Why such an attack on Darlene Fisher?

From a reader:

The attack by the TFT on Darlene is possibly libelous this close to an election. They are still attacking because of her support for the 3 for change.

Full court press

http://www.toledofreepress.com/2009/09/10/tft-president-blasts-school-su...

See education section.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090911/NEWS04/90...

They are using the 3 for change charge and who she was associated with as to why she should be defeated. She is taking blows from all directions with people lined up against her: Steel now successfully on City Council: Hill on the TPS board: Sobecki head of the OSFC: Darlene being removed from the OSFC board: Support from the TFT for Green and Hill: Support from the Democratic Party for Green and Hill: Sobecki escounched in the Wilkowski office and spreading negative statements to all who come there: Darlene being left out of all public TPS photo ops: Fran's attack letter to the teachers: Hundreds of yard signs all over the Black community and few if any in other areas: Coverage in the Blade and TFP against Darlene and all directed to make sure that she does not getting elected, etc etc. There has got be a slander or illegal public charge that could be placed against publicly calling a sitting board member and a prospective candidate for an up coming election a hypocrite and the worst board member ever by the president of the teachers union.

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What do you think?

No votes yet

I have nothing to do with the schools, but I agree she is the worst.

deere1

“I have nothing to do with the schools, but I agree she is the worst.”

Deere I, Since you admit that you have nothing to do with the schools, I am puzzled as to what you base your agreement that she is the “worst?” Are you basing it on how she shops at Wal-Mart or how she wears her hair? As admitted to by fellow board member Jack Ford. Darlene is always prepared for meetings. The problem is that she has read the complete document and since she cannot get proper answers, she either abstains or votes no. She is probably deserving of being labeled the “worse” in regards to being a rubber stamp for the powers that be. Some of the reasons that she has not went along is because some members of the community have asked her to question some of the proposals being rushed past the public. Oh by the way, some of those that she questioned are being indicted in Cleveland. One has quit but is still under indictment; one has been fired but is still being investigated for criminality and I’m not sure but I think someone has pleaded guilty! Your brother and sister bloggers in Cleveland are recommending that all school board crooks return to Toledo. They did not leave Toledo because of Darlene Fisher, they left because they saw more rubber stamps for their decisions.

As soon as you “have [something] to do with the schools, let’s talk.

just from Francine Lawrence but also from the Blade. For instance the two pictures displayed showed Ms. Lawrence as a smiling, soft, silky woman. A woman (by the picture) who is intelligent, acceptable and professional.
The picture displayed of Darlene Fisher shows a dopey, almost cross eyed, pudgy woman. A woman with a befuddled look on her face and an expression that says "duh" which is the general attitude that the Blade has always wanted to convey to the public about Ms. Fisher.
It is always expressed in the Blade by either words or pictures that Ms. Fisher doesn't have a clue, that she can't make up her mind, when back room games are being played and then the results are being played out in the public via the Blade's corrupt journalism. When is actuality Ms. Fisher is the only board member who has the interests of all of the children at heart. and bases her votes on what is best for children.
The Blade once again is using "yellow journalism" and Ms. Lawrence is using the "color of green" to send a message that has absolutely nothing to do with educating all of the children.
Obviously, Lawrence and the Blade have no interest in children and they both should be ashamed.

Once again you have misused the term "yellow journalism".

MikeyA

have nothing to do with the schools sometimes they have not been paying attention to the politics being played out .
Instead of casting judgement without all of the information wouldn't it be best to research the issue and then form an opinion?
Until Toledo Public Schools rises out of the emergency situation of it's schools, property values will never rise and people and businesses will continue to leave this city.

Darlene Fisher was sworn into office in January, 2006. Now, almost 4 years later, she wants to ease the burdens upon teachers who buy school supplies with their own money? Now, let's see. What's different about his year? HMMM...Oh, wait a minute! Isn't Darlene running for re-election this year?

Fisher voted NO on a teacher contract that increased money for classroom supplies. Fisher openly worked to defeat multiple school levies. Those are actions of someone who, "has the interests of all the chidren at heart"? Not to me!

Twila, like you, I urge people to go to a TPS Board meeting, or view them on line. You like Darlene as a TPS Board member. I do not. Let people observe all of the TPS Board members and decide which ones are active, contributing members. Don't let The Blade, Twila, or me be the final word.

You can't sue someone for libel if the things they say are true. Darlene did vote against the teachers' contract. The contract did contain, among other provisions, increased funding for classroom supplies.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "Those who fear no truths need not fear lies." The truth is the truth. Darlene has every right to explain all of her actions. Personally, I would like to know why this proposal sprang to her in 2009? Why not in 2008? Why not in 2007? Why not in 2006? I've expressed my belief. I'm interested to hear Darlene's explanation.

