Ohio Teacher Evaluation System: Dishonest, Unrealistic, and Not Fully Supported by Academic Research

A great article that appeared on Dailykos a few days ago

I've spent the past three days at an OTES (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) training. This system is being phased in over the next two years, and will serve as the vehicle by which all teachers in Ohio are evaluated. The workshop culminates with a post-assessment, taken some time after the classes end, resulting in licensure and the ability to evaluate instructional staff. OTES is described by ODE as a system that will
provide educators with a richer and more detailed view of their performance, with a focus on specific strengths and opportunities for improvement.

I talked to a number of administrators and teachers who had already taken the training before attending. Without exception, they were all struck by the rigidity of the rubric. I agree, but there's more here. Any system that wields so much power must be realistic, honest, and rooted in the consensus of academic research. The OTES rubric fails this basic test.

Words Matter
Check out the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession (starting on page 16) approved in October of 2005. Now look at the OTES rubric. The first thing you will notice is that the OTES rubric has four levels, and that the Ohio Standards only have three. I think it's fair to say that the Ohio Standards did not include the lowest level. (The document says as much.) The top three levels of the OTES Rubric align with the three levels of the Ohio Standards. The snag? The terminology used in the OTES rubric. Proficient has been replaced by Developing, Accomplished by Proficient, and Distinguished by Accomplished. Each level has been relegated!

One might argue that this doesn't matter. But, it does. Teacher evaluations are public record. School performance, or at least the percentage of teachers that fall into each category, will be published. Newspapers will ask for names of teachers and their ratings. And, as we will see as I unpack the rubric in greater detail, the very best teachers are likely to fall into the Proficient category. What's the one relationship between public education and the word Proficient already burned into the minds of parents? The minimal level of performance required to pass the Ohio Graduation Test. Dishonest.

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RNC Convention Day 2 - chock full of misstatements

Day 2 of the RNC convention saw the introduction of Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, a life long public employee.

One reader described his speech as "chock full of misstatements" - something many major media outlets also noticed.

Indeed, there were so many whoppers, it is now being parodied - Ryan Launches Campaign Theme of Lying About Everything

As for Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, he said he was working “around the clock” to add additional lies to his speech tonight: “I’m no Paul Ryan, but, darn it, I’m going to do my best.”

Here's the word cloud from Paul Ryan's speech


The pro SB5 campaign, building a better Ohio, is now at the center of a political firestorm, now being dubbed "GrannyGate", for airing one of the most deceptive and dishonest ads in Ohio political history. The ad has been deemed so dishonest that major TV stations WSYX, WTTE, WCMH in Columbus; WSAV, WCHS, and WVAH in Charleston; WTAP in Parkersburg; WTRF in Wheeling; WDTN and WBDT in Dayton and WTOL in Toledo are all refusing to air it

First reported on political news blog Plunderbund, the story has now gained mainstream attention, such as this report from WKYC 3

Marlene Quinn, the grandmother being illegally misrepresented by Building A Better Ohio had this to say

"I think it's dishonest and downright deceitful that they would use footage of me to try to play tricks and fool voters. It's insulting to the brave firefighters that saved the lives of my grandson and my great-granddaughter Zoey.

I'm outraged. They did not ask my permission. I feel violated.

I want to stop Senate Bill 5. Everyone should vote No on Issue 2.”

Cincinnati firefighter Paul Weber, one of the firefighters who rescued Marlene's granddaughter also had a strong rebuke

Despite all the negative news reports the Better Ohio campaign are now receiving, they continue to be unapologetic about their disgraceful actions.

Join the Future believes that this kind of campaigning has no place in the body politic of Ohio, and Better Ohio should immediately cease and desist from airing this, and all other misleading, dishonest ads and issue an unequivocal apology to Ms Quinn, the Cincinnati firefighters and the people of Ohio.

We are asking our supporters to contact Better Ohio's endorsers and politely ask them to request this course of action. It reflects badly on their organization to continue to support such disgraceful actions

Here's is a possible sample letter you can use or adapt.

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you, because your organization has endorsed the Building A Better Ohio Issue 2 campaign. I wanted to make you aware of news reports regarding a dishonest TV ad that stations around the state are now refusing to air. While I am sure you are now aware of these reports, an example can be found here - report from WKYC 3.

As a concerned citizen I am requesting that your organization contact the Building A Better Ohio campaign and ask them to cease and desist from using this dishonest and deceptive ad, and apologize to the great grandmother they are using. This type of campaigning reflects badly upon supporters of Issue 2, and more broadly upon Ohio.

Thank you for your time and consideration

You can share any responses you receive from these organizations, in confidence, with us - You can also sign the We Are Ohio petition to request all TV stations cease airing this ad.