Local schools implement new teacher evaluations
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 22:02
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) implemented a new teacher evaluation program that will take effect in the 2013-2014 school year.
The new program is a response to several legislative bills passed concerning education, said Kathy Leist, assistant superintendent of human resources for Hamilton City Schools.
The new evaluation model will be based 50 percent on teacher performance and 50 percent on student growth, according to Carol King, ODE consultant. Certified evaluators will have attended a three-day seminar. Student growth will be measured based on students’ academic improvement during a specific period of time.
King said the Race to the Top Initiative is a program that selects schools and gives them grants for education. The new teacher evaluation system comes from this program, including 453 local education agencies.
According to Holli Morrish, director of communication and public relations for Talawanda School District, the grant means the state is willing to support the work of their individual school.
She said through this support, schools will be given the opportunity to implement the Ohio standards based on curriculum, new evaluations for teachers, principals and any administrators aligned with students.
“I think the feds and the state are very interested in improving our education system throughout,” Morrish said.
This Race to the Top grant is a four-year program that began in 2010 according to King. The schools in the program have worked on creating a template for the teacher evaluation system.
Template planning for the new evaluations began in the first year and continued into the second year. The program is currently in its third year and the agencies are working on piloting the program. The final year, the 2013-2014 school year, will be the implementation of the new teacher evaluation program, according to King.
“The model is based on research and best practice,” King said.
King said all of the schools involved in Race to the Top will be implementing the new program next year and if not, they will be expected to implement the program by July 1.
Morrish said Talawanda High School will be implementing the new program next school year and this year they are piloting the model.
“I believe education is moving in a better direction and that we will once again be competitive with other industrialized countries,” Morrish said.
Leist said she thinks the new program will be beneficial.
“I believe the new program will provide more rigor,” Leist said. “It’s going to provide more consistency across the state, across districts, as well as from one administrator to another.”
However, some people are voicing concerns over the subjectivity of the evaluations. Senior, Emma Clancy, an education major, said it comes down to how the evaluations are handled.
“Any sort of evaluation done on student growth is subjective because I don’t believe in standardized tests, but it’s hard to find another way to measure retention in a district,” she said. “Teacher performance is difficult to evaluate because performance of teachers is based so much on student success.”
Based on these two components, teachers will then be given a rating in one of the four categories. The categories are ineffective, developing, proficient and accomplished.
According to King, the reason for the evaluation change is a response to a national call for child achievement. Several pieces of legislation have passed that call for this model.
“The whole goal is really to help students learn better and help them grow and succeed in school,” King said. “We need to be competitive globally so we’re stepping it up in terms of student learning.”
Leist said the Ohio Department of Education is very excited to implement this new program.
“Any time teachers are given the opportunity to improve their craft, students benefit,” Leist said.