In the news: retesting teachers

Sparked by the recent revelations of the impact of Ohio's new teacher retesting law, and our call for it to be repealed, a number of media outlets followed up with some mainstream stories

NBC4i ran a short segment

The Columbus Dispatch also ran a good article

The law says teachers can’t be made to pay, but it doesn’t say who will. Ohio uses the Praxis series of exams to test teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach. The cost per test ranges from $50 to more than $100, depending on the subject.

“It’s your tax dollars at work,” said Rhonda Johnson, president of the Columbus Education Association.

Teachers groups have been critical of the retesting idea since Gov. John Kasich pitched it. Johnson said the tests won’t measure teacher effectiveness, and they won’t help anyone improve. The real beneficiary of the retesting law will be the testing company, she said.

“Keep weighing the pig. Let’s not feed him anymore. Let’s not do anything but weigh the pig and see if anything changes,” Johnson said.

Robert Sommers, Kasich’s education adviser, has said that retesting is necessary to ensure educators who work in struggling schools are competent in the subjects they teach.

Mark Hill, president of the Worthington Education Association, said the retesting program “ creates a disincentive for teachers to go and take the toughest jobs. We’re punishing them. Why would they ever take that chance?”

As you know, according to the Ohio Department of Education, which Heffner heads, these tests should NOT be used in this manner

Successful completion of required tests is designed to ensure that candidates for licensure have acquired the minimal knowledge necessary for entry-level positions.
The Praxis II tests are not designed to predict performance on the job nor can passing the licensure examination(s) guarantee good teaching.

Can Superintendent Heffner really be clueless about his own department's expert view?

There is no basis for this law, and we maintain that the legislature must act swiftly to repeal it.