Quolke Corner 155 Credentialed Evaluator Arbitration Victory!

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Quolke Corner 155

Credentialed Evaluator Arbitration Victory!

            The end of January not only brought a close to one of the more frigid/calamity day-filledmonths in recent history, but it also brought a victorious end to a lengthy, and often bitter CTU/CMSD battle on the credentialing of TDES evaluators.  While I will spare many of the details of the eight-month long battle, I want to give a little background while explaining will occur in the upcoming weeks.  While this is a huge step forward for us in Cleveland, it is an issue that has been problematic across the State of Ohio as all other districts have rolled out OTES. 

I have attached the settlement agreement and want to alert everyone that in addition to CMSD email notification, the settlement calls for the CTU to deliver notifications next week to our members impacted by this settlement. 

Credentialed Evaluator (Signed) Agreement

So what happened? 

            In negotiations we purposely dealt with this issue by including the Board resolution around CMSD credentialed evaluators and providing the credentialed list to the CTU President, in our CBA.  We spent hours on the language of the board resolution and agreed that accountability was important for CTU members, CMSD administrators and the CMSD appointed board members. All high stakes accountability meant “accountability for ALL”. 

On April 23, 2013 Board Resolution 2013-3030(B) was passed and is referenced in the 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 13, Section 1 (G).

The Board Resolution identifies four areas regarding CMSD credentialed evaluators:

  1. “Highly trained, high quality evaluators are required to ensure reliable, fair, consistent observation and review processes for CMSD educators.
  2. …pursuant to ORC 3311.80, evaluators must complete State-sponsored evaluation training and have passed the on-line credentialing assessment
  3. …that in order to ensure system transparency and teacher confidence and to ensure the highest evaluator quality and consistency…sites to be used tocomplete evaluator credentialing assessments and to provide district proctors to manage the assessment process in compliance with the guidelines of the Ohio Department of Education.

The 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 13, Section 1 G states,

“…all evaluators must be credentialed.  A list of credentialed evaluators will be forwarded to the CTU President and updated as made available.”

It all seems to be pretty straight forward.  Unfortunately, from May through August, the District failed to provide no lists…no lists were given to the TDESCommittee, no response to their requests for the lists, no lists were given to the CTU President, no acknowledgement that the Board even passed a resolution.  In September, I filed a grievance asking for the list of credentialed evaluators, the dates they where credentialed, who proctored the credentialing test, etc.   One would think this would be a simple answer since we just negotiated the language and the Board passed a resolution…but NO.  The grievance was ignored without even the courtesy of a “Grievance Denied” answer. In November we filed for Expedited Arbitration,informedall of our delegates and then District finally reacted…no overreacted….by fighting on whether this merited “expedited arbitration” and suing the CTU in Common Pleas Court to avoid answering a simple grievance.  Really? Taking us to court to try and stop CTU from simply getting an accurate list of credentialed evaluators?Ridiculous!

Nonetheless, we were able to resolve this grievance on Friday, January 31, 2014 as well as having the district drop their frivolous suit against CTU.  Following are some key highlights:

To summarize, all evaluators must be credentialed, credentialing is accomplished by taking State sponsored training, and passing the on-line credentialing assessment. After April 23, 2013 the assessment must have been taken at a proctored CMSD site.  Going forward from January 31, 2014 a proctor will be assigned to monitor the assessment, the names of the proctors and schedule for all assessments will be provided to the CTU President.

Anyone (Principals, Administrators, PAR Advisors, Supervisors, teachers) who took the credentialing exam after the board resolution was passed and was NOT proctored, must retake the exam in a proctored setting. 

            Those members who were evaluated during the 2013-14 school year prior to January 31, 2014 by someone who did not pass the credentialing assessment at a designated location will receive an email no later than Feb.3, 2014 and a hand-delivered hard-copy by CTU President Designees.

So, what does this mean for our members?  For those who have been evaluated by improperly credentialed evaluators you have some choices…


  1. You may elect to nullify the evaluations and submit to a compressed evaluation cycle consisting of two walk-throughs and one formal announced evaluation
  2. If you wish to have your evaluation events nullified and have a compressed evaluation cycle/schedule you may also request a different evaluator.  The request for a different evaluator must be included in the same email to TDES@clevelandmetroschools.org requesting nullification of the above.
  3. You may also opt to keep the first evaluation event(s) result(s) and continue with the second semester TDES evaluation events.
  4. If you were evaluated by an individual not properly credentialed at the time of your evaluation event, you must notify the TDES Co-Chairs, (MaryAnn Fredrick and Christine Fowler-Mack) in writing by emailing TDES@clevelandmetroschools.org ,once verified by the Co-chairs, the evaluation will be nullified.

If you have further questions please contact Shari Obrenski (216-861-7671) EXT. 270 or Jillian Ahrens (216-861-7676) EXT.238

The district will be providing the CTU with a list of the credentialed evaluators.  We will send that out to CTU reps next week for distribution to all members. Additionally, CTU staff will be in buildings that were impacted to follow up with members on their options.

Finally, this is a tremendous victory.  Not a victory just for CTU but for all educators in Ohio.  TDES, OTES or anyevaluation system must be transparent and have the buy-in of all educators.  We not only collectively bargained that provision but our Board of Education agreed to that provisionand make it a board resolution.  Accountability is for ALL educators and board members!!


In Union,