Analysis of Education MBR bill SB316

As part of the Governor's Mid Biennium Review (MBR) he has proposed a number of education policies. SB316 is the vehicle that these policies are being carried in. Note that there is no school funding plan introduced, nor is the "Cleveland plan" part of this bill.

the Ohio Legislative Services Commission has just published their analysis of the bill (i.e. they turned it into humanly readable language), and we've posted it below for you to review.

There are a number of items that should interest educators and public education advocates.

  • Third Grade Reading Guarantee
  • The governor proposed to hold back those students who cannot meet 3rd grade reading proficiency levels, though he fails to supply any funds with which to meet this new, and costly mandate.

  • New District and school rating system
  • We've discussed the proposed new rating system at length here, and here.

  • Reports of district and school spending
  • The poorly conceived plan to implement a ranking system for schools based on spending has been delayed 1 year, and also undergoing some technical changes.

  • Teacher evaluations
  • This modifies a number of provisions introduced in the budget bill (HB153), it narrows the number of teachers to only those who spend more than 50% of their time in the classroom, it makes changes to who can perform evaluations, including added the ability to hire outside contractors to perform the task. The law will prevail over collective bargaining agreements with regard to district evaluation policies. A provision for teachers who are employed by the state is also added (think department of corrections, etc)

  • Teacher testing
  • The provision in the budget for forcing teachers to be retested if they teach in a school rated in the bottom 10% has undergone major changes. Changes to teacher retesting do not eliminate the requirement, but will delay implementation for at lease another three years as it is now dependent on results of the new teacher evaluation system. Under this model it is applied to individual teacher performance instead of school/district performance. Meanwhile, teachers in charter schools are still linked to the school being in the bottom 10% of rankings. Instead of taking the tests required for licensure, the state department is tasked with identifying an appropriate content test for educators to pass. Still no empirical evidence to support this law as a method to improve instruction.

The full analysis can be read below, and we encourage you to do so.