BTW...I've met Darlene. My wife has met Darlene. I think that she's a nice person. My wife thinks she's a nice person. Her actions as a TPS Board member "befuddle" me. They are so negative and disputatious! They don't seem to fit this nice person we've met.

Dalepercheck, What else did the bill contain? And is there the possibility that it was only a portion of the bill and also contained something that was not beneficial to the schools?

Delpertcheck wrote: As Thomas Jefferson said, "Those who fear no truths need not fear lies." The truth is the truth.

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." --Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 1807. ME 11:224

“BTW...I've met Darlene. My wife has met Darlene. I think that she's a nice person. My wife thinks she's a nice person. Her actions as a TPS Board member "befuddle" me. They are so negative and disputatious! They don't seem to fit this nice person we've met.”

“When in the lions den the best disguise is to don the cloak of the lion” Just made this quote up. Dalepercheck, both you and your wife are correct, she is a nice person, but besieged by powerful politicians that see her as the reason that the board is not a complete rubber stamp.

ww...that's what I'm curious about. What ELSE did the bill contain? And what was her rationale for voting no? Was it the school supplies, or was it some other objectionable portion?

It almost sounds like there are some spin doctors trying to turn a "no" vote on that contract into saying that she specifically voted against school supplies. But I'm sure there must have been more to the contract than just school supplies.

(disclaimer - I don't live in the Toledo school district. I don't know enough about Darlene Fisher to say whether she's a "good" or a "bad" school board member. But I can certainly recognize when people are taking things out of context.)

you say """"""""Fisher openly worked to defeat multiple school levies."""""""""
You Lie!!
At least Ms. Fisher is not duplicitous as are the Blade and your fearless leader Ms. Francine Lawrence.
Are you a retired teacher?

I thought this is all in the public records?

you make some good points. But the point is to keep the so called status quo and the Blade and other "leaders" have yet to point out any reason why they "hate" Darlene Fisher.
Francine Lawrence who lives in Sylvania controlls the city of Toledo. If you check out some of the boards she is on you would go "what the hell" is really going on.
She has too much power on the board of education and unless Ms. Fisher gets a true ally on the board we who live in Toledo are doomed by loss of property values, untaught children running the streets and other unseemly activities that go along with an uneducated population.

when the vote came up. Ms. Fisher had said over and over again that the teachers were owed the money. Darlene Fisher wanted to open up the contract because in order for this district to move forward there needs to be contractural changes. The vote was put in fast mode and the other board members refused to open up the contract therefore Darlene Fisher voted no.
The vast majority of the money went towards teacher's salaries which no one was against, not even I. So no the "no vote" was not about school supplies.

Thanks. I suspected it would have been something bigger than just school supplies, since the vote was about a teacher contract.

I won't bore everyone reading with the details about the situation with the contract. I will only write that my problem with Darlene is that she consistently states that she is for teachers, then she votes against teachers. Talk is cheap.

Yes, the vote was on the entire contract. Yes, the main issue was the salary schedule which had been frozen for 5 YEARS!! After 5 years when most teachers received 1 or 2 small step increases in pay, and some teachers received no pay increase at all, and when teachers agreed to pay more for their health care coverage, a new contract settlement was reached after months of bargaining. During those months, Darlene was fully informed as were all of the TPS Board members. No collective bargaining agreement makes everybody happy. Both sides in a collective bargaining agreement have some provisions with which they disagree. Collective bargaining agreements are filled with compromises and trade-offs. 4 out of 5 TPS Board members understood that the 2008 agreement was fair and voted "Yes". 1 out of 5 voted "No"...NO to teacher raises after 5 YEARS of a wage freeze, NO to more supply money, NO to an agreement instead of continuing confrontation, NO to better teacher morale after 5 YEARS of a wage freeze, NO to attracting quality teachers to replace retirees with a competitive wage scale! Darlene Fisher is Ms. NO, NO, NO! Is there really surprise that Fran Lawrence, and most others teachers, see Darlene's initiative as self-serving and disingenuous?

No one has yet explained why Darlene's initiative to get children school supplies didn't happen until the year she's running for re-election. She's been in office for over 3 YEARS!! Why now? Why not in 2008, or 2007, or 2006? I stand by my description of Darlene as a TPS Board member -- negative and disputatious.

Twila...I don't really believe that you don't know this, but I'll repeat what I've posted before. I am in my 34th year of teaching in TPS. I could retire tomorrow, but I still enjoy what I do. I have never retired from teaching. I'll add that before I was a teacher, I helped my father in his small business for 15 years. I often worked a "second" job. These jobs included factory work and working for the post office.

how would I know your work history? Do you know mine? The reason I was asking is because I had heard that you had retired. Or maybe I saw it in a Board Agenda. I don't really remember but I thought you had retired and had come back to teach.

