THE TOLEDO PLAN

We have done an extensive study of The Toledo Plan and feel that it should be abolished as it is supposed to rid the school system of “bad” veteran teachers through evaluation, instead it is being used to rid the school system of first year teachers through peer mentoring. Its target, primarily, is the non traditional first year teacher.

We were drawn to this program of non-renewing teachers according to the Toledo Plan because of information we had been receiving from the community for years. After becoming involved with recent cases, we began to see a pattern. A disturbing pattern, that seemed to target the non-traditional teacher. That is, the older, minority, male or any teacher that did not fit the mold of young white female.

Not only targeting the non-traditional teacher but other disturbing data began to emerge. First year teachers were being “non-renewed” using a tool called The Toledo Plan. A tool that was supposed to be used to rid the classroom of ineffective veteran teachers. Some of the “non-renewed” teachers were being asked to resign and then in some cases were allowed to come back as substitute teachers, sometimes at the same school.

”Non-renewed” teachers were not being given due process rights, such as: (a) jobs going up for bid before the “non-renewed” teacher was given a chance to appeal the non-renewal, (b) the school board approving a non-renewal before the teacher was notified or given the chance to appeal, (c) union members being involved with the “non-renewing (firing) of first year union teachers.

The most disturbing component was the way in which the “hearings” were conducted. They were conducted before an Intern Board of Review, which consisted of four administrators and five union members, one of which was the president of the union, Ms. Francine Lawrence.

According to the Toledo Federation of Teachers AGREEMENT 2001-2004 Article XVIII-A-1 All first and second year teachers are considered to be members of the bargaining unit. However the “non-renewed” first year teachers were not represented in the hearings by any union representation so in essence the teachers were paying union dues but when it came to representation they were not being represented during their firings or “non-renewals”.

The true story of a first year teacher in the “Touted” Toledo Plan.

This teacher graduated in the Elementary Education program, certified to teach grades 1-8. She graduated with a 3.844 grade point average. During her years at a local university she worked full time and maintained a family. Her dream was to become a teacher. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in the education program. Completing 300 hours of student teaching, 300 hours of various method classes, was evaluated by a university evaluator, who gave her superior marks in teaching, planning skills and classroom management. This evaluation took place while the teacher was a student teaching at a Toledo Public elementary school, the same school at which she was eventually “non-renewed”(fired) by a Toledo Public School “Intern Consultant”, who was a kindergarten teacher.

After being reviewed and evaluated by various school personnel, classroom teachers and her University professors, the teacher received her certification. Many teachers fail at this juncture of the process and are encouraged to study an alternative field other than teaching.
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The teacher was hired as a first year teacher by Toledo Public Schools where she was placed in the Intern Consultant Program known as the Toledo Plan. The teacher was placed at the elementary school where she had done her student teaching. She wanted this placement as it was a central city school and she was familiar with the climate of the school. The students at the school were from her neighborhood, which she felt would be an asset. She was placed in a fifth grade classroom where the previous year the students had four different teachers. Because of the students’ behaviors this classroom was constantly losing teachers. These same students thrived in this classroom where almost half eventually attained honor roll status. The teacher was well accepted by the students, parents and other teachers and staff at the elementary. Letters of recommendation were presented by her peers and staff at the school. Her principal recommended hiring her.

This teacher was informed of her “non-renewal” (firing) three days after the deadline for proper notification and after the Toledo Public School Board members had already approved her (firing) “non-renewal.” During her appeal hearing, she was told that the Intern Consultant (a kindergarten teacher) was her union representative. In essence, she was fired by her union representative and the head of the TFT, Ms. Francine Lawrence.

The Toledo Plan , which was used to rid TPS of this teacher, was arbitrary, ambiguous and grossly unfair. We feel that the most important person in the classroom (beside the student) is the teacher. This teacher is an asset to the teaching profession, although she was non-renewed by her peer consultant, and subsequently fired by her union.

There have been many, many first year non-traditional teachers who have been “non-renewed” who we feel would have added that needed community commitment to ensure that all of Toledo’s publicly educated children have a chance for success. A good public school system paid for by the tax dollars of the inhabitants of the city is the best advertisement for any city. Having a good, public school, system brings new businesses, raises real estate values and helps to eliminate crime. A public school system, paid for by tax dollars, using a collective bargaining agreement, cannot survive by using a program (THE TOLEDO PLAN) that eliminates the best of its core constituency through questionable and arbitrary means.

The Toledo Plan must be abolished.

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i'm sure the tft people will say you have your facts wrong, and it does not work like that.

can you give us any links to sight this?

actually this post is a revised and edited Amicus Curie that we (AAPA) filed with the Court of Common Pleas in relation to a lawsuit filed against TPS, in which the litigants won a large settlement.

purnhrt, thanks, i was wondering since i'm sure there's some other there who would question where it came from. :)

You have erred in some information. First year teachers are evaluated under the Intern Program. Second year teachers, and all teachers who are renewing a license, are evaluated by an administrator, unless they have been placed in Intervention. Because the union will not defend a first year teacher who is recommended for non-renewal, first year teachers pay reduced dues. All of the provisions of the Toledo Plan were approved by state law back in the 1980s.
You accuse the Kennedy School of bias. You have a habit of accusing anyone of bias when they disagree with you. The Kennedy School did give TFT and TPS an award for union-management cooperation, but they are an outside neutral party. You and Steve show bias about anything connected to TFT. Every outside, neutral party which has analyzed the Toledo Plan has found no bias based upon race, age, gender, religion, or any other factor.
As I indicated to you in previous correspondence, no program designed and implemented by human beings is perfect. I will not comment on any individual case. That would not be proper no matter what. And I do not know all of the circumstances involved in the one case you cite. Colleges of Education are notorious for doing a poor job of preparing students for the real world of teaching. You are directing your anger at the wrong target. Your argument is with the Colleges of Education, not with the Toledo Plan.
I do know that similar plans, based upon the Toledo Plan, operate effectively in Cincinnati, Columbus, Port Clinton, Berea, and many other places in this nation and beyond. In recent years, Dal Lawrence has been a consultant to both labor and management to aid in setting up programs in Chicago and Monterrey, Mexico!

I said that there was a conflict of interest with the evaluation. Why?

Because a negative evaluation or one that was not flattering would have cast doubt on such a perceived prestigious institution like the Kennedy School of Government who made the evaluation and the award. I hardly think that Kaboolian was a "neutral party". Also, this is not the most extensive award process for many reasons.

And I too did not say the author was biased! I pointed out some problems with the selection by the BOE of the evaluator and author and the report and I could point out more!

One thing about all these other programs - not one of them has a review board controlled by the union - In TPS' case the board of review is 9 members with 5 from the TFT. Short of the BOE over ruling the board of review, decisions are controlled by the TFT. The board of review should be made up of neutral parties if it were to be a truly fair process.

Please - get your facts correct.

You are also pretty "pro" TFT so if you believe we are negative then it balances. Truth is I tell it like it is - when something is done well I say so, when not I say so! Problem is the media always wishes to focus on the negative - and as a teacher who is supposed to be teaching our children critical thinking you should know as much.

Are the stories in the TFT newsletter biased? You bet they are - many an item about me has been false and some have been outright lies.

I wonder what you mean by conflict of interest. I'm hearing that term used quite frequently with regard to TPS in a lot of recent postings, but no one is really putting their own working definition to it, and quite frankly, using it way to liberally.

I mean, if TPS is paying for an evaluator to investigate its program, some might call that a conflict of interest (although its not). That's standard practice for, well, just about everything that uses evaluation. Businesses, politics, national grants, etc. One could argue that since the Kennedy School of government (or some within it, more specifically) has familiarity with the program, it is better positioned to offer a comprehensive analysis at a more reasonable cost to the Toledo taxpayers.

Who would be the "neutral parties" that would do evaluations in the review process for the Toledo Plan? People outside of the system? Paid consultants?

Kaboolian is not a neutral party as the organization she represents gave the so called prestigious award. Ask this question: How would it look to the Kennedy School of Government if one of their researchers identified major issues with the program given their commendation?

Conflict of interest - is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, a politician, executive or director of a corporation or a medical research scientist or physician, has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the person, profession, or court system. A conflict can be mitigated by third party verification or third party evaluation noted below—but it still exists.

Using this definition, I would say Kaboolian has a conflict of interest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

....Goes more into detail about conflict of interest, and focuses particularly on the more generally accepted COIs. Generally, things that deal with familial involvement or competing financial ties. People who have competing monetary interests. Folks who are related to someone in another position of negotiating power (reminds me of another thread ;) Self-dealing between businesses. Etc.

I would have a hard time seeing that a University academic, with no financial ties (beyond fee-for-service, which you can't really eliminate), would represent a COI or breach of ethics. It is hard for me to think that not wanting to hurt one's institution's reputation, especially in higher ed, as being a large driving factor. And many evaluations done by University faculty are done largely without the permission or even knowledge of one's Dean. University faculty are more like a collection of independent contractors gathered under one roof. They frequently don't see the research/evaluation until it's done & finished & out the door. I would argue that folks should argue the outcomes of the evaluation (or lack of implementation of results) rather than casting aspersions on the evaluator.

Thanks for debating this, sflagg. I appreciate you backing up your beliefs. I'm just seeing COI pop up in many, many threads as a convenient argument to "show" various conspiracies, but folks bandy the term about without digging into their own understanding and belief about what it means.

As a matter of fact, the way people throw around COI (not you, just ranting in general for a minute), their arguments would go toward saying teachers, parents, and administration shouldn't have a say in evaluating school practices, as each has a vested interest in the outcomes of the evaluation. So only outsiders receiving no payment, with no children in the system, and being outside of education in general, would be the most neutral parties there are to evaluate schools.

Yep

You make some valid points and I take no umbrage at your interpretation. Frankly, I've seen many of your posts and see you more as trying to get to the issues instead of being personal. I appreciate your approach.

However, Kaboolian has been on panels, etc. promoting, defending the concept and was involved in the awards process so I think it would have been better had she not done the evaluation. But I believe there are other factors that bear on the validity of the research.

You are right about people freely using conflict of interest. For example, some say that Darlene Fisher has a conflict because she is affiliated with the Coalition. However, it only becomes a COI if the Coalition came before the Board asking for a contract for services which we have never done and are unlikely to do. Neither she nor the Coalition gains anything for itself or individuals through the advocacy that benefits the entire community.

Many don't understand COI so they throw it out to disparage others when they have no idea what they are talking about.

I make sure that it fits the definition and a COI does not have to be illegal just unethical or would lead someone to question the professional judgment because of the entanglement - it just needs to be perceived. Would a prudent person have doubt about the conclusions reached based upon the relationship? If you can answer yes, a conflict exists. Of course, some are more egregious than others and that is why some COIs are illegal.

"Who would be the "neutral parties" that would do evaluations in the review process for the Toledo Plan? People outside of the system? Paid consultants?"

Someone without a vested interest in the outcome. Kaboolian has a vested interest - the reputation of her employer! And of course, employees are never pressured by their employer to alter the outcome of a review process.

Kaboolian is a neutral party. You are not. TFT and TPS were given an award after an extensive nationwide review of dozens of cooperative labor-management agreements. Before these agreements were investigated by Harvard, I doubt if Kaboolian could even find Toledo on a map! You, sir, are biased. You judge everything connected with TFT in the worst possible light.
Why does TFT insist that teachers are a majority of the Intern Board of Review? Because we are taking full responsibilty for the teachers who are produced. In the second year and beyond, the administration is responsible, unless the teacher is placed in Intervention. When was the last time a second year teacher who passed through the Intern Program was recommended for non-renewal by a principal? The answer is...NEVER... in the over two decade history of the program!
The bottom line is that the Toledo Plan is all about the type of responsibility people all over America are crying for from their teachers' unions. TFT participates in keeping only the best teachers in Toledo. Experienced teachers may be removed as well. In Ohio, tenure only ensures due process, not lifetime employment. The truth of the matter is, before the Toledo Plan, administrators were so inept at following procedures to remove poorly performing teachers that virtually none were ever removed. I guess, Steve, you would like that better.
By the way, I caught your radio interview before the levy vote. You knowingly lied about teachers' salaries in TPS. You said that TPS's teachers' salaries were not all that low. You were asked where those salaries rank. You said, and I think I'm quoting accurately here, "They're about in the middle in the region and among Ohio's cities. So we don't really have a problem here". If you did not know the facts, you should not have commented about TPS salaries. But I believe you said what you said because you knew that the radio talk show host was supportive and wouldn't question your veracity. Shame on you!
The truth is that Toledo is at or near the bottom by every measure. TPS is the furthest behind with our most experienced teachers. Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati are several thousands of dollars per year ahead of Toledo, but we trail all but Youngstown. The same is true for all of the other school districts in Lucas County.
Steve, I say to you as I've said to others: Who's going to take my job when I retire? Who's going to want to teach Toledo's public school children when they can teach for more money in the suburbs, or in other urban districts in Ohio, not to mention much higher salaries just across the border in Michigan. -- especially when there are people like you around attacking everything they try to do to make the profession more accountable and more responsible? And don't give me that tired line about how, "I don't hate teachers, I just hate their union." Steve, for whatever reason, you hate TPS teachers, unless you know them personally and/or they suck up to you properly. Union leaders are elected by the teachers they represent. Fran sent out an extensive questionnaire. If she ignores what her constituents want, they will select a new leader. I saw that happen many years ago in Clevelend.
As I said to you in another post, you and your cohorts are "nattering nabobs of negativity". The failure to applaud when something in Toledo is being done right, plays a major role in holding Toledo back. You, Steve, a part of that problem.

Why does your response not surprise me - no use debating with you - you need to do much more research. All you can do is call me a liar - now what does that say!

You want to hear the interview - it is probably still up at troyneff.com - I stand by my statements.

One other thing - when looking at salaries you also need to look at cost of living - check Toledo relative to the big C's and other cities in Ohio.

I am a neutral party - I have no vested interest in TPS except as it serves and improves my community. You on the other hand are not a neutral party! Neither is Kaboolian! An unfavorable report by her would have looked bad for her institution.

