Teacher Evaluation Talking Points
After being passed by the Ohio Senate in a unanimous vote (33-0), Senate Bill (SB) 229 received its first hearing (sponsor testimony) in the Ohio House Education Committee on February 12, 2014. The OEA strongly supports SB 229 as part of ongoing efforts to make progress on addressing various concerns with Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro provided proponent testimony before the Senate Education Committee on November 19, 2013, which was well received by the Committee.
SB 229 would help make Ohio’s new system for evaluating teachers more effective, fair and efficient by reducing the academic growth factor on evaluations to 35% from the current 50%. Further, the bill would provide school districts with more flexibility regarding the frequency of evaluations for highly rated teachers (“Accomplished” and “Skilled”). In addition to chief sponsor Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), the bill has 27 bi-partisan co-sponsors, including the entire Senate Education Committee.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TO HELP PASS SB 229 IN THE OHIO HOUSE! Please take the time to email your state Representative, urging them to support SB 229.
Below are the two major provisions in SB 229:
Academic growth factor: Adjusts the academic growth factor percentage required on teacher evaluations to 35% from the current 50%. A school district may attribute up to an additional fifteen percent to the academic growth factor, or may instead attribute that additional percentage to formal observations and reviews, student surveys or any other factors.
Frequency of evaluations: Authorizes local school boards to reduce the frequency of annual evaluations required for highly-rated teachers (“Accomplished” or “Skilled”), while still maintaining continuous feedback through classroom observations (see below). Unless a school board reduces the frequency of evaluations as outlined below, these teachers would continue to receive annual evaluations.
- A school board may evaluate each teacher rated “Accomplished” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every three school years, instead of annually.
- A school board may evaluate each teacher rated “Skilled” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every two years, instead of annually.
- In any year that a teacher is not formally evaluated as a result of receiving a rating of “Accomplished” or “Skilled” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation, a qualified evaluator shall conduct at least one observation of the teacher and hold at least one conference with the teacher. The board may also require other methods of review.
OEA Message onSB 229:
SB 229 provides much-needed local flexibility to make teacher evaluations more effective, fair and efficient. The OEA supports SB 229 as part of ongoing efforts to make progress on addressing various concerns with Ohio's Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).
- Reducing the academic growth factor on teacher evaluations will make evaluations more fair and better reflect the fact that student growth measures based on tests are an inexact science and are not valid or reliable as the driving force for high-stakes decisions such as teacher evaluations.
- 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 support to raise their evaluation ratings.