Ohio looks to change teacher evaluation system

Teacher evaluation system may move away from test focus

Changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System, moving away from mandatory grading of student growth on tests, are on track to be introduced in 2018-19 after the state school board approved a resolution Tuesday by a 15-4 vote.

The state’s Educator Standards Board worked for months on revisions to the OTES model, including language that “the evaluation system would no longer include student growth as a separate, weighted component rating.”

RELATED: Ohio juniors may not have to pass tests to graduate

The changes require approval from the state legislature, and Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, said she thinks there’s support there, in part because many legislators want to place less emphasis on testing in many areas.

Julia Simmerer, senior executive director of the state’s Center for the Teaching Profession, said student growth on state tests would still be on the table for use in evaluations, along with other data, but not at any legally required percentage.

RELATED: Pension cuts looming for Ohio teachers, retirees

The two current evaluation models require student growth data to account for 35 or 50 percent of the teacher’s overall score. The new system would be more flexible, with student growth embedded as possible “sources of evidence” within five parts of the OTES rubric.

“This allows teachers to bring all the data they have to the table for a conversation with their evaluator,” Simmerer said.

In recent years, some educators have questioned the validity of “value-added” student growth data tracking year-over-year student performance on state tests. The state supports that data and uses it heavily in state report cards and teacher evaluations.

New state school board member Nick Owens, whose district includes Clark and Greene counties, said he thinks the pendulum had swung too much toward tests and constant monitoring of teachers.

“It took away the flexibility for a teacher to truly teach and have an enriching environment with their students,” Owens said. “This new OTES recommendation is a way to move the pendulum back, to empower teachers. I don’t want people to think we’re weakening standards. We’re trying to further refine those standards so that what’s best for teachers is also best for students.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Middletown to renew fire contract with Franklin Twp.
Middletown to renew fire contract with Franklin Twp.

Middletown City Council is expected to renew a 10-year fire service contract with Franklin Twp. . Since the 1996 annexation of the Towne Mall area, Middletown has provided fire suppression services for a small portion of Franklin Twp. under a contracted rate per fire run for the unincorporated area of the township adjacent to the city. The unincorporated...
The transition continues: What they’re saying about the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds
The transition continues: What they’re saying about the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds

Plans for moving the Montgomery County Fairgrounds from its Dayton home of more than 160 years “died about 10 times,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley. But on Saturday, officials brought to life the fairgrounds’ new location, which may also help revive Jefferson Twp. “It took five years of pretty hard work,&rdquo...
New program offers ways to tackle parenting’s toughest issues

A program hosted by Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus aims to give answers to some of the toughest issues facing parents. Cincinnati Children’s Ages & Stages program is a monthly event series for parents, and some of the topics that will be featured later this year are the opioid epidemic and how it affects children, depression and anxiety...
PHOTOS: UD students hang signs for move-in weekend
PHOTOS: UD students hang signs for move-in weekend

Students are already moving back to campus at the University of Dayton and with them come the sheet signs. Throughout the student neighborhood, students hang signs from the front of their campus houses. The signs are typically made with paint and bed sheets. The signs have long been part of move-in at UD and some students display them during other...
Demonstrators gather in Centerville, police keep protesters safe
Demonstrators gather in Centerville, police keep protesters safe

"Diversity is Strength” was written on one of the signs demonstrators held up this afternoon outside the Centerville Municipal Building. Although the gathering was small, the city of Centerville was prepared to protect protesters from the Greater Dayton chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. The group was taking a stand against a...
More Stories