And then you make a blanket statement that I hate teachers - when what you really should say is that their are major issues with the leadership and direction of the TFT. A typical argument when the TFT leadership is called into question. Now how could anyone "hate" teachers. Your statement is a generalization without merit intended to obfuscate the debate and emotionally charge the conversation in hopes that others will stop listening - this is an ad homien attack. It is aimed at the person and has nothing to do with the discussion. Shame on you!

Last time I checked there were still a significant number of young people being trained as teachers in universities across the US.

As to compensation, when you add in the retirement and health insurance benefits, the total compensation package is pretty good especially given the work content - 182 day work year as opposed to 260 days for other professions. I could go on about the fact that teachers are overly represented in a study of who pays estate taxes, etc., etc. but I am afraid the facts would make little difference to you.

You have no idea who or what I am, yet you call me a "teacher hater". However, you should know that I was a concerned and caring parent. You knew both of my children as students at DeVeaux.

You and the Urban Coalition are hardly a neutral party. You sued the board over the Three for Children formation and kept the suit pending even as two of the three left the board, yet Torres's highly questionable residency was overlooked. The Urban Coalition has a glaring conflict of interest in Tyrone Sturdivant. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he on the board at two charter schools in Academic Emergency? And didn't his wife sue TPS over alleged discrimination in the Toledo Plan?

Either way, shooting the messenger does nothing to challenge the analysis in the Kaboolian report that notes the following:

"The percentage of teachers in the intern program who were ultimately successful is exactly the same for Blacks and Whites (87%)."

---------

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

"The Urban Coalition has a glaring conflict of interest in Tyrone Sturdivant. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he on the board at two charter schools in Academic Emergency? And didn't his wife sue TPS over alleged discrimination in the Toledo Plan? "

LOVE IT!!!!!!
So true............

who has researched the facts and come to conclusions. I have no reason to lie. At least I started out a neutral party, so if having reached certain opinions means I am no longer neutral - I can accept your assessment using that definition only - but I have no "vested" interests with regard to TPS!

You are talking about one member of a group who by the way has one vote. I never said Urban Coalition - I said me! I have no ax to grind except I am sick of paying for a less than effective school system, one that consistently blamed everyone but themselves. A school system that has pockets of success but can not find a way to transfer that success to a majority of their students.

I am not shooting the messenger, simply pointing out the skepticism I have given the conflict of interest. I have never said anything about her character or the veracity of her work!

Kaboolian was not a neutral party so her analysis is in question. In fact, I mentioned earlier that there were concerns as to whether she actually got all the data based upon what was given to her and subpoenaed for the court case mentioned in the initial post. So there are many questions about the ultimate conclusions that put in question the report's conclusions.

See comment on conflict of interest in this thread. She had a reason to be less than candid!

Anyone can "cherry pick" one statement/conclusion - in the same section she indicated missing data on age, whether resignations were "coerced" and therefore not considered a termination, etc. (And that assumes she received the complete data set from TPS.) But again, since she was not a neutral party any conclusions need to be corroborated and they have not been.

BTW - there were several responses to the RFP to do the analysis - seems one way to assure a better result is to pick someone with a vested interest.

Nonetheless, there were numerous recommendations that have not, to my knowledge or even Board members knowledge, been implemented. Some of them are worthwhile regardless of the perceived conflict.

So TPS pays for a study and does what with it? Let me tell you another story about another study/plan led by Phillip Schlechty - where a strategic plan was completed and was never implemented - there is a trend here! The plan now sits on a book shelf accumulating dust at the administration building.

The report below had a subtitle: A Plan for making the Toledo Public Schools a world-class school system.

http://tpsinfo.com/reforms/School_Reform_Committee_Report.pdf

And here is a link to the document written by Schlechty that became the report above.

http://tpsinfo.com/reforms/documents/schlechty_revised.pdf

And if you want to know more about who Schlechty is you can find numerous references by doing a google search. I have read many of his books including "Inventing Better Schools".

I guess you're right and I'm wrong. Kaboolian is obviously a sell-out. Harvard's reputation is so shaky that one negative report about one program that they had praised would embarass them beyond repair. NOT!
You've now cleared somehing else up for me. I now know why you hate most teachers. You are among those who think that teachers are overpaid and underworked. To them and to you I say the same thing. Why are you not on this gravy train called teaching?
Yes. There are still students in colleges of education. How many will want to teach in Toledo when Toledo trails in pay in almost all school districts in the region, and urban districts in Ohio and Michigan? Thank you for sticking with your statements on the radio. They (literally) speak for themselves. Cost of living differences between Toledo and other Ohio cities? Give me a break! We're talking Cleveland, not New York, not San Francisco...Cleveland! I know a lot of teachers who teach in the "3Cs". The higher cost of living is negligible and you know it. Did you encourage your children to become teachers? Did you tout the importance of teaching in the Toledo Public Schools to them? I still ask, who is going to take my place when I retire?
You also conveniently ignore the fact that about half of the people who become teachers leave within the first five to seven years. Some find out they just don't like teaching, but many leave because they can't pay their bills on a teacher's salary. No one gets rich teaching. Those you make reference to who leave large estates either have spouses that did well in their chosen fields or had someone in their family or in their spouse's family who left them a great deal of money. I know some teachers who live a lavish lifestyle, at least compared to me. Every one has a spouse who makes a lot of money in another profession or in business. I don't resent them. Why, Steve, do you? I have known a few teachers who lived very frugally and invested well, and did amass a reasonable estate. I guess you would deny them credit for their frugality and you resent the fact that they did a better job of investing than you have done!
As for my knowing "both of my (your) children as students at Deveaux", let's get this out. I don't know all of the students who attend DeVeaux. I teach a little more than one-third of the eighth graders. Neither of you children was in any of my classes. One of your children was scheduled to have me as a teacher. That child's schedule was changed before the first day of classes. They other teachers in my cluster group had your child that year. I was told that there was no academic reason or scheduling conflict to necessitate this change. Do you recall why your child's schedule was changed?

Obviously you don't understand conflicts of interest - Kaboolian even appeared on panels touting the program with your leader. Now someone who has taken this stand should not have been involved in the review. It is that simple as it caused, at a minimum, the perception of a conflict and raises doubt about the results. From my perspective and many others, your union does not seem to care if everything is above board. It is all about controlling the results.

I'm sure given my involvement with the district that you heard about my children - given your involvement in the union you probably asked about them! And then it seems you imply that I intervened to have my children taken out of your class - or it sure seems that way - says what? Actually I thought my daughter did have your class. But you seem to remember this quite well. I have no idea why there was a change. While I was aware of some teachers at DeVeaux that had "issues" including one or two that should have had intervention, I never intervened in the process.

I never ignored the fact that teachers leave early - if you read all the postings here then you know that I understand that the Toledo Plan was aimed at its inception in 1981 at the problem of teacher retention - but the plan has been warped and made out to be a "weeding out" program instead.

As to cost of living, there are some big differences especially in housing costs. If I get time, I'll post some data. Also, you only want to compare to the big eight. Always the case with TPS and the TFT. The average Toledo teacher salary is right at the average for the state of Ohio. That means salaries in Toledo are at the average - not the bottom and therefore right in the middle as I said on Troy's show. Perhaps you should have asked me what comparison I was making - but that does not seem to be your style.

As to new teachers, there will be a problem when your generation retires. There have been discussions to put an early retirement program in place, but contractual provisions involving sick time accumulated and other issues have derailed it as your union leadership won't negotiate a reasonable settlement. I'm aware due to cut backs that the minimum time on the job (seniority) is now in the 7-8 year range. It will be a problem but the issue will be experience (which is not always a factor in good teaching) and not supply. There are many issues involving the teaching pipeline including curriculum, licensing, etc. But of course, you would like to imply that I don't consider these issues. Correct?

And why the "teacher hater" issue - some of the most important people in my life were teachers. I'll say it again, I have a problem with teacher unions - they have been out of touch and until recently there was a monopoly. Monopolies from an historical perspective have never been a good idea. Tough when you have to compete like the rest of Toledoans - civil servants excluded.

And finally I don't appreciate your style of debate - you appear condescending and very personal. Interesting debating strategy, but not very helpful in working through the issues.

BTW - when I served on the committee to select the DeVeaux principal with you, it looks like I was right about the issues that kept me from voting or agreeing with your choice but it took a while to be proven correct - usually does.

Steve, We'll never agree about Kaboolian.
I NEVER ask about children I may or may not get as students. I only recall the schedule change because, in over 20 years, the only other times that a student was moved out of my classroom at DeVeaux was because of a scheduling conflict or scheduling change.
"Weeding out?" I don't get it. First year teachers must meet high standards. Teachers leave early nationwide.
A very close teaching colleague of mine moved to Columbus about 8 or 9 years ago. She is making about $10,000 more per year. I can guarantee you that her house payment is a lot less than $850 per month more than it would be in Toledo!
The comparison of salaries I refered to was not only among the Ohio big 8, it was also in our immediate region. By using a statewide average, you are purposely obfuscating the issue. We don't compete for teaching candidates with Rio Grande, Ohio. We do compete with Maumee, Perrysburg, etc.
Early retirement would only exacerbate the problem of finding people who want to take my place. I'm not sure what you're saying here. We don't have people lining up who can't wait to teach in Toledo, because they want stability and a reasonable wage. Teachers have bills to pay, too.
As far as the principal selection, you obviously have a much better recollection of the process than I have. If you're refering to the principal who immediately preceded our current principal, I will only say that the union rep. and I were very disappointed in the field of candidates from which we had to select. To be totally honest, I personally asked (then DeVeaux Assistant Principal) John Batson to apply. He had been an acting principal for one year at Robinson, and was not interested in doing the job for the balance of his career. Do I know that Mr. Batson would have done a good job? No one can know that for sure. I thought that he would, but I've been wrong before.
As far as my style is concerned, I match the style of those whom I confront. Many years ago, I wrote a letter-to-the-editor criticizing Merrill Grant and an organization that you led. I never used your name at all. You chose to write a letter of complaint to every member of the TPS Board, and gave copies to, among others the TFT President. Your letter was personal. Those who use a tactic should not be insulted when that tactic is turned back upon them. And you have the nerve to lecture me about finding common ground and respecting those with whom I disagree?

It is not intended to be a lecture. It was an observation/comment.

I make it a rule to refrain from disparaging an individual's character, but I do comment on actions and behaviors. I separate the person from the behavior.

Now that you have brought it to memory, the letter was aimed at the comments in your letter to the editor; I certainly did not call you names nor label you a "parent hater" or any other name. Ad hominem arguments have never been part of my style.

If by personal, I made a point of letting others know in a public way the issues, okay. But that is not a personal attack! Big difference in calling people names and using labels to discredit the message by going after the person versus disputing comments in a public manner.

If I recall correctly, you made comments I disagreed with and felt compelled to dispute as inaccurate. After which, you wrote a letter to all the parties I copied so you had the chance to respond. I refuted your arguments. So you have a "grudge" because I made my disagreement public by writing to the board and superintendent?

And apparently you think I took it further by trying to keep my child out of your class – which I did not.

I guess we have a better understanding of the motivations.

Don't you think it is time to let it go? Or would you rather perpetuate a perceived injustice at the expense of an honest dialogue? I’m not going to be a party to a feud you wish to continue over an incident occurring 10 years ago.

That letter was a far cry from a personal attack which goes to the character of the person and not the disagreement!

See the wikipedia definition -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_attack

Enough said, as I said above you can have the last word.

not speculation. More information is available on tpsinfo.org, you might want to pull up the Kaboolian report which is a report done by Harvard professor Linda Kaboolian in response to our pushing for the abolishment of the Toledo Plan. TPS paid a good deal of money for this report, I think about $30,000 to have the Toledo Plan evaluated.

such as the researcher and author is part of the organization - Kennedy School of Government - that presented an award to TPS/TFT for the program. Makes one wonder who was interviewed in the evaluation process as well as the process in general. So there is a conflict of interest - no surprise with TPS.

Those involved in the lawsuit have stated that the data provided Kaboolian was different than the data they got during the lawsuit. So another question about the validity of some of the conclusions.

Nonetheless, there are some good observations and recommendations. To my knowledge not a thing has changed, i.e., no recommendations implemented - again not a big surprise.

If you want to review the report, here is a link:

http://tpsinfo.com/ToledoPlan/ToledoPlan.html

As a non-traditional 1st year teacher (age 44, 20+ years after college graduation before teaching full-time), I found the Intern Intervention Program very valuable. In fact, without the help, encouragement, and advice of my Intern Consultant, I doubt I would have continued teaching, at least in Toledo. I had to submit every week's lesson plans in advance to her, and she visited my classroom numerous times during that year. In the follow-up consultations, she critiqued my teaching and classroom management skills, and gave suggestions for improvement. I am proud to have been helped by the program, and hope to become a consultant myself, so that I can help others in their first year of teaching.

Instead of giving up that first year, I worked with my Intern Consultant, learning best how to handle the "unique" situations in the urban schools. Moving into Toledo from a suburb where most children want to attend school and achieve was an eye-opening experience and could have been overwhelming without the help given through this TFT program. I am now in my 11th year with TPS, have completed a master's degree, and am a National Board Certified Teacher. I truly think that I would not have become a successful teacher without the help given through the Toledo Plan.

...would be your recommendation for an evaluation mechanism for teachers in TPS? How do you mix together comprehensive mentorship for new teachers, along with critical assessment tools for performance to make decisions on retention?

I do not know the specifics of the case you refer to, although I just read through the appeals decision of the Sturdivant case. It appears as if that the major issues were one of procedural problems (and perhaps a lousy CT?!). My heart goes out to a person, but this isn't an indictment of a whole system.

The Toledo Plan has won nationwide accolades for how it works, how it links together administration and union in evaluating new educators, and has been replicated in many districts. There is a lot of positive word about it from other locales. I've heard numerous complaints about it from posters here, but no solutions offered.

Thanks for the link to the report data, sflagg! It was an interesting read ~ some good recommendations for change, but it seems as if the recommendations are tweaks, not overhauls, of the system.

