Eye on Education

Ohio Teachers Could Strike Over State’s New Teacher Evaluation System

Marvin Fong / The Plain Dealer/Landov

Teachers in Strongsville reached a settlement in May after an eight-week strike.

Teachers in the Beaver school district in eastern Ohio could strike at the beginning of the coming school year in part over a disagreement about how teachers should be evaluated, the Morning Journal reports.

Currently, most Ohio teachers’ job evaluations are based on a principal observing their classrooms. But state law requires schools to change to a new way of evaluating teachers, one based both on observations and on how much students learn in a given year.

And even the observation part of that new equation is supposed to be more rigorous than the way most schools do observations today.

From the Morning Journal:

Seventh-grade teacher Mason Seachrist, who addressed the board during the meeting, said the [Beaver Local Education Association's] opposition isn’t to the existence of an evaluation system, but rather to the manner in which the district is creating it.

This week, the Beaver school board was scheduled to vote on a new, proposed teacher evaluation policy. That policy would base half of teachers’ job evaluations on observations (including at least two observations of at least 30 minutes) and half on student growth (as measured by value-added or other measures).

The policy would be included in teachers union contracts and in all contract renewals and extensions. It would take effect at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Beaver teachers have been working without a contract since August. The old union contract called for teachers’ evaluations to be based only on observations.

The Beaver school board postponed taking action on the new evaluation policy and failed to hold a scheduled vote on it this month, the Morning Journal reports:

Board members preferred to not comment on the failure of the OTES reading when asked after the meeting. ”It’s a sore subject,” said [board member] Bill Croxall. “Teacher evaluation is probably a sore subject across the state.”



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