Because 80% of teachers can't vote for school board members because they live outside of Toledo, I don't see how you could surmise that Darlene Fisher is currying favor from teachers because she is running for school board.

There was no collective bargaining agreement, there was a vote to pay off the MOU from Eugene Sanders, which is what the vote was about. It was about the teachers getting their raise WHICH FISHER WAS NOT AGAINST. What she was against is that there was no collective bargaining on ANY OTHER ISSUE. Surely you know that.

How do you vote against teacher moral? Why would teacher moral be low because you haven't had a raise and I don't believe it was for five years. I will check that and get back to you. If I didn't have a raise for three, four or five years my moral would not be low I would just do my job.
Plus, teachers still had raises during those years. I don'r know why you would try to make it seem like you had not had a raise in five years.

Why such an attack on Darlene Fisher?

Simple answer: March 31, 2010 the TFT contract is again open for negotiations. Fisher has consistently stated that there are items in the contract that run counter to the mission of public education and that the Board must be able to set policy so that it furthers academic success and ultimately is best for students.

At this time, the Board is essentially controlled by the TFT through Sobecki, Vasquez and Hill. All you need do is look at past financial support, the support of the Democratic Party (the screening committee was stacked by Fran Lawrence and even included her husband the former TFT president, and all the photo ops. I have one of the Three for TFT gang (Sobecki, Steel and Vasquez with Lawrence in her offices that was published in the TFT newsletter - very telling). Ford is also known to be close to Lawrence and while more independent than the others does not generally challenge these issues.

If Fisher is not on the Board, who do you think will represent our community? The deck is stacked and the best we can do is assure that someone is there that is looking at the big picture and not just looking our for a special interest.

Lawrence has demonstrated in her response to the Teacher’s Cabinet that she is not interested in anything but her own members and public dollars. Fisher has shown independence and courage in asking the questions and apparently facing an unrelenting school yard bully.

Pertcheck is a TPS teacher, actively involved in the TFT, strong supporter of the Lawrences and the TFT and has consistently misconstrued and obfuscated the facts to bash Fisher and all those that support educational reform.

He does not want an objective conversations and he refuses to believe that change is needed in the TFT contract only on the Board and with TAAP, the principal and administrators union.

He, the Lawrences and their other supporters would have you believe that a vote against the TFT contract is tantamount to a vote against teachers. Does that really make sense? Is that really what Board members are supposed to do? Roll over to someone like Fran Lawrence so that they are not labeled as anti-teacher?

Fisher stated at the board meeting where the contract vote occurred (I was at the meeting) her support for classroom teachers, expressed her distress at having to vote no on principle, but could not vote for a contract that continued to foster practices and restrict the allocation of resources so that public education in Toledo is successful.

Fran Lawrence wants to select and control the Board of Education. Her actions over the last several years do nothing to dispute this opinion - I view it as a fact.

Do you want the leader of the TFT to make decisions about what is best for your community, your children and our lives when she does not live in Toledo, is accountable to none of us - only her members and she has as much said the only thing she cares about is the contract and our money.

Mr. Pertcheck - you can say all you want and in whatever negative fashion. Frankly your bias is very obvious and your efforts are most likely visible to all. If not, they get my statements to line up against yours. I won't get into a "^#$$#&*" match with you. You won't acknowledge the issues and you won't consider anything the TFT leadership has done to be counterproductive to our children. There is no need to debate you, but I will provide more facts as needed.

A stand on principle for our children and community or anti-teacher? You have to decide in November who works for the community and who works for the TFT. In a perfect world we would all be rowing together on the boat. But the control of $200 million is a strong incentive to look out just for yourself.

I did a quick search as I had thought Fisher had issued a statement – I found it on Glass City Jungle – text is below:

Board Member Fisher releases statement on Fact Finder Vote TPS School

May 23, 2008

This in via email from Toledo Public School Board member Darlene Fisher:

Statement From Darlene Fisher, Toledo Public School Board Member

Regarding Today’s Fact Finder Report

Today’s vote to either accept or reject the Fact Finder’s report was the most difficult decision that I’ve encountered during my time on the Board. I stated at today’s meeting, that I’m an analyst willing to understand all ramifications of this agreement and the subsequent contract language that was accepted today by agreeing to the fact finder’s report.

I support resolving the back pay that is due to teachers and I understand the critical role successful teachers contribute to our district and to children. One role that I’ve taken on the Toledo Board of Education since my election is to push for positive change. We need a public education system that dramatically allows us to successfully educate all students regardless of the challenges they face in their lives outside the school day.

