The SCPR spoke with CPEA president Pam Jackson yesterday afternoon.
President Jackson takes exception to Canton City Schools (CCS) Board of Education member Carman.
She says she met with CCS superintendent Michele Evans on January 8, 2010 and that the two mutually concluded that there was not enough known about the requirements of Race to the Top that they felt comfortable applying for a grant.
Jackson said that if Ohio as a state does not qualify for funding in the first go around (applications just concluded), then Ohio (as well as CCS) will have another opportunity in June to reapply. However, she said, if Ohio does qualify (to be known in April), then CCS will not have a second opportunity.
The SCPR has yet to make contact with Superintendent Evans.
Two sources are telling the SCPR that the Canton Professional Educators' Association (CPEA, teachers' union) is the roadblock to Canton City Schools getting up to $3 million in a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top school excellence financial assistance program.
The SCPR has one source from the teachers' side saying that "No, it is not a unilateral teachers' decision, but that it is a joint enterprise of the president of the CPEA (Pam Jackson) and the superintendent of Canton City Schools.
Here is a copy of an email sent by The Report to Canton City Schools Board of Education member James Carman:
And, here is Carman's response:
Why would the CPEA not cooperate?
According to an Akron Beacon Journal editorial of Sunday:
[Race to the Top grants] "might require changes in how teachers are evaluated, compensated or assigned to buildings and classes in relation to student performance."
The Report received a copy of an article detailing a fight brewing in New York over whether or not to apply for up to $700 million in Race to the Top grants.
The basis of the fight?
The Race to the Top grant might require New York to allow more charter schools and create a structure of merit pay. (January 19, 2010, Wall Street Journal, New York Fights over Schools ... , Jacob Gershman and Barbara Martinez)
This Wall Street Journal piece describes the Race to the Top program this way:
[President] Obama's embrace of school choice and higher teacher standards has won him rare praise from conservatives and reflects a broader shift among Democrats nationally in the face of increased frustration among educators and parents with public-school performance.
Well, you can count the SCPR as among those frustrated with public school performance.
And, it is not only urban schools. In Stark County, Stark's premier districts Jackon, Lake and North Canton are experiencing college remediation rates of 35% and higher.
Back to the CPEA.
Here is Canton Professional Educators' Association statement of its mission on its website:
The Canton Professional Educators' Association initiates and supports positive changes in the public school system, promotes the educational profession, and actively serves as an advocate for its members. (emphasis added).
What's the saying?
Talk is cheap?