Ohio

Eye on Education

Topics

green and red apples

Ohio's Teacher Evaluation System

Background

By the start of the 2013–14 school year, Ohio public school districts must adopt new ways of evaluating teachers. Charter schools that get federal Race to the Top funds must do the same.

Ohio’s state Board of Education approved the framework for this new evaluation system in November 2011.

The big differences between this new system and old one include:

    • Old system: In general, teacher evaluations were mostly based on a principal or other administrator observing a teacher at work and grading them. Most teachers received a “satisfactory” rating; a few are rated “unsatisfactory.”

GTT logo-resize
Click here to learn more about valued-added, a new way that Ohio is using to measure whether teachers provide a year’s worth of learning to their students.
  • New system: Half a teacher’s evaluation is based on an observation, but observers are supposed to grade teachers against a specific set of criteria. The other half is based on how much their students learn over the course of the year. (For some teachers, a controversial measure called “value-added” is used.) The observation and test-score measures are combined to give teachers one of four possible grades, from top to bottom: Accomplished, skilled  developing, ineffective.
  • Old system: Most teachers are evaluated every few years.
  • New system: All but the top-rated teachers must be evaluated annually.
  • Old system: Few schools used teacher evaluation results in deciding where to place teachers or whether to lay them of or give them raises.
  • New system: Local boards of education must adopt policies about how they’ll use evaluation results for promotion and termination decisions. Seniority can not be the basis for teacher retention decisions, except when deciding between teachers who have comparable evaluations.

Why are these changes happening?

Several reasons:

  • A 2009 law said the state’s Educator Standards Board should develop a new and improved way to evaluate Ohio teachers.
  • The 2011 state budget required the state Board of Education to approve an evaluation-system outline by the end of 2011. The budget said at least 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation must be based on student academic growth. And it said the evaluation system must also be aligned with the state’s expectations for teachers, require at least two observations of a teacher, and meet other requirements.
  • Evaluations are also one part of the reason Ohio school districts got part of $400 million in Race to the Top funds. To receive the federal stimulus money, states had to promise that schools would adopt teacher (and principal) evaluation systems that “differentiate effectiveness using multiple rating categories that take into account data on student growth…as a significant factor, and…are designed and developed with teacher and principal involvement.”
  • And to get a waiver from some parts of the No Child Left Behind Act, Ohio had to commit to using a teacher evaluation system that, unsurprisingly, offers more than one rating for teachers, takes student growth (and other measures) into account, and is used to “inform personnel decisions.”

Latest Posts

Grading the Teachers: Stories on Value-Added Starting Sunday

GTT logo

Ohio is introducing a new way of grading teachers, one based on student test scores and whether students learn as much as expected in a given year. It uses a measure called value-added. Starting Sunday, StateImpact Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer will launch a series of stories about value-added:

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

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 [...]

Fordham: This Ed Reform Thing Could Blow Up in Our Face

explosion

Ohio schools aren’t ready for major changes the state has mandated, according to the results of a survey of superintendents conducted by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. And the rapid pace of school reform may mean Ohio policymakers risk the failure of ambitious efforts to improve schools if the pace doesn’t slow, said Fordham’s Terry [...]

How Ohio’s New Teacher Evaluations Will Change Student Teaching

Ohio’s educators have been nervously watching the development of a new way to evaluate teachers. They’re nervous because half of their evaluations will be based on student test scores. Officials hope the higher stakes will improve teaching performance. But there could be ripple effects, like big changes in the way student teachers get classroom experience.

Education Advocacy Group “Students First” Gives Ohio a C-

Students First, a group looking to improve education through increased accountability for teachers and principals, more financial transparency in schools, and enhanced power for parents, is grading states on their education initiatives. Ohio received an average grade, but fared well compared to other states. StateImpact Ohio sat down with Greg Harris, the group’s Ohio director, [...]

The Top 10 Ohio Education Stories of 2012

Blue number ten 10

Whether you call it reform, revolution, transformation or transmutation, the pace of change in the world of Ohio education continues to speed up. As we move into what’s likely to be another year of change in Ohio schools, we’ve whittled things down to this list of the 10 biggest Ohio education stories of 2012. 1. [...]

What It Takes to Get Fired From Your Teaching Job

The New Philadelphia Times-Reporter reports that a local school board is moving to fire a sixth-grade teacher who did the following things, according to an independent state investigator: Disregarded his principal’s directives not to use his cellphone during instruction time; Repeatedly called a student derogatory names in front of classmates; Three times entered erroneous grades [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education