Teacher Evaluations: No Need to Re-invent the Wheel

In 2009, House Bill 1 was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.  Included in that legislation was the bold education reform that now, two years later, the current Governor says he wants to achieve.  It is really necessary for Gov. Kasich to re-create the wheel?

HB 1 required the Educator Standards Board to develop a model teacher evaluation system that included measuring student achievement as a prominent feature of the evaluation. Ohio’s Race To the Top evaluators explained this provision this way:

“The influence of House Bill 1 (HB 1) in this instance cannot be overestimated. It requires the State Board of Education to adopt credible, comprehensive evaluation models for teachers and principals that include multiple measures of effectiveness including a method for measuring student growth. As a result, the state has developed an effective means of evaluating both teachers and principals after input by both groups.”

Over the last two years, the ESB has developed that system using the input of teachers and principals, as well as researchers and experts. It has been field tested in several school districts this last school year. And, in a somewhat embarrassing dose of reality to Kasich and his friends, it was presented to the State School Board last week, revealing just how pedestrian Kasich’s plan was compared with the deeply detailed ESB work. And you want to know something? Contrary to Kasich & Co.’s claims, Ohio’s teachers unions support this evaluation system, which includes up to 50% of a teacher’s evaluation to be based on student outcomes.

IO has looked at what the Governor’s budget requires the State School Board to develop on teacher evaluation and compared it with what the ESB has already developed. What is clear is that the ESB is far ahead of the Governor’s vision. (See attached chart)

IO requests that in the interest of saving taxpayer money, the state school board should continue working with teachers and principals to further develop this model teacher evaluation tool rather than scrapping it for some new reinvention of the wheel.