In accepting the fact finder’s report which I believe addressed the issues of teacher compensation which I support, we also accepted status quo contract language that has become clear to me over the last few days will continue to tie the Board’s hands in significant areas where we need critical reforms.

There are serious issues impacting improved academic performance within our district. The Board must further understand what this community has known for some time, that changes are critical to our success and that includes contractual language changes where necessary.

In conclusion, I recognize there will be people who believe that I have made a wrong decision. Unfortunately this agreement includes some very complex issues that I could not support in total. As a person who sincerely cares about public education and children, I can not allow one more child to be ill served or lost in the sea of this system. It is my hope that a large cross section of the community further begins to understand that we need significant changes to retain and recruit students back to TPS. Working toward that goal will allow for economic growth and development across Toledo which is sorely needed.

Once a final collective bargaining agreement is approved, I will be able to discuss specific changes that may have been considered and necessary. In the end it came down to a matter of principle that although some issues were resolved, I could not in good faith accept the entire package as is.

I mean't by having nothing to do with schools that I do not work for the schools. I would not vote for Fisher because of all the negative things she does. She doesn't even try to get along with anyone. I have met her and she completely turned me off.

deere1

Deere1 - almost everyone who has met Darlene sees her as a caring and nice person. Even Pertcheck and his wife think she is nice. I have no idea where you met her or under what circumstances, but I have never seen her blow people off. I've known her since our kids were in school together and she was a can do leader - including president of the Elmhurst PTA. She was among the most effective leaders I have seen and one who always was willing to get her hands dirty with the rest of us.

You say you don't like all the negative things - like speak out against the treatment of our community by the very folks that are supposed to be looking out for the public interest. Perhaps you can tell us what the negative things she has done in your opinion?

Do you think the TFT's Lawrence is a positive leader? Fisher announces a program to help Toledo teachers and Lawrence undermines it. Back in 2005 the Board put a levy on the ballot, Lawrence issues a negative statement on the levy and the Board then pulls the levy. What more do I need to say.

Now, have you ever taken the time to look at what she is for?

So tell me who is or has been a better board member? Spent more time on the job? Been to more community meetings? Is more informed at times than the educational experts. Okay, tell us as this should really open our eyes.

I am a teacher. I entered the profession after a 15 year career in business to help young people. The vast majority of teachers enter the profession to help young people.

I am a union official. I would not be part of the leadership of the TFT if I thought that the TFT contract inhibited the teaching of the majority of Toledo's students. If you or Darlene believe that the TFT contract inhibits the learning of children, you are, simply, wrong!

I resent and reject the entire notion that the union that represents teachers seeks contract provisions which harm students and their ability to achieve. In fact, the TFT contract includes innumerable provisions that ENHANCE the delivery of services to our student clients. IMHO, Statements like Darlene's quote above, by accepting the fact-finding report the Board has, "...accepted status quo contract language that has become clear to me OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS [emphasis added] will continue to tie the Board's hands in significant areas..." are incorrect, harmful, negative, and disputatious.

1--Darlene never specifies these dastardly provisions.
2--Darlene had started running for the Board in 2005. By her own words, however, she only became aware of these dastardly contract provisions in the "last few days"? This is do typical Darlene! She had started running for the Board 3 years before. She had served on the Board for well over 2 years, and she only became aware of the dastardly (I know. This is my adjective.) provisions, "in the last few days"? Where had her outrage been hiding? When did she actually read the contract? A few days before the vote? Or, has she read it yet?
3--With all due respect, nobody has answered my simple question about why Darlene did not champion the establishment of a fund for student supplies in 2007, 2006, or 2005. Isn't Darlene acting like "just another politician" running for re-election with a "new" idea that was "saved up" because it will have a greater impact in this, an election year? If it walks like a politician, it talks like a politician, it holds media conferences like a politician, guess what it is??!!

Every time we have this discussion we get this, "I am a teacher. I entered the profession after a 15 year career in business to help young people. The vast majority of teachers enter the profession to help young people.'

Acknowledged and agreed to - but that does not mean that contract provisions that looked good 20 years ago do not adversely impact students. The truth is that they do and they run counter to the mission of public education.

Fisher has on many occasions discussed what is wrong with the contract. She did not become aware of them at the last minute. She did if I recall correctly say that she was disappointed that issues were not addressed and that is what she found out about - read the statement - note that she said it contained status quo language that she had become aware of. Since she and other Board members were not kept in the loop, it is quite possible that she did not know the final language of the contract. She said as much. Fisher was the only one that asked for the contract language and read it. No other board members even asked for the language to review - funny - what does that say about Fisher vs. the other board members?.

