The Ohio House of Representatives was all out of sorts over the past week at the notion of increasing the number of calamity days for school districts across the state.  What was initially thought to be a simple piece of legislation that would be fast-tracked when it was proposed the day after Governor Kasich called for it turned out to hit a wall with many House Republicans.  The initial delay of its adoption by the House was the question of cost, specifically whether it was a waste of millions of dollars to pay “teachers for days they didn’t work” (Gerald Stebelton, House Education Committee Chair).

Interestingly enough, Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly haven’t had much problem with this notion in recent years as they have passed legislation requiring more and more standardized testing in Ohio’s schools.

Next year, we’ll be implementing a new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for every child in Kindergarten, delivered one-on-one, and completed before November.  How many days of instruction will these Kindergarten teachers lose in order to conduct these assessments?  2? 3?  With  the window open through November 1, the state seems to imply that it should take a considerable amount of time — and shouldn’t it in order to be done correctly?

On top of that, Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law requires that each child in Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade be administered a standardized diagnostic reading test to assess their reading level.  These tests must be administered to all students before September 30.

On top of THAT, schools must administer a mathematics diagnostic assessment to all students in grades one and two, and a writing diagnostic assessment to all students in grades one, two, and three at least once during the school year.

Let’s start keeping a tally of the days of instruction lost since we’re only getting started.

  • Kindergarten teachers are losing: 2 days for Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (conservatively), 1 day for reading diagnostic (optimistically)
  • Grade 1 teachers: 1 day for reading diagnostic, 1 day for math diagnostic, 1 day for writing diagnostic (again, optimistically)
  • Grade 2 teachers: 1 day for reading diagnostic, 1 day for math diagnostic, 1 day for writing diagnostic

At Grade 3, we add in the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA), so their loss of instructional days changes:

  • 1 day for reading diagnostic, 1 day for writing diagnostic, half day for October Reading OAA, half day for April Math OAA, half day for April Reading OAA [note that the half-day only applies to "traditional" students and many students receive special accommodations which provides for extended testing time which is typically a full day; we're strictly calculating minimum days]

At Grade 4 and above, the numbers of days lost to state-mandated tests are as follows:

  • Grade 4 teachers; half day for Math OAA & half day for Reading OAA
  • Grade 5 teachers; half day for Math OAA, half day for Reading OAA, half day for Science OAA
  • Grade 6 teachers; half day for Math OAA & half day for Reading OAA
  • Grade 7 teachers; half day for Math OAA & half day for Reading OAA
  • Grade 8 teachers; half day for Math OAA, half day for Reading OAA, half day for Science OAA

At high school, the entire school schedule is typically disrupted during the traditional March OGT administration for all 10th grade students, so every high school teacher typically loses 5 half days of instructional time (5 tests, 5 days) as they are put to work being test monitors/proctors.

Also at the high school level, since many students aren’t successful on their first attempt, the test administration windows in subsequent years disrupt the instructional time for 11th and 12th grade teachers — a number that varies widely among school districts, but is real nonetheless.

Now lets look at an estimate of the collective days of instruction lost based on numbers from the Ohio Department of Education.  According to the ODE, the student:teacher ratio is just under 20, so we’ll generously round up for ease of calculation and to keep our numbers on the conservative side.  Based on that number, here are the estimated number of teachers for the grades directly affected by the standardized testing phenomenon:

teachers-students

When we add in the column for days lost of instruction for each teacher, here’s what it looks like:

losttotesting

In the end, using conservative estimates, teachers and students are losing at least 184,555 total days of instructional time to the process of standardized testing.  What’s the cost of that, both in REAL dollars and the cost to our students?

If we use the numbers bandied about by House Republicans, the average Ohio teacher’s salary in 2013 was $56,307.  Divide that by the 182 day school year (as the GOP members did) and we get roughly $309/day.  At $309/day, with 184,555 days lost to legislatively mandated tests, Ohio law mandates that we spend over $57 million each year to pay our teachers to NOT instruct our students.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the actual cost of administering and scoring these tests, those numbers exist too, at least for the OAAs and OGTs.  The Ohio Department of Education started charging districts for replacement tests back in 2010 at a cost of $25 per test to merely “help” cover the cost.  So in addition to the incalculable cost of the loss of instructional time, what is the actual cost of administering all of the OAA and OGT tests?

costoftesting

The total cost of administering OAAs and OGTs comes to $65,731,500.00 annually.

If we combine these two amounts we come up with a (conservative) total of how much Ohio’s legislators have mandated that we spend each year to have our teachers NOT instruct our children.

$57,097,463.65 (paid to teachers to give tests)
plus
$65,731,500.00 (cost of testing program)
equals

$122,828,964.00

Ohio’s Republican-dominated General Assembly has created laws that require us to spend nearly $123 million each year to NOT instruct our children and they’re complaining about some snow days (for which they already created a law that will render the problem moot next year)?

What’s next?  Will the Ohio’s House GOP members complain about their tiring schedule that has them working 3 days a week (sometimes) for about 5-6 months a year?

