2013 OEA Spring RA Actions
Delegates elect new leaders and adopt Core Values while calling for expanded support for Common Core
Delegates to the Ohio Education Association’s (OEA) Spring Representative Assembly voted to support careful implementation of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics, but cautioned that outdated tests and lack of support for the standards could create major obstacles for success.
At the May 10-11 meeting in Columbus, 1,058 delegates called for the immediate suspension of outdated testing that does not align with the new Common Core State Standards. The delegates also demanded comprehensive state and local support for the Common Core to bolster chances for successful implementation and challenging learning opportunities for students.
The moratorium on outdated high-stakes testing must begin now, said OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks. “It defies common sense for students, teachers and schools to be held accountable for test scores based on standards that have been rejected by educators and the State Board of Education. There is no benefit in teaching and testing young people on outdated standards.”
OEA warned that failure to provide professional development, technology for computer-based testing and time for collaborative planning “threatens successful implementation of the Common Core initiative.” Common Core has great potential, and the issues OEA has identified are problems with implementation and support, not problems with the standards themselves, Frost-Brooks said.
Delegates elected Becky Higgins to a three-year term as President, and Scott DiMauro to a three-year term as Vice President. Higgins and DiMauro take office September 1.
Higgins, a first-grade teacher in the Copley-Fairlawn City Schools, has 19 years of classroom experience and has held Association positions at both the local and district level. She has served as President of the Copley Teachers’ Association, as Unit NE-4 Representative on Northeastern Ohio Education Association’s (NEOEA) Board of Directors and as President of NEOEA.
Higgins was President of NEOEA during the Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) crisis in 2011. Immediately after the introduction of SB 5, she worked to build a strong base of support for collective bargaining rights in northeastern Ohio and to guarantee a strong turnout from northeastern Ohio voters opposing Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2.
Higgins replaces President Frost-Brooks who is term limited.
DiMauro, a social studies teacher in Worthington, is a 22-year veteran educator with the Worthington Schools. He currently teaches at Worthington Kilbourne High School while serving as President of Central OEA/NEA and as Chairperson of the NEA Standing Committee on Legislation.
DiMauro has served in a variety of leadership positions, including as full-time local president, a member of his local bargaining team, Central OEA Political Action Coordinator and Leadership Development Chair, a member of the OEA Fund for Children and Public Education State Council, Chairperson of the Central Ohio Regional Coordinating Council and longtime delegate to the OEA and NEA Representative Assemblies. DiMauro was one of three labor representatives on the Ohio School Employees Health Care Board.
DiMauro replaces outgoing Vice President William Leibensperger who is term-limited.
Delegates also elected Brian McConnell, NEA Director #3 (by acclamation to a three-year term); Gretchen Washington, NEA Director #4 (by acclamation to a three year term); Tammy Koontz,, Board of Director At-Large (by acclamation to a three-year term); and Elton Burrus, Board of Director At-Large (by acclamation to a three-year term).
In other action, delegates:
- Approved the proposed 2013-2014 Resolutions Report.
- Approved Proposal 1 to amend Bylaw 8-3(c)(5) and (c)(6), Committees.
- Adopted the OEA Core Values—We believe in: Democracy, Collective Action, Fairness, Inclusion, Integrity, and Professionalism.
- Approved the appointment of Tom Beck to the OEA Appeals Board with a term ending August 31, 2020.
Among the RA highlights was a visit by political commentator Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC-TV’s “The Ed Show.” Delegates honored Schultz as the recipient of the Ohio Education Association Friend of Education Award. Schultz was recognized for being a staunch ally of educators, public education and organized labor who stood with Ohioans on Senate Bill 5 to defend collective bargaining rights. While addressing the assembly Schultz said, “There is an unparalleled, unprecedented, relentless attack on public education and public school educators. You can’t cut 6,000 teachers out of a state budget and expect to have the same results.”
Delegates also welcomed special guest NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. Van Roekel praised the leadership of outgoing OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks saying, “She has led OEA members through some difficult times but she hasn’t been content to survive. She has constantly demanded that we set our sights higher, strengthen our professions, and transform public education. The strength of OEA lies in its’ members, when they come together to collectively advocate for public education and students.”
RA delegates contributed $43,970.50 to the OEA Fund for Children and Public Education (FCPE). FCPE giveaway winners were: Cruise—Kevin Carlin (Lakota EA), $300—Christine Bartzis (Brecksville-Broadview Heights EA), $300—Kelli Green (Perry CTA), $200—Suzanne Hoyt (Worthington Classified), $100—Susan Hagerty (Belpre EA) and $100—Tom Redman (Retired).
The following Constitution articles were read by title for possible amendment at the December 2013 RA: Article I—Names, Goals and Objectives, and Authorities for Governance; Article II—Membership; Article III —Governance Structure; Article IV —Representative Assembly; Article V—Board of Directors; Article VI —Officers; Article VII—Appeals Board; Article VIII—Committees; Article IX—Affiliates; Article X— Amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws; Article XI—Indemnification; Article XII—Savings Clause.
What is the Representative Assembly?
The Representative Assembly (RA) is the policy-making body of the Association. The OEA RA meets semi-annually in the fall and spring in Columbus, OH to establish Association policies and objectives, elect officers, establish dues, adopt Association budget, adopt/evaluate a legislative program, act on resolutions, act on new business items and conduct necessary business. The RA is comprised of members who have been elected as delegates to represent their local associations. Any member is welcome to attend the OEA RA as a guest, but only duly elected and reported delegates may debate and vote according to OEA Constitution and Bylaws provisions or policy.