I accuse the Kennedy School of bias?

During the time of the report, Kaboolian had a previous relationship with at least one board member.

---------

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

identify Toledo on a map. Know your fact. We do.

before you post. Mr. Sturdivant is on no boards, charter schools or otherwise. Get it right before you post, that is what we do. Check who gives you the information then check the information. We check before we give out information or accuse anyone of anything!

Just like the washer/dryers at Pickett, before I said anything I checked with the principal who verified everything. Then I e-mailed John Foley.

Then someone should inform the Blade. From Alliance Academy terminates leadership on August 4th, 2007:

"Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, the sponsoring
agency — which in Ohio charges a fee in exchange for granting charter
contracts and overseeing the publicly funded schools — selected three
new board members: Sherita Evans, Judy Stone, and Tyrone Sturdivant.


They are all members of the governing board of Paul Laurence Dunbar Academy
, a charter school at 331 14th St., operated by the for-profit Leona
Group of East Lansing, Mich."

---------

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

From the Leona Group website...

http://www.leonagroup.com/dunbar/

It seems Mr. Sturdivant is on the Board of Directors (Treasurer) for the Paul Laurence Dunbar Academy.

Sturdivant resigned from both boards in Feb. 2008.

So let's put this one to rest!

And if there are any non-believers among you, I'm sure we can get the letters of resignation and post them.

Personally, I don't see the issue. Charter schools are by law public schools in Ohio. Sturdivant has always been about what is best for kids.

BTW - I too am in favor of parental choice. Who better to judge the quality of the school, interaction with parents - staff and what is best for their child than the parents as opposed to a special interest group (teacher unions) that represent teachers and not children!

I too am in favor of parental choice. Who better to judge the quality of the school, interaction with parents - staff and what is best for their child than the parents as opposed to a special interest group (teacher unions) that represent teachers and not children!
-sflagg

I totally agree. But understand a lot of parents are hopping from school to school to school. Does this mean that the previous schools were bad? Maybe, maybe not.

School choice is a responsiblity, but many parents misuse this responsibility. Some parents use it as retribution, some use it to hide things, etc. Like anything good, people will abuse if they can and wish too. So before you condemn a school as bad find out why students left.

BTW - I am a TPS employee (at Libbey HS). I am a TFT member. I do know dalepertchek (I worked with him for one year at DeVeaux JHS...He's a good teacher and a pretty funny guy). And I don't agree with the Toledo Plan (although I made it through it), but not for the reasons that purnhrt and sflagg disagree with it.

why you don't agree with the Toledo Plan? I have only mentioned some of the issues where I have problems.

Now one part I think is important and in talking with Dal Lawrence in years past he indicated to me that it was the primary reason early on - the mentoring part. Teachers were "burning out" and leaving teaching early in their careers. So mentoring through those early years and getting a good foundation was important and I still believe this part of the program is of immense value if properly implemented.

It comes to the evaluation and mentoring part - they really should be separated. Mentoring teachers should be about assuring success and not "weeding out". Which do you place as your priority if you do both?

Yes parents misuse or don't understand their responsibility at times. The same goes for everyone from teachers to CEO's. However, you should not regulate in such a way that you take away that responsibility because some can not properly exercise their obligations. At times it is a tough situation: when to regulate and when to allow free choice. I tend to err on the free choice side but see the need to establish rules and guidelines with flexibility in which to operate.

the Board of Directors for the Alliance Acdemy on their website:

http://www.leonagroup.com/alliance/

But I did find this:

The board of directors meets monthly, 4 p.m. The meeting location rotates between Alliance and Paul L. Dunbar acadmies - contact the school for meeting loaction.

Hold off on that e-mail.

maybe you should tell them.

so are you still going to deny that he is a Board member to this school?

And I'd be happy to shoot them an email correcting them.

But first I'll ask again, with which board member did Kaboolian have a previous relationship?

---------

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

about the Urban Coalition is because we have the facts, we get it right and then we report if necessary. Whereas you all and you know who you are, for starters, Sandy, just spout and don't check your facts.

do your research don't just listen to what TPS tells you. I don't have to deny or refute anything. Check my post from 12:26PM today.

Article published Thursday, February 28, 2008 Fired directors of academy sue for breach of contract The former co-directors of the once-troubled Alliance Academy have filed suit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the charter school's board of directors, the management company, and its sponsoring agency. Jerri Heer and Letha Ferguson, who filed the lawsuit Feb. 21 for breach of contract, contend their two-year contracts with the charter school were breached when they were terminated after one year. Ms. Heer, the school's former administrative director, claims to have lost about $72,950 over the balance of her contract. Ms. Ferguson, the education director, claims to have lost $86,920. A newly appointed board - Sherita Evans, Tyrone Sturdivant, Judy Stone, Fran Wexler, and Dick Knapp - terminated the contracts Aug. 9 and voted to approve a management agreement with Leona Group LLC. The school was having academic and financial problems and was ordered by its sponsor to replace its directors with a for-profit company. The five board members, Leona, and Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, are defendants in the lawsuit.

As of February 28, 2008, he was still on the Board. It has not otherwise been stated so in public information. However, either way I could really care less........

you are still wrong!!!

*****And I'd be happy to shoot them an email correcting them.

But first I'll ask again, with which board member did Kaboolian have a previous relationship?******

Start shooting!

#2 Don't get it twisted about anyone having a relationship with Professor Kaboolian. It was a professional relationship and I don't have to tell you who it was/is. In your infinite wisdom you figure out who it is/was.

whatever..................if I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing!

Dont get mad that we have proved you to be wrong......you pride yourself on accurate information and your research. Well, our research has found you to be wrong, he is a member of the Board. Are you still going to say, "he is no member of any board"?

No

Twila is correct. 2 months ago I'm sure she would not have made that comment.

As mentioned in another response, Sturdivant resigned from both boards in Feb. 2008

Perhaps an apology is in order as it appears she did check her facts!

You should ask for an apology from the Leona Group for posting out of date information. I'm sure you are correct, but until I have other information about this I'll have to take their word for it.

Sincerely,

s.weso

PS-I'm surprised such a minor issue has raised your ire (and use of exclamation points). Chill out, you guys have honor and righteousness on your side, right?

It did not raise my ire - I just have fun from time to time the !

I appreciate your sarcasm - give me some credit for a sense of humor as well!

Oh no, not another !

Cheers

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but my spidey sense tells me don't look under that wing.

No matter what teacher evaluation process is used there will be unhappy individuals. There is no perfect evaluation process and there never will be. CLICHE ALERT: This seems more about splitting hairs than anything else.

Good postings! Fred's smiling and toasting you! Me, too!

no one is "mad" at either one of you. My energies go towards other more positive things.

there are some issues with this Toledo Plan from many different angles. How long has it been in existence? Does anyone know? And what was in place prior to and did it work better?

How long has TFT been around as well? And did things work better prior? For the students, taxpayers or teachers?

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.

I can get you the exact year, but the Toledo Plan was started nearly 30 years ago. Before that, as in every other school district in the nation, principals or other administrators, exclusively, evaluated teachers. In TPS, administrators still do all other evaluations except for first year "Intern" teachers, and those experienced teachers placed into "Intervention". In the five years before the Toledo Plan started, TPS non-renewed (fired) exactly ZERO first year teachers. About 8%-12% of first year teachers are non-renewed in a normal hiring year under the Toledo Plan. As I have stated in other postings, nothing constructed by human beings is perfect. Most of the Intern "Consulting Teachers" want their interns to succeed and work hard to mentor them and improve their skills. I think that you'll agree the Toledo Plan is a vast improvement over a system that "rubber stamped" the evaluation of first year teachers previously.
Experienced teachers may be placed into Intervention either by the principal or by the union building committee. Most Interventions are joint recommendations of both. Those placed into Intervention either improve, or are forced out of the classroom.
A form of the Toledo Plan is used in school districts large and small around the nation. In Ohio, Cincinnati, Columbus, Port Clinton, and Berea are among those who use a form of the Toledo Plan. The State of California has a statewide program based upon the Toledo Plan, and Dal Lawrence was a consultant on the original legislation. Mr. Lawrence has made numerous trips to California helping unions and management set up these programs in their individual districts. More recently, he consulted in Chicago and in Monterrey, Mexico!
The TFT has been in existence since 1933. It formed primarily, I was told, by women teachers who wanted the same pay as men. TFT became the bargaining agent for TPS teachers in the late 1960s over the Toledo Education Association. So TFT has been in existence for 75 years, and has been the bargaining agent for about 40 years.

I'm aware of the issues principals have putting teachers into intervention. If the building committee does not agree, oh the poor principal for trying to do his job.

How many veteran teachers are placed in intervention and how many are actually fired? Got the numbers or are you just talking?

Since almost all administrators come from the teaching ranks, what does that say when you criticize and suggest that administrators are the root of all evil. However, I will agree that a good process is absolutely critical in the evaluation process and even then it is difficult to keep the subjectiveness out of it - just as is the case with the Toledo Plan.

The Toledo Plan was started in 1981 - that means it has been in place for 27 years.

As you know, I am a full time teacher. Although I know a lot about the Toledo Plan, I do not know everything about it. I can get the stats on intervention, but this is not my primary job.
As far as the principal's role is concerned, let me explain. I respect a lot of principals. The title alone does not earn my respect. Their performance does. Earl Apgar was the best overall principal I ever worked with, but Earl had his flaws, too, as do I.
But principals are overwhelmed with duties. Evaluating teachers is not a top priority. Keeping order in the school building takes precedence. But, let's suppose a competent sincere administrator wants to do a comprehensive evaluation of a first year teacher. When I was teaching 6th grade my first year, there was no intern program. The principal, whom I considered to be a competent professional administrator, had been a secondary Phys. Ed. teacher. She evaluated me highly based upon two visits of about 30-40 minutes each. That's all the time she had!
There were two other first year teachers at Cherry that year. One taught first grade. The other was a music teacher. How can a principal trained in secondary education do a knowledgeable evaluation of three teachers with such a wide range of teaching assignments at the elementary level? Even if the principal had been an elementary teacher, how does one train to evaluate teachers at so many different grade levels, with such varying curricula and ages of students?
In the old days, I often respresented TFT as part of the interview team when a teacher would apply to be an elementary principal. One interviewee was in his SECOND year of teaching! He got his first administrative job the following year. How's that for teaching expertise!? He may have turned out to be an excellent administrator. The types of skills needed to be a good building administrator are quite different from those needed to be a good teacher. But some people enter the education field with no respect for teachers, and can't wait to get out of the classroom and into an administrative position. I've known some very good, experienced teachers who became adminstrators, and failed miserably. That's the whole point of the Toledo Plan. Steve, you and weso are stuck in the factory system of viewing union and management. Dal Lawrence's goal was to take full responsibility for those entering the teaching profession as the medical profession does. Hospital administrators have some supervisory authority, but it is physicians who evaluate interns to see if they have what it takes to be good doctors.
Several years after I started, I taught and shared students with a new sixth grade teacher. Her only experience before that year was teaching pre-school. Her "Intern Consultant" had been a student teacher when I was a student at Nathan Hale, and had taught me. He had been teaching sixth grade for nearly 30 years and was assigned to evaluate a sixth grade teacher. He must have made 8-10 visits to observe her. He shared ideas with her. Working closely with her as I did, I knew that she would have no problem being recommended for continuing employment with TPS. She is still teaching with TPS, and is an excellent teacher. Her comment to me at the beginning of her second year at Cherry was, "I miss Mr. Kozbial." I told her to give him a call any time. I knew that he would be happy to continue mentoring her. Mr. Kozbial, and most "Intern Consultants" want TPS school children to have the best possible teachers in TPS classrooms. A principal could have little teaching experience. A principal is unlikely to have taught at the grade level and/or in the subject area of the teacher who is to be evaluated. How long ago was that principal's last teaching assignment? 18 years? 27 years?
THAT'S the difference between principal evaluations and the Toledo Plan. Again I state that any plan carried out by human beings is imperfect, but the Toledo Plan is far superior to any other teacher evaluation system.
I know Crystal Ellis well, professionally. I respect him highly. I believe he respects me, too. You'd have to ask him that. We were talking recently when I happened to see him at the Ad. Building. Let me add that Mr. Ellis is one of those rare individuals who I have heard praised in every job he ever held with TPS both as a teacher and as an administrator. I don't think that I'm betraying a confidence to say that, in Mr. Ellis's opinion, the worst decision Dal Lawrence ever made as TFT President was when he cancelled the Intern Program for one year over a termination that did not follow procedure. Again, Mr. Ellis can speak for himself, and quite eloquently, I may add. But Mr. Ellis is fully committed to the Toledo Plan. Maybe, just maybe, he knows a little bit more about it than you or I do, Steve.

Dale,

From what I have seen you write here and elsewhere, you appear to take great liberty with your assumptions. I fully agree that peers should be part of the evaluation process. I have a problem with aspects of the Toledo Plan especially where one consulting teacher holds all the power, they may not be subject or grade specific and a review process that backs up the CT and really does not provide for due process. You won't like this but I would include parents in the evaluation process as well. And yes I understand the problems here and have considered ways to mitigate the obsequious and parochial, as well as the overly critical parents.

I would also implement merit based compensation: yes I know the devil is in the details, but I also know that the AFT believes it to be one means to raising teacher salaries and assuring more effective teachers.

The biggest problem is, whether it is TPS or the TFT, that any perceived criticism immediately puts the individual in the “against” column - you are either for us or against us. As those who are charged with teaching critical thinking, I find teachers who are heavily supportive of the "union way" to be short in practicing the skills they are supposed to teach – they remind me of the overly protective parents that are criticized because they are too emotionally involved and can not think objectively.

You assume I want a traditionally based evaluation system. The problems with assumptions are patently obvious. Instead of asking questions, determining common ground you instead make an assumption and go for the jugular. It is a peculiar mindset in TPS and that I believe is prevalent in Toledo.

