Over the Holidays, the Governor signed the latest education bill, HB 555. StateImpact has a decent rundown of most of the items that were addressed in the bill. However, one major piece of policy change made in HB555 has gone totally unreported, not surprisingly since it was done in the 11th hour, with no testimony or hearings. Indeed, we're doubtful many lawmakers even knew it had been slipped in there.
(1) Provides for multiple evaluation factors
, including student academic growth which shall account for fifty per cent of each. One factor shall be student academic growth which shall account for fifty per cent of each evaluation. When applicable to the grade level or subject area taught by a teacher, the value-added progress dimension established under section 3302.021 of the Revised Code or an alternative student academic progress measure if adopted under division (C)(1)(e) of section 3302.03 of the Revised Code shall be used in the student academic growth portion of an evaluation in proportion to the part of a teacher's schedule of courses or subjects for which the value-added progress dimension is applicable.
If a teacher's schedule is comprised only of courses or subjects for which the value-added progress dimension is applicable, one of the following applies:
(a) Beginning with the effective date of this amendment until June 30, 2014, the majority of the student academic growth factor of the evaluation shall be based on the value-added progress dimension.
(b) On or after July 1, 2014, the entire student academic growth factor of the evaluation shall be based on the value-added progress dimension. In calculating student academic growth for an evaluation, a student shall not be included if the student has sixty or more unexcused absences for the school year.
If you're not familiar with legislative language, here's the summary
HB 555 radically changes the method of calculating evaluations for about 1/3 of Ohio's teachers. If a teacher's schedule is comprised only of courses or subjects for which the value-added progress dimension is applicable - then only their value-add score can now be used as part of the 50% of an evaluation based on student growth. Gone is the ability to use multiple measures of student growth - ie Student Learning Objectives or SLO's.
Teachers and school districts have spent countless months collaborating on the development and implementation of an evaluation system originally detailed in HB153 - only to now find the rules of the game changed at the 11th hour. Furthermore, the change is regressive. We have detailed the growing list of research that demonstrates the very real and serious problems with heavy reliance on value-add, and the need to offset these problems by using multiple measures of student growth. See here, here, here, and here for examples.