A number of readers have asked us to decode the Ohio House's version of SB21, which is likely to be passed into law.
In the area of teacher qualifications, after July 1, 2013, third grade students who have been retained or are on a reading improvement plan shall be assigned to a teacher who has at least one year of teaching experience and satisfies one of the following criteria:
a) K-12 reading endorsement on their teaching license
b) Master’s degree in reading or literacy
c) Rated “most effective” for reading instruction for the most recent two years based on student growth measures
d) Rated “above expected value added” in reading instruction as determined by criteria established by ODE for the most recent consecutive school years
e) Passed a rigorous test of principles of scientifically research-based reading instruction approved by the State Board of Education
f) Holds a teaching license for P-3 or 4-9 issued on or after July 1, 2017
The House version limited or did away with qualifications in the Senate version that allowed for evidence of completion of a program of scientifically research-based reading instruction programs approved by the department (limited to until July 1, 2016) or the teacher is an effective reading instructor as determined by criteria established by the department (eliminated).
The House version of the bill also expands who may offer services in the following ways:
- A teacher with less than one year of experience provided they meet one of the qualifications and is assigned a teacher mentor who meets one of the qualifications
- Through July 1, 2016, a teacher who has successfully completed training on reading instruction approved by the department
- A teacher other than the classroom teacher to whom the student is assigned provided the teacher meets the qualifications, the teacher and the principal agree and the assignment is documented in the student’s reading improvement plan
- A speech language pathologist may provide reading intervention and remediation services
Additionally, the House version of the bill allows school districts who cannot furnish the number of teachers to satisfy the qualifications to submit a staffing plan to the Ohio Department of Education. ODE may grant extensions of district staffing plans through the 2015-2016 school year.
Other provisions of the House passed version of SB 21 include:
- Specifies that retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is triggered by failure to attain at least the “equivalent level of achievement” as determined by ODE
- Exempts English language learners enrolled in U.S. schools for less than three years
- Exempts students with significant cognitive disabilities from diagnostic tests on a case-by-case basis as determined by ODE
- Requires the State Board of Education to adopt competencies for reading credentials and training by January 31, 2014. Requires all new applicants seeking an educator license for grades P-3 or 4-9 to pass an examination aligned with these competencies. Requires reading endorsement programs to align to these new competencies not later than July 1, 2016
- Requires school districts and community schools that receive a D or F on the K-3 literacy progress measure on the new school district report cards and less than 60% of students score at least proficient on the third grade English language arts assessment submit a reading achievement improvement plan.
Thanks to OEA's Government Services for their expertise in helping to decipher SB21.