OEA Testifies in Support of Senate Bill 229
Legislation Lowering Academic Growth Factor on Teacher Evaluations
The OEA testified in Senate Education Committee on November 19, 2013, expressing strong support for Senate Bill (SB) 229, introduced by Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green). In proponent testimony, OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro urged passage of SB 229, stating that the bill would make Ohio’s new system for evaluating teachers more effective, fair and efficient in two important ways.
First, SB 229 would change the academic growth factor percentage on teacher evaluations to 35%, from the current 50%, while retaining local control for school districts to attribute an additional percentage of not more than fifteen percent to the academic growth factor. Second, providing more flexibility for school districts in determining the frequency of evaluations for highly rated teachers will help schools focus the limited time and resources of evaluators on teachers who are new to the profession and teachers who need to raise their evaluation ratings.
Specifically, the bill allows a school board to evaluate each teacher rated “Accomplished” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every three school years and each teacher rated “Skilled” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every two years.
OEA Vice President DiMauro’s testimony was well received by the Senate Education Committee, in which both Republican and Democrat members of the committee expressed support for the bill. Chair Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) indicated that SB 229 is likely to receive a vote in Senate Education Committee the week of December 2, 2013.
In addition to OEA testimony, the bill received proponent testimony from a number of individuals and education organizations, including Battelle for Kids (the organization that developed and piloted Ohio’s value-added measure) and the Superintendent of Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools, who is also Vice-Chair of the Alliance for High Quality Education. Also, you can ask your State Senator to support SB 229.