Evangelize!
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
 
  • bobthebuilder

    Truth is our country is falling behind in education. Only one group to blame….hmmm. Never said they were moochers….whiners yes!!

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Its nowhere near the two highest paid..

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    No thanks…

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    They whine alot…

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Let the world education rankings speak for themselves??

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    First true and sensible thing I read on here…Thank you…

  • andrea123

    We’ve spent thousands on my husbands tools as a mechanic. So it is not a stretch. Everytime he tells me the Snap on truck showed up I know it cost us something.

  • andrea123

    I don’t think he is ignorant. I think more pent up with frustration. From reading all the posts, his child isn’t even taught by a public school teacher. His opinions may not all be correct but do have some valid points. Our school system as a nation has slipped off its once high pedestal…

  • andrea123

    I would agree.

  • andrea123

    But you are expected to do the work. Whether at home or staying late.

  • super_teacher

    Yeah, a school year, but they just made the decision to spread the pay out over the calendar year.

  • super_teacher

    Save your “honey” for your biscuits. Again, TOTALLY clueless people talking about things they know not. I am already AT school a minimum of 40 hours per week, I am gone on average 10 hrs a day. Those others who are in the work force that we know, don’t put in 50-60 hrs week, most are at 40. And I know all about long work days, now and when I was in college getting an education taking 20 hrs of classes and working 30 hrs weekly at a job while also keeping up with all the requirements for my classes. So don’t feed me your crap like I don’t work hard. My district did NOT get two weeks off at Christmas, and we get Good Friday off for Easter, not a week. And most teachers have to spend a big part of their summers taking classes to keep their licenses renewed. Personally I spent summers and weekends taking classes to get my master’s. There are numerous other points to be made, but I’m intelligent enough to figure out that my words fall on deaf ears, so I will no longer waste my valuable time. I have papers to grade. Good night.

  • super_teacher

    FYI, most of my students have consistently improved their scores dramatically above their previous year’s scores, so I must be doing something right.

  • Natalie

    I congratulate you on your 22k a year factory job with minimal education. If you think teaching is so easy then go to college, get our here and jump right in.

  • Natalie

    Seriously, are you the governor? Your attitude is poor.

  • anaon

    We don’t need teachers. Buy every kid a computer and make them sit in front of it reading and responding to questions all day with a 10 minute break every hour. Monitor them. Test them. Kids should be speaking and reading, not just English but several languages, by the time they are 4. Lunch is salad and a protein shake. Enough of this crap.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Who said I had a minimal education?? I was in school at the time. Yes I worked and went to school. Amazing huh…Its called not wanting to be in debt after college….

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Just looked up 8 of the teachers I know personally , and the lowest salary of the group is $54k a yr. Top is $68k and they are all under the age of 38…so teachers are also liars…

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Its public record in ohio. Thanks josh mandel!! Even though I can’t stand him

  • anaon

    Since when has the quality of your zipcode NOT been an indicator of intelligence and success? This translates into the environment you provide for your children and it does impact their success in life don’t be naïve. If you can’t provide for children, and make sure that you have the time to educate them by example, you shouldn’t be having them.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Then I applaud you. But why is the teacher below you still employed? Thats one of my biggest gripes. Until recently there was no accountability.

  • Melissa S.

    You’re one of a kind in respect to how you have raised your child. I applaud you. However, you are a minority in my area of high poverty and high unemployment. It’s tiring defending our profession – people think all we do is complain. We just want understood – appreciated and treated with respect that we deserve. We are professionals! I don’t see it as complaining, but the male world often does – it’s just stating the facts so we’re understood by Joe Public. I’m still trying to figure out how the legislature found Ohio public school funding unconstitutional, yet nothing has been done to ‘fix’ it. Funding in Ohio public schools is not equitable. Where are all the people speaking up about this group? It’s obvious some people just don’t have a clue of what it’s like in our world. And I became a teacher because I care about the future of our children. I’m in the profession because I know I make an impact on society and on children who may one day be wiping your a*s or picking out your care in a nursing home.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    You shouldn’t need a bunch of documentation to fire an inefficient employee…That’s part of the problem. Unions protecting bad employees..The auto unions did it for years and look where it got them.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Didn’t even vote for him…I am a taxpayer, who is fed up with the inefficient, sub-par educators that are allowed to keep their jobs year after year. In my mind they make all the good teachers look bad…If their students can’t pass simple tests of knowledge, then they should be put on probation and then fired. Like any other job out there.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Off to bed , as I have to teach a SolidWorks group to my fellow minimally educated co-workers. Then I have an early meeting , with a group of gentlemen from a few BILLION dollar corporation, for their new product line which we will be doing…Maybe we’ll go golfing…

  • Melissa S.

    AMEN!

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Most, if not all the salaried workers I know put in nearly 50hrs a week. My pay is actually based on 48hrs a week. I’ve yet to work less than that in the 8 years I have worked there.