Your contract does in fact hurt students. In once instance and based upon research done it likely contributes to TPS' drop out rate.

TPS teachers by contract do not have to give homework to students suspended whether for out of school or in school. TPS teachers by contract can fail a student for not completing their work or for absences of more than 5 days - at their discretion and without any other arbitration.

Research has shown that students suspended have higher drop out rates. So, if you create a situation where the punishment - suspension or detention, results in failure, you are exacerbating the problem and is counter the mission of public education: to educate as many kids as well as possible. We already know the facts about the percentage of inmates that don't have a high school diploma. Do I need say more.

So, if you resent the fact that your contract harms students, perhaps you should stand up and support changes.

Seniority provisions also hurt students especially those in under performing central city schools. But I will leave that for another day. What was okay 20 or 30 years ago could in fact have a negative impact today.

Why do you continue to put this in the context of being offended? Why is your memory so devoid of facts that make it so easy to ask such obviously false questions or make suggestions that Fisher has never talked about those dastardly contract provisions? Why oh why?

And if you had read the statement, she made it after the fact finder vote but before the fact finder report was released publicly so she purposely did not discuss it - even thought the TFT leader did in public before it was released - as it would violate the agreement the Board had about public discussion.

Missed the context again!!

As to teacher supply monies, more on that later. I have found some very interesting numbers. As to Fisher just starting on it - wrong - Tom Waniewski in his latest newsletter talks about meeting with Darlene earlier in the year. Conversations have been going on for a year.

Now let's talk about TPS levies. The Urban Coalition has challenged a number of school levies. In almost all cases some positive changes did occur such as greater transparency.

Let's take the case of the May 2005 capital improvement levy, it contained a major increase in costs to homeowners and it allowed the money to be used in the TPS building program for a number of unspecified purposes - it was the intention of the administration to get out of their bind when they did not ask for as much money as they needed in 2002. The levy was defeated.

Changes were made - the amount was reduced to what it was before and the money was dedicated to school vehicles, computers and other items that frankly would have taken second place to buildings. The levy was passed in November 2005 with Fisher supporting it. I think this benefited all of us and more importantly teachers as this fund directly impacts what tools teachers have in their schools and classrooms.

In August 2006, Darlene Fisher and Robert Torres voted to keep a levy off he November ballot. Since a new levy required 66.7% of the Board it required 4 of 5 board members to place it on the ballot.

In 2008 after proclaiming poverty in a special election in the spring of 2008 with a large deficit predicted the administration finds enough money to have a balanced budget through the 2009 fiscal year and also pay over $30 million dollars to employees to settle the back pay issue and to provide raises.

So, I view Fisher and Torres as heroes. They stopped a levy from being presented on the ballot. They were right about the financial condition of TPS. At a time when it was tough for Toledoans and about to get a lot tougher, they kept our property taxes low and kept the money in the pockets of Toledoans to pay for housing, food and for senior citizens to afford their medications.

Since August 2006, the administration has not proposed another new levy be on the ballot except the bond issue for Scott and other renovations of TPS buildings. I believe Fisher supported that levy. If I recall, the levy reauthorized the use of money already included in the original bond issue.

I suggest that using Fisher's levy votes as an indication that she does not support teachers is ludicrous and is a matter of others trying to boil a rather complex decision down to I'm for or against teachers. Wow - that is the kind of logic that gets us all into a state of confusion - but I should understand that this is what some want - facts and context be damned!

The contract provisions to which you refer regarding suspended students and the work they miss while suspended, is permissive. In fact, most teachers, especially in lower grades, give all absent students work and/or allow makeup work. Your statement strongly implies that no teachers or few teachers give work to suspended students. That contradicts your own contention that you, "Acknowledge and agree..." that most teachers enter the profession because they want to help children. Why would so many who you agree want to help children refuse to give work to suspended students?

However, teachers are human. Their main concern is maintaining a classroom environment conducive to learning for the vast majority of their students. Teachers can get frustrated with persistently disruptive students, some of whom intimidate the better students in our schools. TPS schools lose too many of these most commendable children. Who speaks for them? Teachers do!! TFT, as the representatives elected by the teachers, speaks for these most worthy children!!.

Absenteeism...There is nothing in the TFT contract that says anything about a specific number of days a student has to miss in order to get an automatic "F'. In your missive above you refer to "5 days". First of all, you do not specify if this is 5 days per quarter, per semester, per year, or what. If there is a five day rule in TPS, it's news to me!

