Teacher Evaluations - Upon Further Review?

It seems the Rube Goldberg system of teacher evaluations in Ohio might be getting some improvements. We have written extensively about the unfairness of basing so much of a teachers evaluation on Value-add, when it is subject to so much statistical variation, inaccuracies, and student demographics. In the recent budget, educators pressed the legislature to reduce the Value-add component form its current 50% to 35%. The Senate included language to do just that, but the House, under direction from the Governor stripped it out.

Now Senator Gardner, along wth 3 cosponsors, Manning, Lehner, and Hite has introduced SB 229 which once again seeks to make OTES fairer. Along with making OTES a little fairer, it also seeks to reduce the administratvie burden on distrcits by reducing the amount of observation required for "skilled" and "accomplished" teachers. We wrote about this massive burden over 2 years ago.

HEre's what SB229 contains

  • Lowers the academic growth factor percentage required on teacher evaluations to 35% from the current 50%. A school district may attribute an additional percentage to the academic growth factor not to exceed fifteen percent of an evaluation. The academic growth factor under the OTES is based on value-added and/or other student growth measures, depending on the subjects and grades in a teacher’s course load.
  • Authorizes local school boards to reduce the frequency of evaluations required for teachers who receive an evaluation rating of “Skilled” to once every 2 years and “Accomplished” once every 3 years.

Educators should contact their representatives and urge them to support SB229, otherwsie it is possible that the Governor will once again kill these needed changes. You can read the bill for yourself, here.