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Huntington Tower 330'
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  1. Hey kids! Every year I take my architecture students on a tour of the city and I am looking to shake things up a little this year. Usually I start off at lakeview cemetery and the Garfield Memorial, walk parts of MLK in the cultural gardens, stop at the Art Museum, work my way downtown to Progressive field for a short tour, walk over to the two arcades and end up at the WSM, with a stop at the Mitchell's to finish the day. Anyone have any ideas on some other things the kids might be interested in seeing? I only have them for about 6 hours. More out of the box (but appropriate, so no beer tours) the better. Love to hear what this group suggests!
  2. Does anyone have any updates from the Pearl Street Savings & Trust. I saw some crews there over the weekend, but have not heard of any concrete plans for the place yet.
  3. Well I'll start with the easy ones. LIFO based on seniority was pretty much eliminated. Current law says that seniority can only be a determining factor when two employees have the same evaluation scores. Also LIFO ONLY deals with RIF (reduction in force) situations. Those are layoffs dealing with MONEY ISSUES ONLY. Without those provisions anytime time money issues arise (real or not) you would eliminate the top earners. It is completely subjective, period. Given everyone is equal (they can fire anyone during the first 7 years anyway, see below), what else could you base firings off of other than seniority? How can you argue that a 4 year teachers is more important than a 20 year teacher that have the same evaluations? You cannot, you can only equate them to dollars and cents and that is the reform driven money, not education. I think it is a perfect example of reform done by people who don't understand education. Before I tackle the next questions, I want to cover a couple of tenure basics. First, tenure only deals with instruction, tenure or not, the state can yank your license at any time and that is far more common than firing. Next, Tenure is supposed to identify why good teachers are having issues and correct them. It takes 7 years of POSITIVE EVALUATIONS until tenure can be granted and up until that time all education employees are "at will" employees (i.e. can be fired at any time). So what exactly is tenure? Under the old system, tenure granted you a continuing contract, due process, and the ability to only be observed on a 4 year track, that is it. Under 153 (Budget Bill), they instituted a new evaluation system and starting July 1, 2013 every teacher has to be observed at least twice a year, except for people at the tippy top of evaluations, they get to go every other year. So one of those provisions have been eliminated. Due process can best be explain by an example. Lets say a teacher has 15 years of positive reviews or 15 years of good teaching, but then receives 1 or two bad reviews over a course of a year. Due process enables that employee to be eligible to have a remediation plan (principal works with the teacher to correct their teaching). That is ALL the protection tenure offers. If after that plan is implemented and no improvement is gained that teacher can be fired. Tenure teachers do get fired pretty regularly around the state. Tenure only works if ADMINISTRATION and TEACHERS both do their jobs. I always say if you have bad teachers in a building you have bad administrators as well. They go hand in hand. Also, Tenure year is not guaranteed. There are plenty of school districts in Ohio that have no employees that are tenured. That is a local decision. I believe tenure year is important. It is one stop gap from keeping education becoming a revolving door, much like what LIFO is supposed to do. Otherwise teaching becomes a revolving door were older more expensive teachers are let go for younger cheaper ones. Merit pay is another complicated subject. Most people don't even understand what it is. For this conversation lets define it is supplemental pay, meaning I have a guaranteed base salary and "bonuses" are awarded for different bench marks being achieved. That is what they are usually talking about in regards to merit pay. Also, student data tracking has been going on FOREVER, we know what the trends are. Under those guidelines it becomes an unfair system pretty quickly. Some examples are: Teachers with better classroom management are often targeted, for good reason, to work with difficult students, which often puts their scores towards the bottom. Teachers with AP classes are going to have an advantage over teachers who teach remedial courses. How do you define merit? Is it a test or is getting a student to just come to class and not fail out? Which is worth more? How do you determine how specials (art, music, shop) are graded? Is merit then tied solely to ability? I could go on and on, but I'll sum it up with a story as old as time in education: At a reform conference a very successful business leader came to talk to the teachers at a failing school. He preached about efficiency and how the business model is more of a successful approach to reform. After the speech was done, an old lady from the back row raised her hand and asked what business he was in. He replied saying he was in the ice cream business and how people from Portland to Portland know his product. She then asked, how have you become so successful? He replied quickly by saying we only ship the best product. She then asked, how do you get the best product? Again, he quickly replied by saying I use only the freshest produce and dairy. She then replied how that applies to education. She said, If I have a bad student, I cannot toss them out like a moldy piece of strawberry. If my product doesn't meet requirements I cannot pull students from another community like a farm. I have to use all my ingredients, whether they are moldy, spoiled, or to old and I am expected to produce a flawless product. That isn't how any business works, yet those are the requirements teachers are held to. That is honestly how I view merit pay. It is subjective issue and never the same. We control our product for 52 minutes a day at best. If you think dangling a couple of extra bucks in front of a teacher is the answer, then you have never been around education. Are there places to reform? Yes, absolutely, but changing pay structure and LIFO isn't it. Also, even by the most extreme studies the believe only 3-5% of the teacher workforce is what people consider a "bad teacher."