I don't want to state what other schools do. I only know that I, myself, find that most (NOT ALL) students who miss a lot of days for any reason seldom do the make-up work they're given, and most (NOT ALL) are usually failing in the grades they receive for the work they do. I commonly assign an F minus instead of the F grade to explain that poor attendance is a severe problem with this student. Long before it goes this far, I call the parents and I work with the attendance secretary, the counselor, and the Assistant Principal to try to get the child in school. Sadly, all of these efforts are not always successful. I already have succeeded this year in getting one of my students in school who missed 6 of the first 7 days. I try to be proactive.

Steve...I refuse to get into a discussion with you about TPS finances. Every time teachers want a raise, even after a five year freeze, you seem to agree with the TPS financial people that there is no money to pay the teachers. Nearly every time the administration wants to place a levy on the ballot, you claim that the TPS financial people are not being honest with the public and that the money is not needed. And you typically produce statistics to prove your point either way!! Projections are open to various scenarios. You jump from one scenario to another to suit your argument at the time. How can we have a straightforward discussion under these circumstances? BTW...for the record...I NEVER believe the TPS financial people. They always cry poverty, and they always find money, sometimes a significant amount, for the projects or programs central administration wants.

Finally, Darlene's initiative for school supplies. I read your defense with great interest. You stated first that Darlene started working on this "earlier this year'. The year is 8+ months old. So, I thought, 6-7 months ago perhaps. Then you said that she's been working on it for about a year. Your inconsistency is troubling. At best, we're back to late 2008. I'm still skeptical. Sorry, Steve...on this issue Darlene acts like a typical politician to me. Somehow new initiatives are triggered in or near an election year!

You simply "cherry pick" every fact, nuance and then forget others.

You never seem to see the context, you look for every slight inconsistency (Fisher talked to me about the supply program well over a year ago, she talked with others like Waniewski earlier in the year and actually offered to help Tom start it in district 5).... When Fisher asked me to help with the Supply program, I said yes. Regardless of the outcome in November, I will continue and it is not in Fisher's nature to quit on something she believes!

Discretion vs. a consistent policy for all regarding homework for suspended kids is not appropriate and I personally have known kids impacted by teacher's discretion in this area. I only mentioned one of the myriad issues with the TFT contract. I've got several pages on this subject.

I do a lot of independent research and to suggest I take the TPS side, given all the facts - I'm disagreeing with them now on important issues - is like living in a fantasy world.

Perhaps you forget but last year in March 2008, I actually said TPS had a boat load of money and did not need even the replacement levy. Here is a quote from the article I wrote in Feb. 2008, "Then we have the budget surpluses. As little as two years ago, the district was projecting a deficit in this year’s budget. Now we find that TPS had an $18 million surplus last year and it is projecting a $21 million surplus at the end of this year. In addition, it appears that TPS has overfunded its health care account to the tune of more than $10 million. So TPS has at least $31 million in the bank." You can see the rest of the article here -

http://www.toledofreepress.com/2008/02/29/demand-change-by-voting-down-t...

BTW - Fisher and I disagreed upon the renewal. She supported and I said they need to get their house in order. Interesting, huh!

In all honesty, but you won't believe me, Fisher has talked about supplies at her firm being given away for about 18 - 24 months and she figured there were other companies in the same boat. You won't believe me. So.... There were reasons for now - like trying to get the first shopping day in by Jan. Like taking advantage of the sales after back to school. Like the need for some advance timing. I suggested to her that now might not be the best time because folks like you would say what you did. Fisher was adamant about starting regardless of what Fran Lawrence would say.

BTW - the program is open to all teaches that teach in a school in the city of Toledo. Besides TPS that means Catholic, Charter and private schools. Unlike some, every child that gets a good education is an asset to Toledo. As Fisher has said, we should not punish children based upon the decisions their parents make.

I will post about supplies, but it is not productive to keep a conversation going with you. However, it does let folks know the issues and how TFT members think.

Unlike you, I don't have any financial incentive. Neither does Fisher except for the pathetically small $80 per board meeting. I have not earned any income from TPS and I don't have relatives at all working for TPS. I'll let the general public decide who is more likely to put forth the facts - someone independent but whose life is affected by decisions by TPS or someone whose livelihood depends on the contract.

Finally, I believe teachers are important and valuable. I believe as individuals they would do no harm to their students. But frankly teachers collectively through their union have one goal - better wages and benefits including control over their working conditions.

Fisher represents all the constituents. Teachers have strong bargaining power in Toledo. But who looks out for the Children? I don't think the TFT and Fran Lawrence can begin to claim they represent Children. They don't! Her statements and actions consistently do not support any belief that she puts children first.