I have many friends and acquaintances that are teachers including TPS, parochial, charter, suburban and higher ed. We find that we have a lot of common ground. I regularly have discussions with teachers and administrators to understand the issues and test ideas. I find it best to go to those who are less likely to agree with me to seek out concerns so I may formulate better strategies and am better prepared when questions arise.

Being critical of parts of the Toledo Plan does not mean I don't see why it was put in place and agree with the underlying mission. But I see serious flaws and I don't believe union leadership should be in charge of hiring and firing and that is what is occurring here.

Do me a favor, and yourself in the process, and try to understand or ask questions as to why certain comments are made and especially the information or data upon which such statements are made and delivered. Accusing someone of being a "teacher hater" does not allow the process to move forward. And frankly there is no basis for such a remark. I can have issues with compensation, evaluation, pacing guides, curriculum, your union leadership and more that does not mean I hate teachers.

Having major issues with TFT leadership, does not logically lead to the conclusion that I hate teachers.

In fact such statements as a “teacher hater” are offensive and if you have someone who is easily excited and prone to grudges, you have stopped all dialogue and most likely made an enemy.

I always do my research, but that does not mean I won't take a different opinion of the information than someone else does. I don't speak on an issue affecting TPS until I have the research and support as there are some 3500 or more TPS employees, their families and friends that are ready to call me on an error.

I am not ready to destroy the city of Toledo by raising taxes to levels that drive businesses and citizens from the city. There has to be a balance. Actually I believe we are at a crossroads now with the highest income tax and either 2nd or 3rd (I have to check since the last election) highest effective property taxes. That is a formula for disaster. Along with a couple of issues, I think the “perfect storm” is upon us: Can we weather it?

I also have issues with public service unions and their roles in selecting their bosses (board members, city council, etc.). Such situations strip the governmental processes of checks and balances and stop debate and, in my mind, leads to poor public policy.

Now you are free to disagree with me, but I think the results indicate problems with the performance of our city and schools including the exodus of residents from the city despite the fact that there are real housing bargains in Toledo that would be attractive if we were even close to being competitive with our suburban counterparts. In fact, I'm doing some research on this now.

I have one objective: to create a better community and one way I see to do this is by impacting the future through our children. I constantly see them used as the pawns in this struggle and when parents get blamed, kids are the ones that suffer even though they have no choice or voice in the matter. I don’t see teachers as instruments of blame either, but unions are not about kids and the best interests of our community. They are about the best interests of their members.

I live in Toledo and could have moved to the suburbs and joined you a long time ago. Instead, I have stayed, raised my voice with regard to city, county and school problems and issues. You may not appreciate the tactics used, and that is certainly your prerogative, but to disparage a person's character simply because we disagree is wrong. IMO, it is why we seem to have intractable problems in Toledo, our country and world and can find no common ground that would lead to solutions. I must admit to thinking it is time to join you in the suburbs, but the same problems besetting Toledo are headed your way – it is just a matter of time. I have thought about joining a friend in New Zealand.

Don’t assume we have no common ground. Don’t assume because we disagree and you read bad things in your union newsletter or the local daily that I am a “negative” person. Don’t assume that a program like the Toledo Plan can’t be improved upon. Call me. I’m in the book, we can discuss it. At the very least you would know why I made the comments or took the action I did.

TPS, TFT, etc. are part of the larger community. They need the support of this community and labeling your critics instead of engaging them will lead to less support and eventually irrelevance if not extinction.

I don't think that parents should be involved in teacher evaluations any more than patients are involved in doctor evaluations. Doctors and teachers get sued by parents and patients when they are accused of malpractice. Doctors do the formal evaluation of doctors, and teachers should do the evaluation of teachers. In Toledo, and -- as you choose to ignore -- in a large number of other districts based upon the Toledo Plan, teachers do evaluate teachers. And, on the whole, they do so better than any other evaluators.
Like so many Toledoans, who hold our region back, if it's not your idea, it's a bad idea. You do the same thing to me and TFT that you accuse me of doing to you. You make assumptions just because we are a union. The whole point of the Toledo Plan was to get better instruction to Toledo's children. The Toledo Plan was and is the antithesis of a selfish union just looking out after its members. TFT participates in firing its members. What don't you get about this? Dal Lawrence couldn't stand idly by and watch while his students were in classrooms with incompetent teachers. And to add insult to injury, as head of the teachers' union, he watched our grievance people win time after time when administrators failed to do their job of following proper procedure to fire poorly performing teachers. THE TOLEDO PLAN: IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!!

Interesting how you continue to disparage my character again and again – at least this time I am in the company of "many" Toledoans. I don't believe my ideas are better than others although I do research and vet them. Most of the ideas are collaborations or from other disciplines or communities. You say you have listened to my interviews. Then you would have heard me say that we don't necessarily believe the ideas are the best, but they give us a place to begin discussions, identify solutions and implement needed changes. I believe it was in the same interview where I discussed teacher salaries that you referenced in an earlier post.

You seem to listen with a selective filter that let's you hear what you want to hear. Instead of asking how parents could be involved, or community members, or you dismiss the idea out of hand. Wow! You never ask for details such as how it would be accomplished or what areas parents could be involved with - such as teacher - student - parent interaction. Such an attitude appears closed minded at the very least.

Apparently only teachers can evaluate all or parts of the performance of teachers. Wow!

Of course I know that Consulting Teachers, a handful of teachers, evaluate other teachers. What about peer evaluations - those in the same building that day after day see the impact of individual teachers on the students. I have had many a teacher state issues with other TPS teachers. When challenged, most mumble something about not getting involved, or their union won't do anything, or that it is management's responsibility. The vast majority go back to their classroom, close the door and never act. I wonder why?

What in the world do lawsuits have to do with evaluations? A preponderance of such suits might indicate problems if they continue to crop up for negligence. Actually there are a number of areas where hospitals, those that strive for continued improvement, survey patients for quality of service. And who better to evaluate bed side manner than the patient receiving the service.

Again, you fail to ask questions and go for the jugular. I have given you ample opportunity to ask why. Yet all I hear is vitriolic diatribe.

And to criticize me as a Toledoan, like so many other Toledoans, for holding back the region is offensive to all Toledoans and on the surface appears an elitist statement coming from a suburbanite who appears to be satisfied with bleeding Toledo with higher taxes, which you would not have to pay, for your salary. Now what does that say?

Let's get the numbers and see just how many veteran teachers have been placed into intervention and fired.

Actually, I have had many including TPS teachers, as well as administrators and community members say that if it is not the TFT's idea then it never gets to see the light of day. If the idea does somehow get implemented, it gets undermined. The words are not mine and were stated to me in much stronger language.

So Dale, who really holds the region back? Is it those that ask the questions, explore the situation, and begin the dialogue and debate or those stuck in the mud of the past? A program that is almost 30 years old and never been modified would indicate neglect and/or the inability to improve based upon actual results. It just could not have been perfect from the beginning and the Kaboolian report supports this assertion with narrative and recommendations.

By failing to ask the questions and look at alternatives, you and your union leadership assure mediocrity.

And interestingly enough you don't address any other points brought up except parent involvement in teacher evaluations.

I think I will let you have the last word as with the attitude I see here, there is little to be gained from further discussion except to let those reading the comments judge for themselves. In fact, I think I'll pull the discussions we have had here and propagate them to a larger audience.

I really don't have time to continue this pointless dialog. I admit that I don't believe that you understand how much most TPS teachers care, nor how hard most TPS teachers work. I also accept that you can't understand that this inner city kid grown up has enough money for himself, but really worries about the next generation of teachers for which TPS must compete. I also believe that you can't accept that union leaders elected by teachers care about the students their members teach. How sad for you!
My wife and I chose to live in Sylvania in 1974, at a time when she was teaching in Michigan and I was in the private sector. We wanted a stable public school system, and we, properly, foresaw the funding problems of larger cities filtering down to cities like Toledo. We have voted for every school levy (and every other levy, for that matter) in Sylvania, even long after our younger child graduated in 1997.
As parents ourselves, my wife and I found fault with a teacher here or there. Guess what we did? We went to the teacher and discussed our problem directly with that person. One we thought was a very poor practitioner, but in Sylvania, there is no union support to place teachers in Intervention. Our child survived the experience and went on to do quite well. It is an important lesson to teach our own children that there are some people they must deal with who are difficult, and they must learn coping skills.
It is my belief that a letter, using a person's name, sent to one's employer and to one's union President is a personal attack. I will let those who read everything that we have written decide for themselves.

sflagg- You wonder why I don't like the Toledo Plan. Simply, I think it always bad for a union to fire its own members. This will cause division among the ranks, and the worst thing a union can do is create division. I have thought a couple teachers got raw deals, but no system of evaluation will be perfect. If the district implemented your system of evaluation there would still people who would say they got screwed and sue the district.

kateb- To my understanding the Toledo Plan has been around since the late 70's. The previous practice of evaluation was done by school principals. The reason it changed was because some inept administrators abused and misused their power. Essentially some of these guys were asking for sexual favors for good evaluations (obviously you see the problem in this).
The TFT has been around since the 1960's.
Are things better now compared to then. I don't know that's up to the individual. But the district has a history of money problems and academic issues (what school district hasn't).

BTW- Before you think I'm real nice guy, I will state I don't trust ANYONE on this website (well maybe dalepertchek). I figure everyone on here wants to protect or take something: money, power, or the embarassment of others.

PS- purnhrt stop givin' the chickens cocaine:)

Never stated what evaluation process I would use. So if your statement implies that you know what it is, perhaps you would like to clarify my position for me? I have actually been involved in evaluating such processes and even establishing them in a few situations.

I would agree that no system is perfect - the best assure evaluations by more than one such as a 360 evaluation and minimize the potential for subjectiveness by using items such as specific behavioral examples to underscore the validity of the evaluation process.

I agree that unions should not be involved in the hiring/firing process. They are there to negotiate wages and benefits and assure all members due process. The Toledo Plan obviously excludes new members from the assurance of due process.

Toledo Plan was established in 1981.

No you did not state an evaluation process on this thread. I guess what I meant to say is whatever process you come up with will still have holes and will still anger people.

I got beat by Pertchek to the post now I sound all crazy. Oh well, I'll be crazy.

I didn't notice I get bubbles for each post. What the heck? Does this mean I get an upgrade some sort, like an atomic sword or shields? Someone tell me!

We get additional "spidey senses".......LOL

I can now see people sitting at their computers, through my screen. Watch it, I know what you are thinking..............LOL

are you saying that I am a drug dealer? I wonder where that came from. Just a warning, be careful what you say about people that you do not know.

That is one thing you TPS supporters are good at, attempting to damage someones reputation without supporting evidence.

Again, are you saying that I am a drug dealer?

how then does a kindergarten teacher evaluate a fifth grade teacher in a building nothing like the building that the k teacher teaches in? Sorry for ending a sentence with a preposition.

Hey weso-------- still looking for your answer to the cocaine issue.

Again, I will not comment about an individual case. Also, again, no system devised by people is perfect. It's simply far superior to any other system of teacher evaluation.
I'll let Mr. Ellis's career speak for itself. You saw the effect he had upon that child who spoke at the last school board meeting! The best decision John Foley has made, without a doubt, was to bring Mr. Ellis back into the central administraion. I have the feeling that John doesn't listen to Mr. Ellis enough.

That boy was my son Tyler, who has Down Syndrome. Mr Ellis sent him a Gold dollar a couple weeks ago- out of the blue. It meant so much for Tyler to receive a gift, Tyler knitted Mr. Ellis a hat. Yes.... I have taught my son to knit and advocate for himself. :)
I think the school administrators, Board members and Union leaders are a faced with a new movement, a student with a disability involved both at the school and political level. However, they are all so receptive and encouraging of his involvement. I can only be proud!
Is that a school district who does not care for all of its students?

purnhrt- If you took my comment about you giving poultry cocaine seriously (I hope you didn't) you are severly paranoid. It was simply a pun on your use of the phrase "...giving snuff to chickens..."

If you think I'm trying to make up lies about you, I'm sure I could do a lot better than saying you give chickens cocaine. (Or at least I hope so.)

to retire and stay retired.

Just a warning, be careful what you say about people that you do not know.

purnhrt- Make sure you follow your own philosophy. You are willing throw a lot of people under the bus (figuratively) to win arguments and curry support (i.e. you saying there is a female principal at Scott who was a sexual predator {I know you can't mention her name on here legally, but there are a few female school leaders at Scott and you cast all of them in a negative light just to attack one person...that's throwing people under the bus}. And don't forget you also hinted that you thought Harold Moseley sent the cops to harass you while you were passing Catlin literature in the middle street...sorry he's not that powerful). But when people call you on this or use your tactics against you cry foul.

I understand if you don't like me or trust me, but I have never (or at least remember) flat out lied on you to make you seem evil. I have used your own words to condemn you, but I have NEVER made things up about you. If I have or if I have ever gotten something wrong about you, then I will apologize now. SARCASM ALERT: I'm sure an angel like yourself has nothing to apologize for.

The only people thrown under the bus (figuratively) by me are people who needed to be thrown under the bus. Since you brought it up, the female principal (school leader) knows who she is and so do the other principals (leaders). You probably know who it is. It has been going on for so many years that everybody probably knows who it is. It's just the parents who don't know.

As far as saying that Harold Moseley sent the cops to harass me, where did you get that from? Please point out the thread. Because I would really need to apologize to Harold for that statement.

How can you say that I don't like or trust you? I don't even know you therefore that is a rather pompous statement.

I think when you imply that I sell or at the least have possession of cocaine whether being sarcastic or not is not something you should say about someone you don't even know, paranoia not withstanding..

Pertcheck: The feeling in my hood is that Mr. Ellis should retire and stay retired. I have also seen the opposite effect that he has had on a child.

I agree with you purnhrt, I am pompous, and I am okay with that.

I will also refrain from using sarcastic humor with you. JOKE ALERT: I will also refrain from connecting you to cocaine and illicit activities with any birds (i.e. chickens, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, cardinals, etc.).

