The draft legislation that supports Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools, was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly on April 4, 2012 by Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland), Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Representative Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) and Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster).
CLEVELAND – Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon, and Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke announced today that after 12 meetings over the past several weeks, an agreement has been reached on Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools.
“I’d like to thank Senator Turner, Senator Lehner, Representative Williams, and Representative Amstutz for their commitment to Cleveland’s children and for their leadership in getting the legislation introduced into the Ohio General Assembly,” said Mayor Jackson. “I’d also like to thank Mr. Quolke and the Cleveland Teachers Union for working with us. Today, we demonstrated that providing Cleveland’s children with a quality education trumps tradition and politics.”
The agreement reached by Mayor Jackson, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Quolke covers the following issues and makes the provision regarding the “fresh start” on contract negotiations unnecessary.
• Low-performing schools: The agreement allows the district to quickly intervene in low-performing schools in consultation and collaboration with our unions and clarifies that teachers and employees cannot and will not be fired just because they work in low-performing schools;
• Differentiated salary schedule: The agreement ensures the development of a salary schedule that factors in performance, specialized training, and other relevant experience and ensures that teachers will not receive pay cuts simply because a new pay schedule is created;
• Teacher assignments: The agreement allows the district to fill teaching positions in all schools using hiring teams that include principals, teachers, and parents as opposed to simply assigning teachers based on seniority;
• Teacher evaluations: The agreement protects CMSD’s and CTU’s hard work on a modernized Teacher Development and Evaluation system while expanding timelines and focusing on quality;
• Tenure and dismissal: The agreement provides the district wider discretion about granting tenure and streamlines the dismissal process for poor performing teachers by focusing on performance evaluation as the primary factor, while protecting the due process rights for CMSD employees;
• Reduction in force or layoff: The agreement aligns layoff decisions to teacher evaluations and teacher quality; and uses tenure and seniority as tiebreakers when needed;
• School year calendar: The agreement allows the school district to set the school year and school day calendar for all district schools; and
• Transformation Alliance: The agreement clarifies that the Transformation Alliance must conduct public meetings, provide access to public records and adopt appropriate conflict-of-interest policies.
“Our focus has been on finding a path forward that is both good for kids and fair for adults and I’m very pleased that we have succeeded in doing so,” said Mr. Gordon. “Agreement on these key issues will help us achieve the level of change we need throughout the district so that we can provide the quality of education every child deserves.”
The draft legislation that supports Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools, was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly on April 4, 2012 by Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland), Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Representative Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) and Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster). This legislation was based on Mayor Jackson’s vision for transforming public education in Cleveland and is designed to achieve the greatest improvement in educational outcome in the shortest period of time. Additionally, the promise of substantive structural change in CMSD gives Cleveland residents the confidence they need to increase financial support for the school district with a levy this fall.