1 -- Why did Darlene not start the supply push last year or the year before when you state she first got the idea? Why not in 2006? There were sales in September of those years, too. OK...I'm cynical.

2 -- You show your greatest concern for students who are suspended a lot. I want to get them the help they need. My greatest concern, however, is for those students who want to learn and have their learning environment ruined by those who are disruptive, or worse yet, those good students who are intimidated by those who get suspended. You keep fighting for the rights of disruptive students, Steve. The teachers and the TFT which represents them will keep fighting for the rights of our well behaved students.

3 -- I never stated that you always agree with the finances as stated by TPS. What I said was you agree with TPS ONLY when there are negotiations with TFT. I stated that I, personally, NEVER believe the financial information coming from TPS!

4 -- I want all children to learn. I did my student teaching at a Catholic school. I respect the job parochial school teachers do, as a whole. I merely want the Ohio charter school law changed so that charter schools in Ohio are held to the same high standards to which all traditional public schools are held. Under current law, Ohio's charter schools, in general, with a few notable exceptions, are plain awful!

5 -- I take strong exception to your statement that TFT only cares about wages, benefits, and working conditions. TFT was the first teacher union in the world to take part in firing poor practitioners. Experienced teachers must be released to do this. That translates into less money for all of the other teachers to have for wages and benefits. TFT also has curriculum specialists. Their work is one of the main reasons why test scores in Reading and Math have risen so much in so many TPS elementary schools and why so many are making their AYP goals under NCLB. Again, less money for wages and benefits for their release time. There are so many more examples.
I won't take the space to list. All I know is that whenever I travel to national educational conferences, once someone finds out I'm from TFT, invariably they want to know how Toledo became such a progressive system with labor-management cooperation and educational reforms that are on the cutting edge.

6 -- Finally, money. It always comes down to money, doesn't it? I've stated in public and in private that I make more money than I ever thought I would. I grew up in a very modest urban neighborhood. So did my wife, for that matter. My wife and I live in the same modest home we purchased 35 years ago. We do buy a new car, on average, every 5-6 years. (Always American, by the way. I drive a Ford Fusion. My wife is in a Dodge Caravan.) I still enjoy my job immensely, but I could retire at any time. My wife is in the same situation.
I worry about who is going to want our jobs? Who would want to teach in TPS when they can make more money in virtually any urban district in Ohio, more money in most other nearby suburban districts, and MUCH more money teaching in almost any Michigan school district? Yes! Wages and benfits are important, especially if we want good people to replace the current TPS teachers when they retire. Does quality teaching really matter to you Steve? TPS already has the toughest entry year program in the nation. TPS, with TFT leading the way, holds teachers to high standards!! You're in business. Don't business people pay more when they want to get better quality professional personnel?

The facts and actions are there for all to see. Take offense if you like, but the first priority of the TFT is teachers, period. Children get brought into it as shield against any criticism. Just as having problems or issues with contract language in the TFT contract is tantamount to being a teacher hater.

That argument works real well and most can see the fallacy.

Parents are the only folks that put their children first and even that can be problematic from time to time.

BTW...for the record...I NEVER believe the TPS financial people. is it because they're former TPS students?

MikeyA

Mikey - sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. When they needed the money to pay the contractual settlement, they were more accurate but they needed the state to believe they had the money. It is law that they must be able to meet any contractual arrangements for the length of the contract or they cannot enter into the contact.

When they need a levy, their forecasts are sure to be understating the situation to make it look like they are poor. When they go into contract negotiations they are also likely to be understating the situation or acting in a conservative manner.

Real truth is somewhere in between as it depends on the situation.

either "you lie" about meeting Darlene Fisher or you haven't met Darlene Fisher. ;D

4 -- I want all children to learn. I did my student teaching at a Catholic school. I respect the job parochial school teachers do, as a whole. I merely want the Ohio charter school law changed so that charter schools in Ohio are held to the same high standards to which all traditional public schools are held. Under current law, Ohio's charter schools, in general, with a few notable exceptions, are plain awful!

so is Pickett, Rosa Parks,Lagrange, Sherman, Leverette, McTigue, Robinson, Jones, Fulton,Hale Glenwood, Deveaux, Scott small schools, Libbey small schools and Woodward and some of these schools have been in existence years longer than charter schools. Still open under same management.
The TFT.

The only reason you want charters closed is because parents are getting sick of "contractural issues" and leave TPS, take their money and go charter. Even if the school is "awful" at least the parents have a voice.

And I still say, you have made a good living off of the backs of these disruptive kids. I guess your wife has also. You did mention that she is a teacher right.?

Under current state law, charter schools if they don't meet established standards can be closed. The ultimate accountability is the "death penaty" for charters.