I still think you throw more than one person under the bus (figuratively) with your statement about the female school leader at Scott. Many people on this website do not know which school leader you are talking about, and as I mentioned earlier, it could negatively affect innocent administrators who now may have the reputations questioned. But if you believe that it okay to POSSIBLY destroy the reputation of a few innocent people to get one guilty individual...well feel free to do as you wish. Oh and honestly, I have no idea which person you're talking about.

Your comment about Harold Mosely:
From: The Toledo Journal's Editorial Endorsement of Catlin and Myers is a must read. (Swampbubbles.com)

Interesting thing happened today.....
Submitted by purnhrt on Sun, 2007-11-04 19:18.
while exercising our rights as citizens. About 6 of us Catlin supporters were out with signs on the corner of Dorr and Detroit. We were waving to the people who drove by and were passing out literature to cars who wanted the literature.

A Toledo policeman in a police car got on his bullhorn and yelled, "GET OUT OF THE STREET WITH THOSE FLYERS!

When did we become a police state? Or was that a message from Mr. Moseley?
(end of post)
Interesting how you accuse him of controlling the cops in town. Is everyone out to get you?

In conclusion, I am pompous. I will allow you the last post in our lovely discussion.

Sincerely

s.weso
(Galatic Lord of the Universe and the 4th, 5th, and 6th Dimension) - That's pompous.

Joke Alert........
you are a smart ass, but funny.......

Speak for yourself. I'll compare Mr. Ellis's reputation with that of anyone in Toledo, throughout the city, in all of its neighborhoods. You don't speak for "the hood" any more than I speak for all Jews in Sylvania.

as I mentioned to you before that there is another child that I know who also has Downs Syndrome who was treated much much differently than your son. All documented through IEP's ,Conferences and Due Process hearings. Of course this child although she also knows how to knit wasn't given anything from the district but a hard time for her and her parents. She was even put into a self contained behavior class. So don't tell me about what a great place TPS is. It is great for some children.

Why must you always turn a positive of our district into a negative? Let me guess......the student you are referring is black?

***destroy the reputation of a few innocent people to get one guilty individual***

leads me to believe since you say that I will "destroy the reputation of a few innocent people to get one guilty individual" that you know there is a guilty person and I would further surmise that you know who she is. And I am quite sure the other leaders know who it is. It's (predatory behavior on Scott's children) pretty well known who the perp is. It is just sad that no adult has ever reported the behavior from this principal(teacher leader).

Why do you call them principals, I thought they were teacher leaders?

to give you the last word, but I guess I'm wrong.

In all honesty I don't know if anyone is guilty nor do I know who you are talking about. I'm assuming you have facts to back it up. Like police reports or investigative reports from Children's Protective Services. Do you? And if you do why hasn't this person been arrested? But we have discussed this before many months ago (See thread that includes your Moseley post.)

You know in small schools there are School Leaders (principals) and Teacher Leaders (TFT members). Which are you talking about and answer honestly did you not know that each small school has a School Leader/Principal?

Make sure you apologize to Moseley.

Once again, I (promise, with fingers crossed) to give the last word.

I have to question the same issue here. Why weren't there criminal charges brought against anyone?

I remember not long ago it was Leverette.........

criminal charges were brought at Leverette, Charles Poznanski and Mr. Harry to name two. Mr. Poznanski was fired, prosecuted and eventually lost his teaching license. Since this thread is about the Toledo Plan and the firing of "bad" teachers, Mr. Poz went through the Toledo Plan and if memory serves me right he was also placed into intervention where his Intern Consultant told him to watch his mouth around the students. Before he was finally fired he had over the years shown students pornography in a computer class, had taken a female student to lunch without the parent's permission, and was also being investigated concerning some missing money. He eventually molested two 13 year old girls while they were in class who with parent support were strong enough to go through the process that saw him being charged. The Toledo Plan worked for him also, it just didn't work for the students.

Weso---We did file charges against the teacher/leader/Principal (at Scott) with the district but because they did not have a student come forward they couldn't do anything so they said. Clint Faulkner was involved with the filing of the charges, ask him why he didn't pursue the charges. OOps, I forgot he defected to Cleveland. LCCS also would not investigate without a student coming forward. Male students don't usually come forward, female perps are usually caught when parents expose them after some type of slip by either the student or the perp.

She may have slowed up a bit because she is getting a little old and keeping up with this new generation may be a bit much.

I have just about had it with your racially charged comments. I have been thinking about this for awhile. I think that at the next board meeting AAPA will ask that you and your group take mandatory diversity classes. Some things that you say are just uncalled for. If all of the parent coordinators think like you it will be appropriate that you all be trained in how you address all people regardless of race.

Why would it have to be a black child and why does the race of the child matter? A Downs Syndrome child is a Downs Syndrome child.

As a volunteer in TPS, I have attended many seminars to understanding diversity through "The Community partnership" and many other community organizations. In addition, I have attended numerous other seminars on culture, diversity needs, poverty, and special education. I do not represent the parent coordinators, only myself.

Normally you make comment about the "well I had a black student......." and this is where this statement came from. Assuming that because of color. ..........

You and I are both advocates for students and families, we just have different approaches. Perhaps we will never see eye to eye.

before you post again think about what you are going to say.

should be free from bias. When I speak it is not only for black children as you have wrongly assumed. Although you do speak for yourself, you are in the school community affecting children.

I know you have mentioned the diversity training that you all have gone through, did you learn anything or did you learn how to do things differently with different people?

It is commendable that TPS had the foresight to offer diversity training for the community volunteers/parent coordinators Which program was used? How often do you have the trainings? Were you all paid to attend the trainings or was it a part of being a community volunteer/parent coordinator?

Weso: I know Pertcheck thinks highly of Mr. Ellis, how do you feel about him and his efforts to help TPS?

Actually, TPS has nothing to do with my desire to help all walks of life. Ultimately, my heart is with Special Olympics, which serves many "special" students, families and homes.

I pay for the seminars myself...I learn about community organizations independently and I spend a good portion of my days volunteering my time. I do not care if one is white, dark, purple or red...if I can help you, I will. In addition, my children are learning a valuable message by my shadow. They do not know hate, disability or color. Rather they know compassion, empathy and desire. They have learned you do not need a lot of money to be happy...however, it does help! LOL

My point: even though I am a "TPS Cheerleader", they do not train me for anything. I am what I am because that is my nature. I appreciate everything I have been given, including the ability to advocate for my family. I have learned far more from my son Tyler, than I could ever teach him. Each one of my boys is so special and so are the thousands of "special" families I have met!
This is from the heart...does it sound like one of a bias person?

this comment ****Why must you always turn a positive of our district into a negative? Let me guess......the student you are referring is black?****

and others you have made to me are offensive to me. You also stated ****As a volunteer in TPS, I have attended many seminars to understanding diversity through "The Community partnership" and many other community organizations. In addition, I have attended numerous other seminars on culture, diversity needs, poverty, and special education.****

When I asked you about your diversity training---

Then you state ******even though I am a "TPS Cheerleader", they do not train me for anything. *******

So did you get your training through TPS or on your own?

PS... I don't consider myself a "walk of life."

As I stated...........on my own time and money.

We are all walks of life, just follow in different footsteps.

In an ideal school system, one like you and your family was involved in, talking with the teacher is the norm. However these teachers in TPS aren't trying to connect with inner city students. That is why there is a no tolerance policy for everything in these schools.

Some people after they become teachers decide that they don't even like children.

The vast majority of teachers in TPS care very much. Those who don't like teaching shouldn't be teachers. Sadly, this is true in every school I've ever known. The worst case I ever ran into was when I was doing my student teaching at a Toledo Catholic School. One of the teachers did not have a degree. He was a vet going to school using the GI Bill to get a degree in business. He did not qualify for a job in a public school. He, basically, let the students do anything they wanted in his classroom. No learning took place at all. In the rotation of 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes, I got his students with each class change. It would take me about 10 minutes to settle down each class before I could teach.
Does this mean that I condemn all Catholic school teachers? Heavens no! The majority of teachers in most schools, public or non-public, are dedicated to teaching children and like children. How many people would go into a profession to work with a group that they don't like? Your position on this issue just doesn't make sense.
I love teaching. I was in business from the ages of fourteen to twenty-nine. I enjoyed my contact with people in retail sales, but nothing is as fulfilling for me as meeting former students and seeing them (well, most of them) doing well. When I see a former student in trouble, I do a lot of praying. Sometimes that works!
One of my former students called me from prison many years ago. I suggested a good lawyer who wouldn't expect a large fee for the service. That former student has totally turned his life around, and is doing very well, now. He called me a few years ago to let me know that he had gotten his act together. I can't say that about all of those who were lured into the world of drugs.
Do I care? Yes! But no more than most public school teachers. In her last year of teaching I was able to pass a message on to one of my colleagues. One of our former DeVeaux students had become a bank executive. He wanted me to tell her that she, his 8th grade Math teacher, was the best math teacher he ever had at any grade level. She was thrilled! You don't take that home and deposit it in a bank. Please don't tell me MOST teachers, public or non-public, don't care. And don't insult teachers by saying that most teachers are only in teaching to get a paycheck.

I am sure you know this, but when debating with certain folks on this site, you might as well hit your head against the wall 2,000 times........

I believe I am optimistic and have faith in mankind. I like to see the good in people, but realize the struggles many face. I keep an open mind of people and try to understand their views.

However, for some reason, there seems to be a lot of hate against TPS by a few individuals. If you defend one TPS person, you are immediately an ememy. I have defended TPS and our teachers for years and now I am known as "TPS Cheerleader". However, I see how hard and the endless hours most of our teachers and administrators work to provide an excellent education for the children in Toledo.

How does one tolerate so much negative?

Just listen to yourself. I don' t really think you know what positive suggestions have been made by the Coalition and other affiliated organizations.

I recommended zero based budgeting to the district way back in 1999 and again year after year. Last year it was implemented and now the district is touting it as helping better allocated their resources to their mission. Now how is that negative - but it sure did take them a long time to see the light. Any ideas why they took so long?

There have been many more suggestion - many of which were synthesized in Catlin's eight point plan.

Now just how is that negative? Why do you ignore the suggestions? Do you even know what they are or do you just read the "negative" drivel in the local daily that never accurately reports the whole story but just that which makes our group appear negative.

We are more than willing to debate.

Are there major problems with TPS?

I have a business background. I have been trained to identify situations that are exceptions, both positive and negative. I look for successes and ask why? And then I see if they can be duplicated. I look for the failures or problems and ask why, so that they can be addressed.

You don't seem to want to accept that TPS does not address problems and they have been woefully inadequate in replicating the successes they have had.

Living with your head in the sand, leaves your @#$ exposed. You are being negative for implying that we don't care. We live in this city just like you do.

I never said you do not care.......obviously you do. I actually respect your compassion and devotion to create change. Yes many things in our schools need change and I have never denied that issue. What I am saying is many members in the Urban Coalition are one sided. It is your view only. You do not even try to see another prospective and to be optimistic in a positive manner. I think it is great to advocate for change, it is how one does it that makes a difference!
Once again this is my perception, not the perception of TPS.

You would never make such statements if you saw the discussion that goes on in our meetings. We explore all sides. We ask questions. We debate the issues as there are always more than one opinion. We gather information. We do analysis.

If you have read all my posts here, you know that I seek out others with opinions differing from mine to explore the issues and concerns of any idea I take public. As in all groups, we have some that are more positive than others. We have some that are more confrontational. But do paint that canvas with a broad brush.

Actually taking on change is optimistic - why try if you don't think there can be a better future.

You don't help matters when you don't know all the facts and assume that everything said is negative.

And for that matter respect goes both ways. I respect individuals that earn it. At the same time, I try had to be polite despite the erroneous and biased remarks based upon grudge and innuendo that comes from many at TPS. Not all - there are many fine individuals that are as disgusted as I that work for TPS. How do you think, I got so much inside information over the years?

It is amazing what I wrote and what you heard.

Sandy: what I will be suggesting is a diversity training class for the parent coordinators/community volunteers because you all need to be on the same page as far as walks of life goes. It seems to me because of comments you have made concerning race that you really could use some training in how you address people and how they respond back to you. And if the others think and feel like you do there needs to be an intervention that will address the "diversity" "walk of life" issue.

"Teachers in TPS aren't trying to connect with inner city students." These are your words. This sounds quite negative to me. I must be overly sensitive.
As far as the "no tolerance policy" toward disruptive students, who speaks for the students who are NOT disruptive? How much disruption should be tolerated when teachers are trying to teach ever more difficult concepts to a majority of students who come to school with a positive attitude for learning? TPS loses too many of these students because their learning is disrupted.

Twila states: "It seems to me because of comments you have made concerning race that you really could use some training in how you address people and how they respond back to you. And if the others think and feel like you do there needs to be an intervention that will address the "diversity" "walk of life" issue.:

You really should take your own advise............

I ain't tryin' to debate with you. The debate would be too uneven.

28 schools either on academic emergency or in academic watch. Old Orchard just reached the level where those students are now able to receive a voucher due to academic problems.The suspension/expulsion/bic problem is out of hand. This is negative.

Instead of addressing the root cause (which are not the parents) TPS had for years, until we brought it to the community's attention, touted their rating as continuous improvement while ignoring the inner city schools which were all on academic emergency or academic watch for years. That is except for Old West End Academy. This is negative.

The vast majority of teachers and administrators do not live in Toledo and we feel that they are disconnected to the inner city students. Whether you consider inner city as black and or poor the facts speak for themselves. Your group has given nothing and we continue to ask.

Students are leaving for many reasons but the main reason is parents do not want their children in failing schools and schools that are non responsive to their children's academic needs. Schools that are more interested in providing social service programs instead of academic programs.

We want to see reform in TPS from the top on down. Is that negative?

If it is so be it. We are for students and parents and teachers when they want to engage in productive conversations around the academic needs of the students. We are not anti teacher and most of us are not anti union, but we do know that there are no jobs for students who do not graduate from high school and no union in the world can help them.

You can paint us all with the wide brush of being negative but we ain't goin' no where until true reform
is the order of the day.

