Putting Education Reform To The Test

What Ohio Has Learned From Three Years Of Teacher Evaluation Data

Math teacher Fuoco.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Sarasota County math teacher Brenda Fuoco.

Our colleagues at StateImpact Ohio are diving into three years of state teacher evaluation data in a series of stories this week with The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The stories talk to teachers rated “most effective” about how they approach the job, analyze if there is a correlation between evaluations and pay and gives readers interactive ways to explore state and school evaluation data.

Ohio has a statewide teacher evaluation that makes it easier to compare teacher scores — known as value-added — across district lines.

While the evaluations are intended to account for factors such as a student’s socio-economic status, StateImpact Ohio and the Plain Dealer found that students in wealthy school districts were more likely to have a teacher earning a high evaluation score:

An analysis by StateImpact Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer found that most teachers fall in the middle of the rankings.

Our findings also show that students in wealthy districts are three times more likely to have teachers with the highest value-added scores than their peers in high poverty schools, who are more likely to encounter teachers rated “least effective.”

Or, to put it another way, teachers in poorer districts overall aren’t doing as well as their peers in richer districts at adding a year’s worth of knowledge.

“To say that a teacher’s very low on value-added doesn’t in and of itself tell you that that’s a bad teacher,” ODE’s Matt Cohen says. “We can’t say that, and we’re not trying to say that. We are trying to say that’s a piece of information that a teacher, and the school should make use of.”

They also talk to a teacher who earned rave reviews from students and administrators, but is leaving the profession after receiving the lowest score of “least effective.”

You can read the entire StateImpact Ohio and Plain Dealer series here.

A similar comparison is more difficult in Florida because the state law allows school districts more flexibility in developing their evaluations. For instance, in some districts student test scores account for 40 percent of the total evaluation while test scores are half the evaluation score in other districts.

Florida law requires school districts to start paying teachers based upon their evaluation scores starting next year.

For StateImpact Florida’s coverage of teacher evaluations, click here. To explore school teacher evaluation data, click here.


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