You don't see public schools held to the death penalty standard. Some in TPS should have been closed a long time ago, but they go on and on.

I know a lot of people who would love to teach for TPS who were fired through the Toledo Plan. So don't hold on to your teaching job because you can't be replaced.

I didn't know that suspended students may or may not be allowed to do the homework.

Geez...wouldn't it make more sense to REQUIRE them to make up all assignments?

1) It would instill better discipline. (i.e. - you don't get a free pass from homework because you misbehave)

2) It would better prepare them for the real world. (When I'm off work for any reason, my duties are still waiting for me when I return. I need to be able to make up what I missed while I was gone, while simultaneously keeping up with current work.)

3) Even suspended students have the right to learn the material and receive an education.

I understand pertcheck's argument that the teacher needs to be able to educate the well-behaved students. But isn't it also their job to be able to handle ALL students?

I'm not saying they should coddle the suspended students/trouble-makers. Far from it. But it seems like the obvious choice would be to REQUIRE those students to do their homework. Am I missing something here?

What's the policy in other local districts on homework for suspended students? I tried looking in Sylvania's online policies and procedures, but I didn't see it specified.

(I was never suspended when I was in high school, but I'm pretty sure the policy at my school was to require suspended students to make up their work.)

teachers do not have to allow students to make up school work. Even if a student is sent to BIC which is in school suspension it is at the descretion of the teacher (according to TFT contract) whether or not the student is allowed to do school work. If not given school work the student just sleeps.

That has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Students should be REQUIRED to complete all work.

I could understand applying a penalty on the grading of the assignment. (Why should the suspended student get the same credit as the well-behaved student who attended and paid attention in class?) But regardless of the grade they end up receiving, students should still have to actually complete the assignment.

Anyone know how other local districts handle the same situation?

(I don't live in TPS district, and my children are in elementary school. Haven't had to navigate all those issues yet.)

Sarah,

I agree it is one of the dumbest things I ever heard of too.Imagine a few years ago when I read the contract and found this.

Pertcheck may be right about DeVeaux, but I have to wonder as I'm sure there are no records on it. So all the evidence is anecdotal and he seems to say that support of his union is more important than the students. Does he care about kids he teaches. Everything says he is. But this should never be at the discretion of the teacher. This should be a policy applicable to all students.

But it really depends on the school and I know that if you are in a central city school all bets are off that you get that chance.

Regardless of what is said, there are always personality conflicts and I have seen teachers who don't like a kid and it is not pretty. Who looks out for the child in that situation? Who assures he(she) gets a fair hearing? Deck is stacked against parents and students as they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Shame, but due process is dead at TPS. It is like they have never heard of the constitution.

Really, why is it even in the contract? And there is more.

The truth is that most teachers give work to suspended students. If the rule was that a suspended student had to do the assigned work, what would be the penalty for NOT doing the work? A longer suspension? Isn't that what we try to avoid, more missed school days? Should the student who does not do the work get an "F" grade? That's typically what happens now.

Generally, we're not, and should not be focusing on minor offenses. Minor offenses should not result in suspensions. I have sent one student this year so far to the office. I followed up by talking to a parent. He missed the rest of that one class ONLY. He was NOT suspended, either in school or out of school.

Generally, those who are suspended multiple times need additional help of some type. It could be counseling, or medical attention. It could be a number of things. I want those students to get the help they need. But I cannot allow these indiviuals to ruin the learning environment for the vast majority of my students who are both motivated to do well and are well behaved.

Steve and Twila obsess over the rights of students who are chronic disciplinary problems. I want to help them, too. But my obsession is for the rights of the vast majority of my students who don't create problems. I want to teach in a safe, secure, orderly learning environment. As both a parent and a grandparent myself, I know that's what most parents and grandparents want for their children's classrooms, too! And I'll never apologize for having this focus.

I don't coddle misbehavior. Ask my children and all the kids I have coached.

When faced with these questions, those of us concerned about due process and getting kids the help they need, we are accused of favoring those with disciplinary problems over the good kids. How absurd, this is character assignation not the truth.

Teachers in public school or for that matter any school don't get to select their students. Many kids have had behavior problems from time to time sometimes it is chronic - TPS has no system in place to identify and intervene. They are working on a Positive Behavior Support system to be implemented this year, but I don't believe they have the time or ability to get it done as quickly as they claim.

I don't think they have to will to get it done. From what I understand there are still problems with the two unions TFT and TAAP giving their appoval.

As far as Pertcheck's claim that we coddle the disruptive child and the "good" cjild has his learning environment disrupted simply is not true. I have seen the same behavior from students in different schools getting punishments that are so far apart that you can only call ir disparate treatment..

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