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Well , some people have a dedication to their job. Your husband does not, unless hes paid. .. I for one get calls/texts some nights, 1am , 4 am, doesn’t matter. If I’m up I answer if not they wait. A job is not all about money. Thats what is wrong with this country now. No job pride. Just $$$. Which is sad. This whole topic was based on how our gov’t wasted $$$ on tests and educational days. Its really not about that. Its your profession/union just trying to find someone to blame if kids fail…During the neighboring cities strike last year( yes st wrongsville) , it opened my eyes to alot of things I really never thought about as a taxpayer…Not for the better…

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    I worked over 700hrs of OT last year so i do know about long days…

  • carrieee4

    AND SO ARE WE!!!!
    Are you kidding me? You have no idea what extra work I do that I do not have time to do on an ordinary day! It really takes most of the day and more than what Iwould be able to do while teaching!

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Spoken from a true union member point of view…So only do what you’re paid for? Not one bit more…sounds like dedication to me. Oh sorry its 4 o’clock I gotta leave…sounds like someone who is first in line at the time clock everyday. Im sure he also never did any of his company business on the side while at his employers expense…lol…walked up hill both ways to school Im sure also…

  • bobcantbekeptdown

    Also, you do not work with him. So it”s what he tells you. I can say the same. In the last twenty years I’ve missed 1 day of work. For surgery for my daughter. Doubt many people can say that…

  • Beth

    I have a MS degree and 12 years of experience. I do not make $50,000 a year. My school’s pay scale stops going up after TWENTY YEARS and it’s barely over $50,000 when it stops! I have been on a pay freeze for three years because we have no money for our step increases. When we did have them, they were more like 1%, not 2%. I have to work 35 years before I can retire, not 30. My “excellent” insurance keeps changing due to less money for the district. I have a large deductible, just like everyone else. We do not get full tuition reimbursement. At most, my school gives 50%, and that depends on how many people are splitting the funds. I have to take classes to renew my license, so it’s at least 50% on me to pay for those credit hours that I have to take. I have to pay to renew my licence ($200), which is not reimbursed. I don’t work seven hours a day. I’m at school for about 9 hours most days, sometimes ten. I work from home every weekend. People seem to think you walk in, teach, and walk back out. You can’t exactly plan for instruction while instructing. I create my own curriculum because there is no money to purchase any materials for me. I do just as much work in 8 months as a lot of other people do in twelve. I’m also not paid for days not worked. It’s stated right in our contract and our yearly calendar. Our “Recess Days” are days not worked and not paid. My salary is spread out over the calendar year, but we are paid for days worked only. It’s really a futile task to try to explain it to someone who has probably not been in a classroom since being a student. I should really stop bothering to try.

  • super_teacher

    Husband said to tell you if you were union, you would have been paid for those 700 hrs of OT, just like he is. Again, who in their right mind thinks that an employee SHOULD DONATE their time for the benefit of a company/business that they have no stock in???!!! Hubby wonders just where you draw the line with your dedication to your job, i.e. why aren’t you just volunteering instead of drawing a paycheck? Not that dedicated?

  • ricky

    The K-test will take 4 hours per student starting in Sept. Teachers must adminster the test DURING school hours – so many kids have NEVER had a school experience and the classroom teacher must test indivdually and keep the other 20-25 kids engaged in learning activities. It will take until the end of Nov. to test all students. So, who will be teaching? The formar KRAW-L was excellent – I have no idea why we needed to fix something that was not broken and worked well to provide teachers with a baseline. This new test is a grave injustice to the children. I’d very sad that a 5 year old has to start school in such chaos and rigid testing. So, K teachers will certainly lose more than 2 days of instruction – do the math.

  • Andy

    There are a lot of crybaby teachers out there. What a bunch of whiners. If it’s so bad leave the field and get a real job. What? You don’t want to work during the summer? I guess things aren’t that bad after all.

  • rhetorical

    There still isn’t. Now there is the illusion of accountability and the fear of being fired for factors beyond a teachers’ control. Progress!

  • rhetorical

    If you read the comments, teachers want to do their jobs. The state government is interfering heavily with their ability to do so.

  • rhetorical

    Did your career choice require intensive graduate level training? Let’s compare apples to apples.

  • rhetorical

    I’m sure you had tons of love and respect for teachers before the negotiation impasse.

  • rhetorical

    Cool story, bro. If those machinists were buying tools for their machines to consume, it might be comparable. Teachers buy supplies less for their own use and more for their students.

  • bill

    Did you not know this when you chose that career as a teacher??

  • bill

    I’m sure that was known when you chose this profession. Correct?

  • rhetorical

    A) you don’t know what I chose for my career, so assume less.
    B) Teachers are not required to purchase supplies for students. The state is required to provide adequate funding. No student should be without supplies. When the state fails to live up to its responsibility, teachers often take the burden of providing for those who fall between the cracks, not because it is their job, but because someone has to. This has nothing to do with career choice. Teachers in affluent districts do not have to provide for nearly as many as teachers in poor districts. Teachers in rural or urban districts have the same careers as the teachers in affluent suburbs.
    C) It is pretty crass to expect someone to take on the state’s slack as a career choice expectation. We all owe Ohio’s teachers a huge debt of gratitude.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!