OHIO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Education and Career Readiness Committee
The committee heard testimony on the following bills last week:
Proponent testimony on HB540 TEACHER EVALUATIONS (Gavarone, Manning) With regard to teacher evaluations.
Several proponents testified last week in favor of the teacher evaluation changes in HB540. Supporters included Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Jonathan Juravich, an elementary school art teacher who is also the Department of Education’s 2018 Ohio Teacher of the year.
“Ohio teachers are currently working under an evaluation system that uses testing data in an inappropriate and ineffective way to evaluate teachers by counting test results as a percentage of a teacher’s evaluation,” Cropper said.
The legislation consists of recommendations provided by the Educator Standards Board after reviewing the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.
The proposal would include the following changes:
– Update OTES Rubric to embed student growth indicators, clarify descriptors to decrease redundancy, and improve clarity in the distinctions between performance levels.
– Student growth data will be linked with improving instruction, as opposed to an isolated evaluation factor linked to an arbitrary percentage.
– Shared attribution would be removed as it does not accurately measure teacher performance or student growth because of the use of assessments for a of students that the educator does not teach.
– Alternative framework components like student portfolios, student surveys, peer review, self-evaluation, and district-determined measures, will remain as optional sources of evidence of teacher effectiveness.
– For teachers on a full evaluation cycle, the two required formal observations and optional number of walkthroughs will be maintained, along with a required end of annual cycle conference with the evaluator.
– The off-year evaluation schedule for teachers rated skilled or accomplished will be maintained but adds the requirement of a conference in off-years for skilled and accomplished teachers to discuss professional growth and progress toward goals. There would also be a requirement for teachers who are rated as skilled to submit professional growth plans developed with their evaluations in off-years.
“HB540 would make the OTES process more coherent,” said Mr. Juravich. “By using student growth measures as a source of evidence in the conversations between educator and evaluator, we are emphasizing the importance of our impact on our students.”
Sponsor testimony on HB549 SCHOOL YEAR (Arndt) To generally require public and chartered nonpublic schools to open for instruction after Labor Day.
Bill sponsor Rep. Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) said the measure to require schools to begin after Labor Day would give students a boost by allowing school-age children opportunities to pursue work experiences and address the state’s “workforce shortage and skills gap.” He also noted that a later starting date would keep students out of school during the hottest days of the year.
Arndt acknowledge the concern of passing another state mandate down to schools, but said he added a provision that would allow local control. School Boards can opt out of the mandate if they conduct one local hearing at least one month before the start date to allow the public to voice their concern.
Sponsor testimony on HB591 SCHOOL REPORT CARDS (Duffey) To revise the state report card rating system for school districts and public schools.
Representative Mike Duffey laid out a plan for an Ohio School Report Card reform last week. Duffey testified that the current report card system left districts frustrated, damaged teacher morale, and confused parents and the community. His proposal outlined the principles the new report card would include to make it more effective than the current one:
• Dashboard approach: precise information presented in an intuitive format for natural response
• Understandable: use the simplest methodologies that still get the job done/illustrate the metric
• Transparent: educators/public can do the math themselves if they want, which leads to trust
• Parent-centric: present the data to parents so they see how their children are likely to do, as opposed to looking at all children generally
Duffey indicated his work in developing HB591 has included discussions with many partners including the Joint Education Oversight Committee, State Board of Education members, the Ohio Department of Education, various school associations and parents. The full presentation on the proposed changes can be reviewed here.
Passed by the House:
• HB318 (LaTourette, Patterson) It establishes qualifications and training for school resource offices and includes a $10 million school safety training grant.
• HB360 (Greenspan) The bill sets a standard framework for schools to use an even-handed approach to address bullying.
Senate Education Committee (Chair: Lehner)
The committee heard testimony on the following last week:
All testimony on HB21 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Hambley) Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
The committee heard several proposed amendments from witnesses. Among them was Michael Uhrin, president of Grove City-based K12 School Consultants, who asked for amendments that would allow local school districts to join in the verification process. “Charter schools may not have the necessary staff to review court and other legal documents,” he said. “Many public schools have legal staff to review these documents.”
HB21 takes the onus of verifying residency of community school students from public schools and would instead require charter schools to keep track of the home districts in which their students reside. HB21 changes the obligation from the public schools to community schools on the foundation that each school should only be responsible for verifying the residency of the students they serve.
Sponsor testimony on HB87 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Roegner) Regarding public moneys returned to the state as a result of a finding for recovery issued pursuant to an audit of a community school.
Rep. Kristina Roegner told the committee that HB87 provides the Department of Education with specific guidance on distributing funds returned to the state from a community school as the result of a finding for recovery from the Auditor of State.
Sponsor testimony on HB438: ESC BOARDS (Hambley, Kick) To permit the addition of appointed members to educational service center boards and to permit a local school district to sever its territory from one educational service center and annex that territory to an adjacent service center under specified conditions.
Co-sponsors Rep. Steve Hambley and Rep. Darrell Kick both testified and explained the three provisions of the bill. HB438 passed the House with a unanimous vote last month.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
ODE Seeks Public Comment on Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education
The last chance to submit comment on the recently released draft of the state’s five-year strategic plan is this week. The final regional community conversation to discuss the plan directly with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education staff is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 in Hamilton County.
The Ohio Department of Education and State Board of Education’s plan is a tool to inform policy development at the Ohio Statehouse and education practice in Ohio’s schools. More than 150 preK-12 educators, higher education representatives, parents and caregivers, employers, business leaders, and philanthropic organizations worked collaboratively over the last six months to develop the plan.
For more information and to register for the last regional community comment session, click on the following link: Hamilton County: April 17, 2018 – 6-8 p.m.
Dayton Daily News:State considers new 5-year education plan that shifts away from tests
“The Ohio Department of Education is constructing a new five-year strategic plan – dubbed Each Child = Our Future – aimed at building a more effective state education system to help position students for success upon graduation. A draft version of the plan earned praise from some for moving away from emphasizing test results.”
“The future of Ohio’s education is being discussed across the state as the State Board of Education holds stakeholder meetings on a new strategic plan. A meeting held Wednesday at Wapakoneta High School gave people a chance to weigh in on a draft strategic plan that is being considered.”
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