  4. There seems to be a lot of mis-information about teachers unions in this thread, especially regarding merit pay. While hts has done a great job detailing some of the negatives, there a lot more. if there is interest I would be happy to clarify further. While i am not a member of CTU, I do sit on the board of directors for the states largest teacher union, the Ohio Educational Association (OEA), and locally on the North Eastern Ohio Educational Association (NEOEA). I have been a "union" leader for 3 years and currently running for reelection. I represent ~5,000 teachers locally. There is no aspect of the "union" I am not familiar with. I sit on several committess within the organization (internal political action, information systems, local leadership and development, new member orientation and a couple smaller ones ) I am also a 10 year vetern in the classroom.
  5. The old zinc is going to be Hodges, from Hodge podge & dim dem sum food truck chef Chris hodge. He also came in 2nd on food truck wars on food network.
  6. I grew up across the river in Ambridge. Sad to see. Great pictures, did you get over to West Aliquippa?
  7. Two questions: 1. I googled and googled, but cannot find out what is being built off 90 right by the sign business ~E 130ish, there is a lot of equipment there and they cut down a ton o trees... 2. Last year (first week of June) 200 PS was doing a demo/test of a new lighting on top, but I haven't seen it since, anyone have an explanation or idea about that? Thanks...
  8. Silly question, but where could you buy this?
  9. Specifically layoffs dealing with finances, nothing else. Reduction In Force (RIF). All things equal the system does work. Until a teacher is granted tenure (which is 7 years MINIMUM now after Strickland) a teacher is an “at will” employee, meaning they are on a yearly contract. Administration has 7 years to decide if that teacher should or should not be teaching in that district. Management, along with a school board (you know the public), have to vote on approving teachers for tenure as well. And all tenure guarantees is that due process if followed, nothing more, nothing less. I cannot emphasize this enough; bad teachers are usually a result of bad administration and their failure to manage their staff. This is mainly due to the fact that they have been cut back to next to nothing over the last 10 years. Firing a tenure teachers takes more paper work, but it is nothing near impossible. For the record, I am a teacher and I also sit on the board of directors for OEA (the teachers union). I testified infront of the senate during the hirings in Feb and have worked with We Are Ohio since they formed in April. If you got questions, ask away. Minus what HTS has been saying, most of what I have seen here is woefully inaccurate . Again, it goes back to management to do their job. I have seen plenty of times were the association has refused legal services to people. In NE Ohio the big 3 law firms in education offer ”insurance" to district to handle these matters, so it is cheaper for the schools to take legal action. Districts are equipped fairly well to handle these matters, not to sound patronizing, but you would know that if you spent 5 minutes in education. Like someone said above, because everyone went to a school they feel as if they are an expert in it. Did you know that the US has ALWAYS ranked in the middle of the pack in education, yep, even in the 50's and 60's.
  10. Why do you "believe" that?
  11. Issue 3 is two years in the making, most of the signatures were actually from 2010. A group out of cincy worked to get this on the ballot, and most were collected from paid petitioners. I can say with a high degree of certainty that it had nothing to do with Issue 2.
  12. SB5 will be on the ballot as Issue 2. They decide on the ballot language tomorrow. No entirely related, but Issue 3 signatures are being challenged currently by progressOhio. They expect to have some type of announcement soon on whether they had enough signatures thrown out to remove it from the ballot. For the the political nerds: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Ohio_2011_ballot_measures
  13. I don't know how far west of Cleveland you're looking to drive, but this is the only place I would ever take my truck (chevy). He is an old Parma auto shop teacher with 35 years experience. I have been going there for 10+ years and they are as good as you're going to get (and I mean good). Every "car" person I know takes their vehicle their when they cannot fix it. I would be happy to explain further if you would like. http://www.sirlsauto.com/
  14. They are using this new material, it's pretty cool. There is more about it here... [/url
  15. I know this is an old post, but I am curious about the Eagle St. Bridge and its decommissioning. Can anyone point in a better direction than google?
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