If, in your opinion, the root cause "are not parents" and "your group has given nothing" refers to teachers, I call that negative. I, at least, admit that teachers have faults. You find no faults with parents. Let me repeat this, however. Most of the thousands of TPS parents of my students over the years have worked hard to do the job of parenting well, and most succeed.
You are not for the majority of TPS students. I know that you don't see it that way. You ignore the needs for an orderly learning environment and don't choose to see the connection between disruptive actions by a small number of students and poor academic performance.
No! Most parents do not choose a school by its academic rating. Some do, but not most. If parents chose schools by academic ratings, the number of students at Ohio's charter school would plummet to half or less. Overall, Ohio's charter schools are miserable academically. Far more parents I talk with are concerned with their child's safety. These concerned parents know that TPS has excellent teachers, and that their child will do well academically if their child has the right attitude toward school and if there is an orderly learning environment. And I have found no differences over the concern for safety based upon the race of the child or the parents.
And earlier you refered to my children attending Sylvania schools and called it something like "a perfect" situation. One of the worst cases of discrimination against students because of slower mental acuity, was a Sylvania teacher who loved both of my children, but noticeably ignored the needs of the slower students. Although I can only speak anecdotally, it seemed that she had one of the highest retention rates of students of any teacher I have known. She just gave up on the slower kids and let them fail.

your children at all. I was referencing the fact that you and the vast majority of teachers and administrators live in Sylvania, Maumee, Perrysburg, Monroe, Temperence, Sandusky, Ashtabula, Rossford, Oregon, Ottawa Hills, Holland, Erie and any other city besides Toledo where the students live.

Parents like charter schools because after being beaten down by TPS anything is a respite. And the administrators and the teachers communicate with them. What a novel idea.

Academically, charter schools are failing. Try to tutor a child that came to TPS from a charter school.......They are so behind it is sick.
The last parent I heard you represented was not welcome in the school from a "safe school" violation. I sure do not want parents in our schools like that. The safe school was designed to protect.
I have to agree with Dale here........

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061124/NEWS21/61124020

toledo school for the arts is rated excellent, and they are a charter school for grades 5-12. how many schools in toledo, excluding private schools, can say that for a jr high AND high school? yeah there are many failing charter schools in toledo, but there are also a lot of failing public schools as well.

There are many reasons for parents and others for which the district has tried to use the safe school ordinance. Sykes tried to pull that stuff on me for a trumped up charge - I supposedly verbally attacked former board member Deborah Barnett. There were half a dozen witnesses that saw the incident where she went beserk over a question that was not even asked of her! He threatened me with a safe school violation, nonetheless I showed up at the next board meeting. He never filed a complaint and therefore could take no action. I think a couple of cooler heads on the board prevailed, but I did have to threaten legal action.

So what does this prove except some in TPS will use the threat of a safe school ordinance to intimidate and coerce silence.

And why shouldn't a parent not welcome in school because of a safe school ordinance be represented? After all, it is the children we are supposed to be advocating for. Do we take it out on the kids due to a perceived parental transgression?

And the relevance is?

with a safe school in a few years. Maybe you can refresh my memory. Even if I did represent a parent with a safe school, I represent students, not parents because parents do not go to school, their children do.

Sandy, you have no say as to what parent comes into your school, you are by your own admission a volunteer not the school principal.

The children in twenty eight schools in TPS are so behind that it is sick as you so aptly put it. Pickett's 5th grade reading and math had a passage rate of 10% out of a possible 100%. Now that is negative!

And the only comprehensive plan to come forward to deal with the serious challenges at Pickett have come from Fran Lawrence. The GEM Academy has been stonewalled by Darlene Fisher, and outright rejected by Dave McClellan and John Foley. The teachers would take full responsibility for Pickett's rise or fall, and the administrators's union and their champions will do anything to stop that from happening. Why? Are they afraid that a teacher-run school will succeed where they have failed? Why not let the TFT have their school and watch a debacle occur? That would bolster your argument and theirs! How do you feel about GEM?
How do you feel about TAAP [the Toledo Association of Adminstrative Personnel]. (Twila, I know that you know what TAAP stands for, but other readers may not.) Do people know how rare an administrator's union is in any school district? Do people know that Foley was a TAAP trustee before he became a "cabinet-level" administrator? Do people know that Foley and TAAP President McClellan are good friends and view educational issues almost exactly the same way? Do people know that TAAP is affiliated with one of the few truly powerful unions left in America, the UAW? (I am NOT disparaging the UAW here. This is just to point out that TAAP has power beyond its own membership.) In my opinion, TAAP is the TPS union that is most rigid and least willing to try new approaches to education.

Your union has managed to elect a majority to the board and you blame one board member for stonewalling a proposal. Why not raise the question to your pseudo union member Board president Steven Steel? I have not seen him attempt to drive the project home.

Dale, what world do you live in?

One board member can not block a proposal that only takes 3 board members to pass. Why has Steel not made a motion to vote on it, Sobecki and Ford could second and the three of them pass it? Want to explain why it has not happened?

I quite frankly don't understand your logic. Let's blame the only board member that has asked any questions and shown any leadership. Go talk to Steel and ask him why. Here is his email address - ssteel@accesstoledo.com. Let us know what he says.

As to the GEM proposal, well it borrowed on a whole lot of ideas that others have championed such as the United Way and their social and emotional learning program. I don’t recall any credit being given or for that matter asking such institutions and people for assistance or support.

Now, that does not make it a bad proposal but Lawrence went about this without working with the board or administration. She springs it at a board meeting after holding a press conference the day before, does not talk with all the board members and administration and then expects it to just be accepted. She alienated a lot of people with the process used. She and the rest of the TFT can't just ram something down someone's throat and expect them to enjoy eating it. There should have been some collaboration. But that was sorely lacking in this case. I think you should blame Lawrence for a lot of this due to the manner in which she preceded – poor planning and the wrong “political” decisions. And don’t say politics is not alive and well in your organization or for that matter TPS.

And of course let's not forget that state law requires a principal in the school. I don't see why a school can only succeed if it is teacher led. Why can’t it work with the programs suggested and a principal? TAAP and TFT have been feuding for years – who is to blame? This reminds me of the chicken and the egg.

Actually there are two districts including Toledo where there is an administrative union. And of course, the TFT is not powerful or affiliated with other powerful local unions. TAAP and their UAW friends also supported both Ford and Sobecki.

I think there is more here than what you want others to see. This is more of the blame game and I have seen numerous proposals for change from TAAP including their booklet on school reform. But don’t get me wrong I don’t think principals should be in a union – they should be part of management. Oh no, that blows your case for me saddling up to TAAP.

And in regard to your comments about my association with TAAP in a recent letter to the Free Press – I’m laughing pretty hard at that one. What facts do you have? None! Read my response to your letter which was posted at. tpsinfo.com

I guess you need to find a devil or two. Perhaps you should look a little closer to home.

Do you take time to look at both sides of an issue before you jump to your conclusions?

This time you get two WOWs!

thinks as one irrational voice, You and TPS have merged into one. What comes out of your mouth has been told to you by TPS and then you expel it.

It figures. I direct a question to Twila, and Flagg answers. It's all about Steve...NOT! I may not agree with you very often, Twila, but I believe that you can answer for yourself. Does Steve?

Twila, I still would like to know what you think about GEM. Remember, Fran developed this out of a sense of duty to the students at Pickett, and a sense of frustration with central administration. TPS central administrators have done nothing comprehensive or innovative at Pickett for too many years. GEM is a complete package, because if Fran introduced anything but a complete package, people would have criticized her for NOT presenting a complete package! And it was not presented as a "take it or leave it" proposition. If this could work at Pickett, it could be a model for other poorly performing schools. If not, we'll try something else. Getting rid of the entire staff and starting fresh sounds like what you claim is needed, "top to bottom school reform".
I, again, may disagree with you on many issues, but I know that you care. And I've stated that the vast majority of the parents I've worked with care. Is it impossible for you to believe that most TPS teachers care, too? If this is impossible for you to believe, I guess my dialog with you will end, too. If there is no mutual trust, nothing can be achieved.

Twila is very capable of answering for herself and you know it. I'm sure she will when she has time. But let us divert attention away from your ridiculous accusation about "stone walling" the proposal by Fisher.

You make a statement like that and you expect not to be challenged.

Why don't you answer my question about why the union elected majority can't propose and pass the program?

How about working collaboratively on the project before you go public with it.

And Steel did come with a resolution to approve the project at the board meeting. It was obvious that the board realized that they could not act without at least consulting the administration and finding out what it would cost. I was pleasantly surprised that they did in fact insist on due diligence before moving forward. It has been rare in the past.

BTW - Do you have any idea of the price tag? It was very expensive and with a tight budget you don't go spending money you don't have unless you know where it comes from - you willing to lay off 20 to 30 teachers to pay for GEM?

It is not about me! It is your lack of a logical argument that brought my response.

So what do you do? You divert and obfuscate and throw a few barbs in about my character.

Don't expect me to be silent when you continue to question my character even in a round about sarcastic manner.

Oh and to answer a question you asked Twila - and I'm not answering for her - I do believe that the majority of parents and teachers care. But caring only gets you so far. A working relationship between parents and teachers is critical but it should be a partnership and not a one way conversation.

Steve says: "Oh and to answer a question you asked Twila - and I'm not answering for her - I do believe that the majority of parents and teachers care. But caring only gets you so far. A working relationship between parents and teachers is critical but it should be a partnership and not a one way conversation."

I could not agree with you more! I do believe TPS is headed in that direction.......

I and many others have been working with parents for years.

There is a huge gap in communications. I've talked to many parents that have left Toledo or taken their children out of TPS and one item consistently mentioned is communication with the teacher. It seems to go one way - from the parent.

I have suggested, and others as well, that every parent leaving TPS get a call and basically do what we in the business world call an exit interview. Now doing such an interview does not mean change but at least the data is there to determine if change is necessary.

BTW - I get a kick out of Foley talking about data driven decisions. Do you realize that yet again they are talking about ideas that I and others have been saying for going on 10 years? This is basic business 101 and now Foley acts as though he has invented it. Unfortunately when we ask questions about suspensions and data such as referals by teacher - guess what? They don't have it. Now some of the data they do have, I have seen it. So why so hesitant to not collect data? And when they do have it, why so hesitant about providing data owned by the public to the public.

Yes, the Sunshine Laws and the courts in Ohio have determined that records of public agencies are owned by the public. Although there are some records that are deemed confidential, mainly as they relate to children, that are not to be disclosed. Most other data such as land purchases, collective bargaining issues, etc. can be kept confidential until they have been approved. So even confidential information is eventually public.

Got off the track - but I disagree that TPS is headed in that direction. Their student data base and use of programs such as Power School which allows for better communication with parents is light years behind. And the bad thing is that those dollars can come out of the permanent improvement fund (capital dollars) and not the general fund. All you ever hear from TPS is the general fund and budget issues.

Anyway - no TPS is light years from improving on communications. They sure do know how to talk a good game - but actions always speak louder than words.

But I will say I have seen teachers on their own go to great lengths to assure effective home-school communications. Unfortunately, this appears to be the exception. If it were part of the evaluation system which includes parents that determined their raise, it might just get attention.

Sandy - what evidence do you have that TPS is headed in the right direction? And if you mention the parent congress, I have another history lesson for you. BTW - You probably don't realize that the idea of parent coordinators came from an organization called PACE of which I was President and we presented it back in 1997-98.

Steve, the Ohio Department of Education has been talking about and working toward data driven work for many years beyond the past ten.

Data management is one of the most difficult struggles in any business. You can collect tons of data, but without a plan for what to do with it, it's worse than useless, it's frequently counter-productive and paralyzing. That'll be one of the next big waves of technological innovation ~ what to DO with all of the information that is available at your fingertips right now.

I obviously have been using data to drive decisions for my entire business career - both in the corporate world and my own businesses. Data collection is worthless unless you can take the data and put it into a form that helps you manage decisions - as you have stated Wombat. You can certainly get paralyzed and overwhelmed if you don't understand what you are doing. It can result in planning paralysis.

Now the problem with TPS is that they don't collect all the data they need and when they get it they generally don't understand its use in problem identification and the development of solutions. The management of the district is trained in pedagogy and they missed the business part of it. No matter what teachers may think running any school and particularly an urban school system requires business acumen. Except in a few cases, I find these skills severely lacking at TPS. And only one board member of the five truly understands the process.

In reality, I've been immersed in data driven decisions (if not called that) for more than 35 years - so has every good business person. The term data driven decisions as it relates to using data such as test scores as a mantra for school reform is relatively new in the teaching lexicon. I don't recall much use of the term until about 7-10 years ago. As to TPS, it has only been the last 5 years that I heard much use of the term and much more so under the Foley regime.

to me that any conversation that catagorically denies the existence of any problems within TPS is patently dishonest.

There are examples of excellence within TPS, take Beverly Elementary for example, but these are sadly a very tiny minority. So, it can happen. I'd love to start a dialogue at some time right at that exact point - that we CAN achieve excellence for our kids.

But it appears to me that the moment any constructive conversation occurs, in swoop the TPS 'cheer leaders' to censor their opponents by belittling or humiliating them.

Those who strive to squelch the conversation prevent very serious, very real and well documented problems from being discussed - and thereby resolved.

Constructive dissent is critical for democracy to work. All sides need to be heard, all problems accurately identified and solutions reviewed. No one voice should be permitted to go unopposed. That would be a dictatorship. And while it's quite evident that is what some people would be more comfortable with - that's not how we will be playing this game. Trust me.

And that, in the end, is a disservice only to the children that trust all of us to do much better than that for them.

IMO it's disgusting to watch too.

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.

I find it quite a statement about what motives you, that following my opening the door for a progressive discussion with the above post - you chose instead to post something inflammatory higher up in the thread.

Your cronies at TPS have failed to tell you a few pertinent facts. And your posts show that.

So if Steve is Twila's mouth piece, I guess that makes you Fran Lawrence's?

I'm just asking....because your childish refusal to engage in any progressive discussion is very difficult to understand from this vantage point. My concern is the education our children are receiving in this city. What motives you? .

