Posts by: Greg

Ohio Senator Charleta Tavares (D) has introduced Senate Bill 34 that would prohibit school boards from adopting Zero Tolerance policies that ultimately hamper the ability of school administrators and teachers from reaching at-risk children to address their needs on a case-by-case basis.  The adoption of zero tolerance policies often force the hand of school personnel to treat all children and all behavioral problems the same, effectively eliminating their ability to offer students an appropriate form of “due process” and alternate intervention strategies that seek to assist students who may be suffering from extreme behavioral issues.

In many cases, these students need greater […]

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Ever since the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) was adopted into law in 2011, the Ohio General Assembly has been tinkering with the various components in an effort to “improve” its implementation.  Each successive year has seen many significant changes to the overall OTES framework, while additional legislation has had an impact on the specific components — most notably changes to the state standardized tests.

This year, however, the number of proposed changes to both the overall framework and the testing components that comprise nearly 50% of the majority of teachers’ final ratings is reaching a number that goes well beyond mere “corrections” to […]

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One thing appears certain for next school year — the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) will once again undergo changes.  With the second year of the statewide implementation of the system not even finished, the Ohio General Assembly is already working to change the rules for year three.  While teachers and principals are still acclimating to the changes adopted last summer, they can all expect to arrive back in August to a process that will look different.  The only question at this point is how different?

Multiple pieces of legislation making their way through the Ohio House and Senate contain […]

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Ohio House Bill 2 has now been relegated to “lip-service” status on charter school reform after the GOP-dominated House Education Committee refused to adopt any meaningful changes (including recommendations by Republican State Auditor Dave Yost).  When it was introduced, it was allegedly a bill that would be demonstrating that Ohio Republicans, including Governor Kasich, were serious about turning the corner on Ohio’s charter schools and becoming serious about holding them to the same level of accountability as Ohio’s real public schools.

Instead, House Bill 2 has fallen flat.  As reported by the Ohio Education Association this week [emphasis-added]:

In […]

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The Kasich Administration and GOP-controlled Ohio General Assembly has been all about “education reform” over the last 5 years, with an alleged focus on improving student achievement — especially decreasing the dropout rate.  Recent legislation has focused on getting Ohio’s students to graduate from high school with not only a high school diploma, but for those not interested in college, some sort of industry credential.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee, for example, has been continually touted as a step toward decreasing Ohio’s dropout rate (we strongly disagree with this assertion) and the legislature has held firm on this law even […]

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Earlier this week we wrote about Ohio House Bill 7, which is described as a “Safe Harbor” law for students, protecting them from negative ramifications based on the 2014-15 state standardized tests.

Today, on Ohio Public Radio*, Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee that passed the bill out of committee last week and sent it to the full Senate for a vote (it passed today unanimously), said:

“For the 2014-15 school year only, student test scores on end of course exams or on any of the 3-8 achievement assessments cannot be […]

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Ohio House Bill 7 appears to finally recognize the “opt-out” issue that the state is having to deal with as many parents are intentionally choosing to refuse to have their children participate in the expanded administration of standardized tests that are draining away instructional time from the classroom.

The bill essentially provides a one-year reprieve for this school year to prevent almost any student or school from being penalized by the 2014-15 tests.

As described in the bill analysis:

Prohibits public schools from utilizing, at any time during a student’s academic career, a student’s score on any elementary-level state assessment […]

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For the past few years, teachers of reading and math at grades 4-8 have received value-added ratings based on the collective performance of their classes of students, with those ratings being used as a key part of their individual evaluation ratings under the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System for the past two.  While most people understand that the ratings are generated from calculations based on state test results, the exact process by which teachers obtain these ratings is often misunderstood.

Teachers are supposed to participate in an online process called “Roster Verification” or “Linkage” each spring.  Through Roster Verification, teachers are given the […]

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The apparent answer is a resounding YES.

We’ve had numerous readers contact us to share what they have discovered while looking at the publicly available PARCC practice reading tests, and the information is appalling.  Using an online tool — Readability-Score.com — we followed-up on readers’ tips and have independently analyzed the reading levels of every single passage on all of the PARCC practice reading tests.  Our analysis reveals that the majority of the passages are above the grade level for which the test is designed.  With the actual PARCC assessments hidden from public view, this analysis is all that can be […]

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On Sunday we detailed many of the major changes that school districts will be forced to change surrounding the implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  Those changes would be onerous and certainly untimely for school districts as they are not likely to be officially adopted until some time this summer.  Such a late adoption of the sweeping changes will once again leave school districts scrambling and leave teachers and administrators questioning what, exactly, the latest iteration of the OTES actually is in practice.

There are, however, two positive(?) changes to the evaluation system that, while still leaving school districts […]

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Deep in Governor Kasich’s budget bill (House Bill 64) on page 924 we can find language requiring the creation of an evaluation system that will cover all of Ohio’s school counselors (Ohio Counselor Evaluation System?; OCES?).  The overall framework and final evaluation ratings closely mirror the OTES structure, though the final pieces of the puzzle will ultimately be decided by the state board of education (led by two Kasich appointees).

The actual evaluation process is slated to begin in the 2016-17 school year and the legislation has many holes for the state board to fill, including the decision […]

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