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September 23, 2009
October 02, 2009
In the waning days of 2013, I highlighted five big issues to keep an eye on in 2014. Ohio’s new teacher-evaluation system was number two on the list. In terms of predictions mine was anything but bold; after all, this is the first school year that the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) has been implemented. Any new system, especially one as important and controversial as OTES, is going to make headlines.
Last fall, Senator Randy Gardner introduced legislation (Senate Bill 229) to make minor modifications to the evaluation system. Most notably, he proposed reducing from 50 to 35 percent the amount of a teacher’s performance evaluation that is based on student achievement and lengthening the time between evaluations to three years for many teachers. The bill sailed through the Senate in less than a month, but it stalled in the House Education Committee until recently.
The House last week unveiled a substitute bill (legislative comparison document) that clarifies some ambiguities in the law and offers helpful tweaks. Other modifications are more substantive and could help school leaders to more accurately determine a teacher’s performance level. The most substantial among the House’s proposed changes include the following:
The proposed changes in the House substitute for Senate Bill 229 appear to be a thoughtful and more complete review of Ohio’s teacher-evaluation law and deserve careful deliberation. Recent public comments from House Education Committee Chairman Stebelton suggest that he recognizes the importance of the changes and expects to allow significant time for the committee to gather public testimony. This is precisely the right course of action and bodes well for the long-term success of Ohio’s new teacher-evaluation system.