For the first time next year, Ohio teachers must be evaluated based on how much their students learn, and, in some cases, how well students do on state tests.
In the Cardington-Lincoln school district in central Ohio, the change has prompted teachers to request that school start earlier next year.
But starting school earlier in Cardington would mean students wouldn’t be able to attend the first days of the local county fair.
The Morrow County Sentinel reports:
Superintendent Brian Petrie noted the teachers feel they need that time to do the testing without interruption. He drew a similarity to those students who come to school at 7:30 a.m. to practice for athletics or band. Asking them to do that is no different from asking students to go to school those fair days.
Under the new teacher evaluation system, teachers will receive one of four labels:Accomplished, Proficient, Developing or Ineffective.
For teachers in elementary and middle schools, at least one quarter of that final rating next year must be based on how students perform on state tests. That part of the teacher-evaluation equation looks at a statistical measure called value-added that shows how much students learn in a given year, rather than just how high they score on state tests.
The state sets the days that tests must be administered. That means that Cardington can’t give the state tests later in the spring. For elementary and middle school students, testing next year will happen in late April and early May.
In Cardington, some board members say students shouldn’t have to choose between attending school and attending the county fair, the Morrow County Sentinel reports.
And some board members say participating in the county fair counts as learning too:
“…If our teachers are doing their jobs and our students are performing well it would not matter when the test comes– it’s like a test anytime in college– they have to be ready. I thought I needed extra time but kids need time to be kids — and our county needs to support our kids. we have discipline problems in our county because we don’t have enough kids participating in activities like 4-H and learning to make the best better,” [school board member Marilyn Davis said.]