Did you realize that you are often successful at preventing progressive conversation with your childish inflammatory and deflective antics?

Is there something that can be done do that you will allow a discussion of the Toledo Plan here without any antagonism from you? Do you require a fee of some kind?

Just asking.....

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.

Here are my feelings about GEM ACADEMY.

Open letter to Black Toledo,

It is time that we as black parents stand up and say, “No more.” “No more.” No more losing our children to the street, when our children command $11,000 to be in a Toledo public school seat. This $11,000 does not filter back into our community because the people getting paid this money do not live in our community.

Remember Scott and the four small schools? Failure. Lincoln Academy? Failure. Libbey? Failure. Now comes Francine Lawrence again, a white lady living in Sylvania who has no interest in Toledo’s students and her troop of teachers wanting to experiment once again on our children by putting in place GEM academy, a school to be run by mainly young white females who are currently failing our children, suspending, expelling and bicking them because they don’t understand, care about or want to teach them. This will be a trick school.

They have to trick you to get you to send your children. As an incentive, they will have preschool for your four year olds, Spanish for your pre-schooler, a longer school year, a longer school day and an on site social worker because your children have unresolved social issues that according to the TFT are the result of your low economic status, although you work longer and harder for the least pay than any other demographic in Toledo.

The disparity displayed in the rank and file of the TFT is OK with Ms. Lawrence as she is the originator of the Toledo Plan which is a plan to keep out black and other minority teachers. Remember Gloria Sturdivant, Mario Martinez, Marvine Brown, Claudia Cooper, Tomas Mizelle, Cheryl Wilson and Eva Courts. The most insulting part of this PR campaign for GEM academy is the fact that one of the teachers touting this school in the media is Andrea Bennet, the Intern Consultant whose evaluations led to the union’s firing of Mrs. Gloria Sturdivant from her teaching job at TPS’s King Elementary. Mrs. Sturdivant was recommended for hiring by her principal and her peers. We have not forgotten. This is the same Andrea Bennet whose vanity plate on her car read “NOOSE" while being the mentor for Ms. Sturdivant.” A word that is not an endearment in the black community.

Gem Academy is wrong. It is wrong in it’s concept, wrong in it’s planning and will be wrong in it’s implementation. If it is such a wonderful concept why not use it at Harvard, Arlington or Beverly? Stop letting the TFT experiment with our children. It is up to us, black parents, whose children make up the majority of the students in the Toledo Public School system. It is up to us, black parents, to keep our children out of the Cradle to the Prison Pipeline and have them engaged in schools that value them, not one that will experiment with their future.

Take away the power of the TFT under Francine Lawrence and just say no to GEM Academy. Say no to a ship without a captain, a 500 Company without a CEO, a country without a president and a school without a principal.

Mrs. Lawrence:I observed you on television last night and while I am aware that you only get sound bites out of a televised program where there is little time to express all of your views, your view on "economically disadvantaged children was appalling. The economic status of a child's parent has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a child can learn. Racism (and all of it's counterparts) and the desire of teachers to give the same information to all children in the same way, at the same time, plays a larger part than the economic status of a child's parent in the TPS system of failure.
I can give you personal stories of parents who live well below the poverty line, who work two jobs, who don't have time to read to their children but whose children nevertheless are doing well in schools. Why? Because teachers, administrators and the lunch room lady have the expectation that the children will succeed. I was raised in a family where money was non existent, where both of my parents worked, two or three jobs to make ends meet, who never volunteered in my school, who never read me a bedtime story but sent me to schools where the expectations were that I would succeed. Out of this environment a State Supreme Court Justice was produced, my youngest brother. So it can be done and it continues to be done in school systems where teachers, administrators and the lunchroom lady are vested in the welfare of the students and where failure is not an option for any child, rich or poor, black or white.
It is very irritating to me and others, when you get on television and blame the people who pay you and denigrate their children and then blame them for their own failure, when you have had access to these children for thirteen years. What were you doing during these thirteen years and what did you do to uplift and teach, you have had thirteen years! There is an African Proverb that says, "Don't call the forest that feeds you a jungle."
Use the federal government's money (tax payer) to educate the children and eliminate disparities and stop blaming poor and black parents for the failure of the school system.
And you black parents stop falling for everything that Ms. Lawrence places in front of you. Let her renaming of Cherry school to Rosa Parks Academy be the last thing she does in our community until she makes her teachers respect, revere and teach your children.

Sincerely Yours in the Struggle,
Twila Page
African American Parents' Association

"Remember Gloria Sturdivant"

Reviewing the case

Long teeth, not skin factored in

Outrage is misplaced

 

"This is the same Andrea Bennet whose vanity plate on her car read
“NOOSE" while being the mentor for Ms. Sturdivant.” A word that is not
an endearment in the black community."

Head out window

Breathe in the world's aroma

The name on the plate

 

"Gem Academy is wrong. It is wrong in it’s concept, wrong in it’s planning and will be wrong in it’s implementation."

Stagnation abounds

The ship ran aground years back

Why not change the course?

 

"Say no to a ship without a captain, a 500 Company without a CEO, a country without a president and a school without a principal."

Captain Hazelwood

Stained Great Land's shore, killed birds, fish

Wish he called in sick

 

"I can give you personal stories of parents who live well below the
poverty line, who work two jobs, who don't have time to read to their
children but whose children nevertheless are doing well in schools."

They are exceptions

Friedman, Galbraith, Hayek, Keynes

Determine success

 

"Use the federal government's money (tax payer) to educate the children
and eliminate disparities and stop blaming poor and black parents for
the failure of the school system."

We outspend D.C.

Kids, funding left behind

Hollow promise from shrub

---------

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles
Bukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

I'm sorry that you feel this way. I understand the context in which these sentiments have been nurtured. As I previously stated, you are most articulate. Steve does not have to speak or write for you.
I am not writing these comments for anyone but myself. The only way Fran Lawrence would even know that I'm on this site is if someone informs her.
You write of what you consider failures, some of which were started by an African-American superintendent. Yet, you ignore the successes such as Grove Patterson Academy, a joint initiative put together by Merrill Grant and Fran Lawrence, which draws students from throughout the TPS district, as well as Old West End Academy.
Although GEM may be new (experimental) to Toledo, it is based upon successful schools in other cities, and upon both Grove Patterson and Old West End Academies. Although no specific school had been chosen for GEM, it is Pickett which had failed to meet its goals for the longest time. Should GEM, instead, be placed at a school which is already successful by state standards? If anyone in TPS proposed that, you would probably question why GEM wasn't aimed at a failing inner city school!
While I respect your right to express your views, and I understand the pain of living in a society which has yet to face up to all of the inequalities which still exist, I must end this dialog.
For whatever reason you simply can't believe that Fran Lawrence really wants what is best for all of TPS's children. There is no way I can convince you that most white teachers, whether raised in the inner city or not, do not aim to hurt any of their students, whatever their racial, ethnic, or religious background. We need an orderly learning environment for both minority and non-minority students, in order to achieve the goal we share. That is for all of our children to succeed to the fullest extent that their talents, abilities, and character will take them. I'm truly sorry for the obvious pain which you carry with you every day.

It is really too bad that you only see this as my pain. I don't know who you talk to but I don't carry any pain with me everyday. I have a good and full life. I have beautiful children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews, young cousins and children that I nurture while their parents work or go to school. I specialize in developing little humans. However, it is painful for me to see any child regardless of color not being given the opportunities for safe passage to adulthood.

During the time that TPS was falling into utter failure there was an African American Mayor, an African American superintendent and an African American school board president. The first time that we met with Dr. Eugene T.W. Sanders, shortly after he took office, he told us that we were talking to the wrong person that we needed to be talking to the union about our concerns. He could not change anything without the union's consent. The TFT to be exact.

I remember when Grove Patterson was proposed, I was at that board meeting. It was proposed after it became apparent that the charter school movement was viable and TPS may lose students because of it.

I remember when Grove Patterson opened up, two of my children attended. Ms. Beueter, the principal, made me persona non grata even though parents were supposed to be a part of the school and eventually I took my children out of the school.

Because we know that Grove Patterson and Old West End Academy work, what we don't know is why these two schools cannot be duplicated at some of the failing schools, such as Fulton which is 5 minutes away from Old West End. Those two schools (OWE and GP)have now become the schools for Toledo's African American elite's children and grandchildren. It is also the school for the selected child even though they purport to have a lottery. Kind of strange who gets picked for the lottery and who doesn't.

I have personally met with and had a private conversation with Francine Lawrence and nothing she said to me indicated that she wanted what was best for all school children. She wants what is best for her teachers.Period! That is as it should be for a union president but then who represents the children?

Where do you see similarities between the GEM Academy, Old West End and Grove Patterson? Old West End Academy is in the process of being dismantled and Grove Patterson has a strong, if not at times irrational, principal. Old West End had a strong principal when it first opened but she was sent packing by the building rep and the teachers. The current principal is ineffective and abusive, I heard she is retiring after this year which would be a good thing for the students. But I digress.

You should be trying to convince me that ALL white teachers do not aim to hurt their students. I hope that all white teachers do not intentionally hurt children but that leads me to the question of why all of the schools in the inner city that are comprised of black children are failing. To come to the conclusion that these children can't learn after being taught properly would test my belief in children. I am a day care provider and see how children love to learn. So it is hard for me to accept that these little black children that I teach as newborns until they go to school and then they begin to fail once they get into a public school in the inner city. They become discipline problems. Something is wrong with that picture.

Old West End and Grove Patterson have just as many children who get into mischief as any other school but the way that the school handles the mischief is a lot different than say it is handled at Pickett. Pickett students are suspended or expelled whereas OWE or GP's mischievious
students are put through a process of first talking to the parent. What a novel idea!

Don't apologize to me for the obvious pain heaped on students. Apologize to the students.

If somehow you equated my childhood as being a bad childhood because we were poor and therefore I live in pain today, let me explain. We were all poor in my neighborhood, we just didn't know it.

You were poor. I also was poor...my mother was poorer than I...we can relate to poor. As Jews, however, we didn't have to walk around with armbands in America. If we did, I'm sure that I would have been treated much as you were. (All of our relatives who did not emigrate away from Eastern Europe were killed in the Halocaust.) As a person of color, you were a target of discrimination wherever you went; a problem that, sadly, still exists today. That is the pain to which I refer, and for which I feel sorrow. Your pain just won't allow you to judge most teachers and their leaders fairly. When I refer to "teachers", I refer to all teachers, non-minority and minority. You tend to focus primarily on "white women". I have yet to meet the white woman (not to mention women) who said anything about wanting a teaching job in an urban school so that they could ruin as many lives of minority chldren as possible. Most of the people I consider white racists stay as far away form the inner city as they can throughout their lives! And the fact that you can't see the good in most teachers is at least as sad for you as it is for them.
I also feel sorry that I don't have time for the give and take of this type of dialog. I enjoy the thought processes that I have gone through to respond to you, but it simply takes too much time, and it seems so unproductive. I can't change your mind, and you can't change mine. Maybe after I retire...

May I just add: have a blessed life!

before you leave this conversation, let me let you know what I am saying, not what you want to hear. Let me tell you a personal story.

My three year old granddaughter spent the night with me last night. When I woke up this morning, I looked over at her and she said, "I lod jew." She had the most beautiful smile on her face. I said "I love you too" and she went back to sleep with that beautiful smile on her face. I thought to myself, I wish she would always be that happy. But I know that when she starts school her smiles will fade and by the third grade
the spark will be gone from her eyes.

I never had a black teacher. All of my teachers were white women and they gave me a extraordinary education. So I know what a good education by white women looks like.

While I don't believe people wake up and say I am going to destroy a child today, somewhere during the course of the teaching day that teacher's values, prejudices and shortcomings (we all have them, teachers are no different) are going to be challenged by a child that they do not relate to.

Even if the only way you will learn about a culture different from your own is to attend classes, you should be willing to attend diversity training classes. But those classes are given and teachers are paid to attend them but they will not attend. TPS should make them mandatory.

TPS is 85% white females and 60% of them do not live in this city. What chance does my grandchild, a little black girl, have to encounter a teacher that will look at her and see the potential that she has? In an ideal world you might say she has a good chance of being taught by someone of that caliber. But the statistics prove otherwise when 28 inner city schools are failing and there are 96,000 school days missed due to suspension, expulsions and bic and most of the children serving these statistics are children of color, for reasons that do not involve violence.

I would have to conclude given your reasoning that the child is at fault but looking at the children that I have dealt with over the years, they start out eager to learn but then when they get into school, doors begin to close on them and by the fourth grad they don't even like school anymore. That is the painful part.

And that's true - children face difficulty at home, many of their home lives are just tragic.

My grandmother taught school. Her students often had great difficulty at home - but at no time did she think that equated to an excuse to fail to turn out a great product.

My first memory of my grandmother is when we traveled from Illinois to Michigan to visit. She was grinning from ear to ear and she smelled very nice when she hugged me. She went into the kitchen and hurried to grade papers so she could put them away and visit.

She said she had to grade her papers because the students would want to know how they did on their test. And later she explained to me how important that was, for the teacher to grade the papers so she could see where her teaching was breaking down by what her students did and did not pick up.

She used to collect gloves and hats because so many of the kids didn't have them.. She also used to take extra food or goodies for the ones who didn't have enough to eat.

But at no time did the fact that these children faced adversity in their outside life disqualify them for a good education in her eyes. As a matter of fact, I believe it made her more determined to help those students so that they had opportunities in life to make things better.

But maybe she was just crazy :-)

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.

I agree and most TPS teachers do this, on their own time.......At Walbridge we worked with Teamsters in the Fall for a huge donation of hats & gloves. This staff did not have to take the time to organize this for the students. most schools do this as well. All the teachers I have encountered have done exactly as your grandmother. However, you cannot change the fact that these students' home life has a direct impact on their school success!!!!!

All of my relatives except those who fled the slave master's house were killed in the slave trade. This happened in America.

