eyeing is Warren (which is currently closed), but was renovated recently.

Someone asked about principal's being able to hire their own teachers. It is true that they cannot. That decision is made by the human resource department of the Board of Ed. and bidding within the union. But administrators can influence decisions made by the department, so they are not totally helpless.

My bad. I just repeated what Robert Brundage posted. I was not trying to embellish anything. The facts speak for themselves. There are four teacher leaders and four principal leaders, just no principal.

Was R. Brundage embellishing also?


Some of the ideas are really good with theGEM proposal. However, I do not believe TAAP is going to let this one go easily. It is law to have an administrator at each school and Libbey and Scott have those. They are called "small school leaders" and I believe they have to be state certified as an administator as well. This is going to be the challenge with the GEM proposal, a certified administrator.

I don't think the sole reason for businesses to close in this area is because of students playing hookey. It may be a factor, but not the sole reason. If I remember correctly a lot of businesses have come and gone on Collingwood Blvd (especially in around Delaware). It's tough to attract steady business to this area of town, especially with the high property values and tax of the area. Heck even the liquor store (Royal Foods) closed down (Are you going to blame that on kids playing hookey?).

Heck the small schools concept isn't even close to being perfect. But neither was Scott in its old form. I personally would like to see a combination of old and new. An old style administrative setting: Principal, Asst. Principal (AP) of Curriculum, AP of Activities, and an AP of Discipline, Two Deans, and 3 or 4 counselors. The school would have four tracks (or schools) divide it up anyway you wish to (I would actually like hear people's suggestions...seriously!). Each school would have a teacher leader who actually teaches and works with the AP of Curriculum on curriculum, testing, special ed. issues, etc. (I would give this person an extra planning period for this duty). You could also assign the counselors to each school or have them divide up students based upon class or alphabet or whatever.

I do agree with purnhrt that Scott and Libbey need to bring back the traditional honors classes (Maybe a honors small school?) and offer more foreign languages (at least French and German). But these suggestions may be a pipe dream.

Oh yeah, purnhrt the Cowboy basketball team will, once again, put the "mighty, mighty" Bulldogs in the dog house, and it is mighty cold out.

Weso, this sounds like the "old school" format that worked years ago (when I was in HS at Start). The administrators and teachers would work more collaborately together. I do think many changes need to be made, in the HS level.

I believe that they need to organize some type of Parent Conferences at the HS level, other than "open house" which is normally 2 weeks into the school year. In HS, the only other contact to families that is made is if their child is in trouble or parents make the effort, which we both know lacks in some areas. Our HS schools need to open the line of communication more, which our new web site is still lacking.

Libbey is offering a GREAT service to their community on December 15, Saturday from 10-1. I will post more information later. However, I am very impressed with these efforts.......

I have no idea where you got the idea that I was a "Bulldog." If I would claim any allegiance to a High School team it would be the Canton McKinley Bulldogs!!! I ain't from here, can't you tell?

Through sheer dumb luck, my statement still rings true.

The Cowboys travel to Canton McKinley this year, so luck smiles upon me once again (cue evil laugh). Just an interesting fact to drop, Canton McKinley is an amalgamation of three of Canton public high schools: McKinley, Lehman, and Lincoln. Canton Timken was left alone because it was a vocational school during the merger.

No I didn't realize you weren't from around here. That's too bad. Oh and I heard that McKinnley isn't that well loved in Canton. Timken is the more loved school in that town;

since I left. I actually graduated from Canton Central Catholic. Class of '59.

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