To Understand The Impact Of Teacher-Focused Reforms, Pay Attention To Teachers

You don’ t need to be a policy analyst to know that huge changes in education are happening at the state- and local-levels right now – teacher performance pay, the restriction of teachers’ collective bargaining rights, the incorporation of heavily-weighted growth model estimates in teacher evaluations, the elimination of tenure, etc. Like many, I am concerned about the possible consequences of some of these new policies (particularly about their details), as well as about the apparent lack of serious efforts to monitor them.

Our “traditional” gauge of “what works” – cross-sectional test score gains – is totally inadequate, even under ideal circumstances. Even assuming high quality tests that are closely aligned to what has been taught, raw test scores alone cannot account for changes in the student population over time and are subject to measurement error. There is also no way to know whether fluctuations in test scores (even fluctuations that are real) are the result of any particular policy (or lack thereof).

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Sen. Mark Wagoner (R) responds to JTF

State Sen. Mark Wagoner (R) wins the silver medal for being the second legislator to responsd to our recent letter. Here it is.

Thank you for your e-mail regarding House Bill 153, the state budget bill. I always appreciate hearing directly from constituents.

Creating a balanced state budget that provides value to taxpayers and improves the quality of our government’s services will be no easy task, and your input is important to me. House Bill 153 is currently undergoing hearings in the Senate Finance Committee. As you can imagine, my office receives a large volume of e-mails, letters, and phone calls regarding the budget. Although I do not have the pleasure of serving on the Finance Committee, please know that I value the information that you share with me. I will certainly keep your concerns and suggestions in mind as I continue to monitor developments in the budget closely.

Thank you again for your email. I encourage you to contact my office at (614) 466-8060 if you would like to discuss the budget or any other issue in further detail.


Mark Wagoner
Ohio Senate
2nd District

Didn't really answer our questions either does it?