Archive | School Boards

Alonso thinking big on school facilities

Baltimore schools Superintendent Andres Alonzo makes the case for alternative financing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. On left is Attorney Paul D. Shelton, and on right is Robert Heck, school board commissioner. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 24, 2012)

Baltimore schools Superintendent Andres Alonzo makes the case for alternative financing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. On left is Attorney Paul D. Shelton, and on right is Robert Heck, school board commissioner. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 24, 2012)

From the Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore City’s schools chief told state legislators Tuesday that he hopes to borrow $1.2 billion— six times more than the school system’s current bonding authority — to pay for a massive and rapid overhaul of the city’s crumbling public school buildings.

“What is unique is the extent of the need in Baltimore City,” said Andrés Alonso, the school system’s CEO, ticking off a list of problems from faulty heating systems to broken windows. “This will allow us to really target, in a short period of time, huge systemic needs.”

Alonso told members of the Senate‘s Budget and Taxation committee that such a plan could save the city time and money by combining the needed repairs into a single construction initiative and that work would begin as soon as funding becomes available
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Hawaii teachers reject contract, risk Race to the Top grant

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii (Photo: Jeff Widener/The Honolulu Advertiser)

In a move that puts $75 million in Race to the Top grants on the verge of forfeiture, Hawaii teachers voted against a contract that would move the state towards a performance based evaluation and compensation system that is required for the grant, according to the Washington Post.

The teachers, who were warned by the U.S. Department of Education that they were on ‘high risk status’ for not implementing required reforms previously, voted approximately 2-to-1 against the measure (67% against), despite the contract having been approved by its board.

The contract, according to several newspapers, did not spell out details of now the new evaluation system – based partially upon the controversial measure of ‘student growth’ – would work, but it did reverse a 5 percent pay reduction that went into effect a year ago.

Hawaii is far from the only state having trouble implementing its Race to the Top grants, with most behind schedule on required reforms, with New York and Florida lagging furthest along with Hawaii.

To read more on this story, read the Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post on the topic.

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New attitudes shaping labor-district relations

From left, New Haven schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., and New Haven Federation of Teachers President David Cicarella stand inside City Hall. Working together, they have been able to make changes to the Connecticut school district that are expected to improve student achievement and teacher performance. —Christopher Capozziello for Education Week

From left, New Haven schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., and New Haven Federation of Teachers President David Cicarella stand inside City Hall. Working together, they have been able to make changes to the Connecticut school district that are expected to improve student achievement and teacher performance. Photo: Christopher Capozziello for Education Week

From Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk

Back in the mid-2000s, in public and in the news media, Joseph P. Burke, then the superintendent of the Springfield public schools, and Timothy T. Collins, the president of the local teachers’ union, often seemed to be at odds with each other.

With the Massachusetts city under the control of an independent finance control board, Mr. Collins’ members faced no raises. Turnover was high. Reporting in part to the board, Mr. Burke faced competing pressures during drawn-out contract negotiations.

Out of the public eye, however, the two men had begun meeting regularly, with help from the Cambridge, Mass.-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. Gradually, they put new initiatives jointly into motion, including efforts to use surveys to improve school climate. When Mr. Burke left the district, the work continued under his successor, Alan J. Ingram, who appointed Mr. Collins to the district’s senior leadership team and budget-advisory committee. Both bodies provide advice to the superintendent.

Continue reading this post at Education Week

 

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