Purnhrt - you keep commenting about teachers not living in Toledo as if it's a proven fact that they moved OUT of Toledo. You state the high percentage of teachers who are white females - did you ever consider that they had established a home somewhere else, and then CHOSE to work in Toledo? Their families may have been well-rooted in other communities, with their children attending public schools in those communities, but they saw the need for teachers in the urban system and made the commitment to teach for TPS.

There have been quite a few times, on blogs and on the radio, when comments have been made about teachers who live outside the area not having a vested interest in Toledo. Consider, though, that Toledo withholds a great deal of income tax from everyone who is employed in the city. They may not pay property tax on a home in Toledo, but certainly their income tax dollers are being spent, wisely or not.

look at it. When I say a vested interest I don't just mean a monetary investment but I mean a commitment to the interests of the people who live in the city.

My interest in this city is the school system so if you are a teacher and for whatever reason you don't live in the city that you teach in, whose inner city schools are all failing and you have your children safely tucked away in a thriving school in the city that you live in, to me you don't have a (vested) or a committed interest in making the system the best that it can be. I may be wrong about you but your post concerns me a lot.

As I stated in my response to Mr. Pertcheck teachers who do not know their students and have preconceived notions about them and are disconnected from them serve not the children well.

Your statement bears this out, "Moving into Toledo from a suburb where most children want to attend school and achieve was an eye-opening experience and could have been overwhelming without the help given through this TFT program."

What makes the children in your suburb "want to attend school and achieve" and children in "unique situations in the urban schools" not want to attend schools and learn?
My answer would be to investigate who is delivering the lessons. A teacher that respects and can relate to any child without any preconceived notions of whether or not that child can or want to learn and does not blame the child for the economic status of the parents is a teacher that I would want for my children.

Sometimes people say things and not even know what effect they have on the other person.

Here is what I see you saying in your previous post.

I am a white teacher (or upper middle class black teacher) who came into the inner city from a suburb to teach children who are nothing like the children I am used to interacting with. I had a hard time my first year to the point where I questioned my ability to continue, because it (these kids) was more than I could handle. My Intern Consultant helped me see that I could actually teach these heathen children. Since then I have been teaching for 11 years and have affected the lives of many children.

How well do your students do on tests? How many students do you give referrals to on a daily basis and what do you giver referrals for? How do you relate to the students parents?

Teachers shape lives either in a good way or a bad way only you know which one you are.

Purnhrt - you really do know how to twist the words from a post into something that they never said or intended.

1. You said:My interest in this city is the school system so if you are a teacher and for whatever reason you don't live in the city that you teach in, whose inner city schools are all failing and you have your children safely tucked away in a thriving school in the city that you live in, to me you don't have a (vested) or a committed interest in making the system the best that it can be. I may be wrong about you but your post concerns me a lot." 

If you think I don't have a committed interest in making the system the best it can be, then you're selling me short as a professional.  I am completely committed to making sure that the students that I teach are learning.  That means that I have enough knowledge of my students to gauge their understanding of subject matter; to discern and implement an appropriate way to guide them towards increasingly higher levels of learning; to assess them, and my teaching methods, continuously and make modifications as they are needed so that the students are successful learners.

2. You said: "As I stated in my response to Mr. Pertcheck teachers who do not know their students and have preconceived notions about them and are disconnected from them serve not the children well." 

See my response to #1 - I know my students and am certainly not disconnected from them.

3. You quoted from my previous post and commented: "Your statement bears this out, "Moving into Toledo from a suburb where most children want to attend school and achieve was an eye-opening experience and could have been overwhelming without the help given through this TFT program."

What makes the children in your suburb "want to attend school and achieve" and children in "unique situations in the urban schools" not want to attend schools and learn?
You continued: My answer would be to investigate who is delivering the lessons. A teacher that respects and can relate to any child without any preconceived notions of whether or not that child can or want to learn and does not blame the child for the economic status of the parents is a teacher that I would want for my children." 

You would be totally wrong in this - the economic status of parents is not an issue at all.  Their involvement in their children's educational progress is.  I do not blame the children for something they cannot control, and once again, I categorically state that I do not have preconceived notions about the students.

4. You said: Here is what I see you saying in your previous post.

I am a white teacher (or upper middle class black teacher) who came into the inner city from a suburb to teach children who are nothing like the children I am used to interacting with. I had a hard time my first year to the point where I questioned my ability to continue, because it (these kids) was more than I could handle. My Intern Consultant helped me see that I could actually teach these heathen children. Since then I have been teaching for 11 years and have affected the lives of many children.

WOW, you really twisted my words here - it doesn't matter what my age is, what my gender is, what my socio-economic status is.  The fact is that I got some serious on-the-job training in classroom management, with class sizes of 25-30 students.  I never said the kids were more than I could handle - I absolutely never said that they were "heathen children."  How dare you put those words out there?  My previous teaching experience was with small groups, and my Intern Consultant did help me create a fair, consistent, and caring learning environment for my students.  

5. You said: "Teachers shape lives either in a good way or a bad way only you know which one you are." 

You're almost right on this one - my students know, their families know, my co-workers know, my administrators know, and yes, I do know that I shape lives in a good way.  In fact, I have discovered that I found my "purpose in life" as a teacher in TPS. 

you are right. Sandy, whose time do you think should be used to grade papers?

As far as giving out hats, coats and gloves that is a good thing to do if done in the right way. However washing students clothing without the parents consent or knowledge, is wrong and will forever be wrong.

If I were employed by the district or any business, I would want their time to grade papers. However, these teachers do not have enough time in the paid hourly day to grade papers. Therefore they are grading papers at home, on their own time, until late in the night. Ask a teacher when they grade papers, create projects, midterm reports, grade cards, and organize a ciriculum for each individual student!

Individual curriculum for individual students!! What school is that? Tell some of the teachers to get off of their cell phones and grade papers. Let parents help out. Plenty ways to get papers graded.

Tell those women at Pickett in between loads to help the teachers grade papers. Between the wash and rinse cycle many papers can be graded.

be honest and look at what you wrote, think about it and then respond. You said,

***** "Moving into Toledo from a suburb where most children want to attend school and achieve was an eye-opening experience and could have been overwhelming without the help given through this TFT program."****

I take this to mean that you moved into Toledo from a suburb where most of the children WANT to attend school and ACHIEVE whereas Toledo's children did not want to attend school and achieve. If I am interpreting this wrong let me know but that is what you wrote and it immediately turned me off to anything else you had to say.

You also mentioned "unique situations in urban schools" which means to me, black children gone wild.

Purnhrt - if you read my post tonight, you would see that I explained that my previous teaching experience was with smaller classes. Yes, my kids went to a suburban school, because that was where we lived. I hadn't ever spent much time in Toledo, so there were a lot of things that seemed "overwhelming" at first - much bigger school buildings, much bigger classes, even finding my way around on the city streets. I never said that Toledo's children did not want to attend school or to achieve. Unfortunately, there are students with attendance problems through no fault of their own. If they're not in school, they won't be as apt to achieve.

"Unique situations in urban school" - there again, I never said anything about "black children gone wild." You are reading things that just weren't said nor implied. I have taught in north Toledo, on the east side, and in the inner city. I did not ever have a class of wild kids! What I did see was more poverty, more broken families, more children in need of love and attention, no matter what their color, than what I'd been exposed to in my sheltered suburb. Again, I have to say that I am glad that I teach in Toledo, and that I believe I make a positive difference in many children's lives.

Thank you for caring. Thank you for all that you do. You certainly seem to be the type of person we need more of teaching in TPS. I don't know where you are in your career, but the real rewards are when you come in contact with former students who are the real judges about whether or not you made a positive difference in their lives. My former students keep telling me I did and do a good job. That's the main reason why I'm at 32 years and still keep going. I may not even stop at 35! No other profession remunerates in this way as much as teaching does. And that more than makes up for all of the "nattering nabobs of negativity" that frequent this website in such staggering numbers!

I am thankful everyday for the wonderful teachers I have. Our teachers deal with more obstacles, challenges and rewards that I can imagine. However, they come to school everyday and love what they do. I thank teachers for their understanding, compassion, empathy, patience and knowledge. Please read:

http://nbc24.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=110658
(PS the little "red head" is mine too!)
THANK A TEACHER TODAY!

have an inflated view of people who live in the suburbs. The children in the suburbs have just as many issues as children in the inner city, they just have more money. Their parents are on drugs albeit a higher quality , they were the first "latch key" kids, children with parents and step parents and more step parents, children who suffer from depression along with their parents, students on drugs, (big drug problem at Maumee High), parents with multiple partners and swinging parents, school violence, teen mothers, abusive husbands, abusive parents, binge drinking at parties, students taking and using parent's and grandparent's prescription drugs, cheating by students, eating disorders especially in young girls, Britney Spears syndrome and I could go on.

What pristine suburb did you come from? I believe all children are at risk but the label is placed on inner city children and once you carry the label that you are different from other children it is easier to be disenfranchise.

purnhrt-
So you say it makes sense that Fran is more concerned about teachers and not so much about the kids (which I disagree with) since she is head of the Union. Wow. So to follow that logic, you are the head of the AAPA, but repeatedly say you are for all children. How can that be so? People are much more complex than having just one interest, agenda, or passion, and can weave those together for strong effect. You make that case for yourself, I would think it should apply to others as well.

You are spot-on about clear communications between parents and teachers, and it is so beneficial for teachers to go through continuous diversity training, not just cruddy 1-off sessions on a teacher workday. And not just white teachers. All teachers. And not just about diversity ~ gender issues are also important (boys are much more likely to be disciplined than girls via suspensions, taken out of the classroom, for example). And I agree with you on so much of the current school climate. But I don't see you suggest a lot of solutions.

***You should be trying to convince me that ALL white teachers do not aim to hurt their students*** Again, wow. I thought I just needed to restate that here. Now imagine you're a white teacher and hear you make that statement. How do you think that would set up a dynamic of trust? Watching how you took Suzanne's words and warped them way out of context, I wonder.

You say,

****No other profession remunerates in this way as much as teaching does. ****

The definition for "remunerates" according to the on line dictionary is: 1 : to pay an equivalent for . So you are right on about that. It's all about the benjamins! I am surprised that a dedicated teacher such as yourself would put your love for your profession in monetary terms. How sad for the children.

Wombat:
First of all I am not the head of the African American Parents' Association. I am just the secretary. No where near in the arena of a Francine Lawrence!

I think I was pretty clear on the Diversity Training. All TPS personnel should be mandated to attend diversity training classes.

FYI. The child most disciplined in TPS is the black male, next is the black female, then the white male and lastly the white female. This is at every grade level and at every school, even a school with a low population of black students.Draw whatever conclusion you want from these statistics. I have drawn mine.

It is pretty difficult to offer solutions (which we have) when TPS does not acknowledge a problem.

I don't recall Mr. Pertcheck divulging the family name of the student that provided the non financial compensation in his earlier post. Now who is the one that is twisting words?

I admire your attempts to improve the schools, but your bitterness can really cloud your judgement.

You took what I said out of context. ***You should be trying to convince me that ALL white teachers do not aim to hurt their students***

Goes back to that mout -ear thing I discussed on Glass City Jungle.

mouth-ear thing

I counter that I did not take your comment out of context in terms of the point I am making.

***You should be trying to convince me that ALL white teachers do not aim to hurt their students***

My point is that if you make an inflammatory, race-based statement like that to someone, which that most assuredly is, then go back and try to explain what you meant, you have still left a grenade on the table. It's there. And most likely turned most people off listening to whatever point you were trying to make. Because their blood is still boiling. No matter how valid your ideas are, they will fall on deaf ears.

And the statistics on discipline are staggering, I concur. Don't know if my conclusions are the same, however, besides the fact that something needs to be done.

you are kidding right?

****I don't recall Mr. Pertcheck divulging the family name of the student that provided the non financial compensation in his earlier post. Now who is the one that is twisting words?****

Not twisting words or taking any thing out of context. Here is what Pertcheck said:

****There is no way I can convince you that most white teachers, whether raised in the inner city or not, do not aim to hurt any of their students, whatever their racial, ethnic, or religious background.*****

I took issue with "that MOST white teachers" "do not aim to hurt any of their students."

I said : ***You should be trying to convince me that ALL white teachers do not aim to hurt their students***

Was this not reasonable? How was that**** "an inflammatory, race-based statement"**?

What I was saying is "shouldn't ALL white teachers not aim to hurt students?

I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were kidding in your post. Mr. Pertcheck tells a beautiful story about how rewarding it is to feel respected and appreciated by former students and you reduce it to $100 dollar bills?

Tell me I what I am missing.

I would not want to be a student, a teacher or a principal at TPS tomorrow. Why? Because all three entities have been away from TPS for ten days or more. I know from talking to students and teachers that they couldn't wait for the Easter break. Now that it is over and school begins again all I can say is hang in there. The first days back are always interesting.

Missed that earlier post, and yours didn't directly reference back - thanks for clarifying!

Purnhrt, I guess we just are worlds apart in how we look at things. You seem to look for the negatives in a situation, while I choose to look at the positives. Yes, TPS has had spring break, and yes, we all looked forward to it. And now, we look forward to starting the last 9 weeks of the school year - a fresh start, a new beginning, another clean page in the plan book, the attendance book, and in the student agenda books. Sure, it will be interesting - and some of us find it exciting to be starting anew!

I am looking at the real picture. During the week leading up to spring break I had quite a few calls from angry parents. I also know that the turmoil continues at Jones, Robinson, Libbey and Scott. I believe the contract also expires on Monday and teachers have threatened STRIKE! So it is not all sweetness and light and would have to be extremely stressful for all involved. Wishin' don't make it so.

Also I don't know what school you teach at but good luck and peace tomorrow to you and the students.

It's my understanding that both sides have agreed to extend the contract day-to-day, as long as negotiations are continuing.

Thanks for your good wishes for tomorrow - I appreciate them!

Thanks so much for doing what you do. I learn a lot from you even though I think I know it all. :=)

Keep providing the information, some day someone has to listen.

LOL....It is nice to learn from him......he makes you think about issues a little deeper than I normally would.

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