Hb 59, the Governor's budget bill can be significantly improved during the legislative process. We're going to detail some of the ways improvements can be made.
Improvements can first start by correcting a major policy flaw inserted into HB555 at the last minute. HB 555 radically changed 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 - i.e. Student Learning Objectives or SLO's.
Therefore we suggest the legislature correct this wrong-headed policy by repealing this provision of HB555.
Furthermore, greater evaluation fairness could be achieved by lowering the number of absences a student is allowed before their test scores can be excluded from a teacher's value-add score. Currently a student needs to be absent 60 times - or 1/3 of a school year. This is an absurd amount of schooling to miss and still have that student's score count towards the evaluation of his or her teacher. This absence exclusion should be lowered to a more reasonable 15 absences.
Value-add should not be used to punish teachers on evaluations, instead it should be just one component of a multiple measure framework, and a tool to help teachers improve student learning. HB555 moved us much further away from that goal.