New Legislation on Teacher Evaluation

NOTE:  OUR OFFICIAL EVALUATION POLICY FOR THE 2012/2013 SCHOOL YEAR IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.  OUR CONTRACT SUPERSEDES ANY NEW TEACHER EVALUATION LAWS.  HOWEVER THERE ARE MAJOR CHANGES THAT WILL TAKE PLACE ONCE OUR CURRENT CONTRACT EXPIRES ON JUNE 30, 2013.  THESE CHANGES ARE SUMMARIZED BELOW:

Teacher Evaluation

1)  Goes into effect in 2013-14 school year.

2)  Requires public schools to adopt a new teacher evaluation system, based 50 percent on teacher performance and 50 percent on student growth.

3) Requires only one annual observation of teachers that are on limited or extended limited contracts, along with periodic walk-throughs, as long as that teacher is rated as “accomplished” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation and as long as the teacher completes  a project approved by the employer to demonstrate continued growth and practice at the accomplished level.

4) School Boards may decide to have evaluation of “accomplished” teachers every two years.

5)  Requires two classroom observations for almost all other teachers.

6)  Requires at least three classroom observations of teachers on limited or extended limited contracts as part of the evaluation process, and specifies that the requirement applies only to such teachers who are under consideration for non renewal.

7)  Adds language explicitly allowing teacher evaluations to be conducted by persons designated in a peer review agreement (PAR) entered into by a school district and its teachers.

8)  Extends from April 1 to May 1 the deadline for employers to complete teacher evaluations.

9)  Directs the State Board to develop by June 30, 2013, a standards‐based teacher evaluation framework for state agencies, and requires each state agency that employs teachers to adopt a teacher evaluation policy that conforms to the framework.

10) Specifies that substitute teachers are not subject to the requirement to undergo annual teacher evaluations.

11) Requires student growth to be measured by the value-added data, which applies to specific grades and subjects on the state report card; approved “vendor list,” or outside testing; and local measures, which would include testing before and after a student takes a specific class.

12)  Excludes the following students when calculating student academic growth for the purpose of teacher evaluations:  (1) Students with 60 or more excused or unexcused absences for the school year; and  (2) Students who are “habitual truants.”  (Under current law, a habitual truant has unexcused absences of 5 or more consecutive days, 7 or more days in a month, or 12 or more days in a school year.)

13) Requires adoption by July 1, 2013 and implementation once current teacher contracts expire.

Teacher Re-testing and Professional Development

1)  Repeals current law requiring each teacher of a core subject area in a building that is ranked in the lowest 10% of all public schools to take and pass a content knowledge exam.

2)  Requires the employer to develop a professional improvement plan for a teacher rated “ineffective” on an evaluation for the first time.  Requires a teacher that is rated “ineffective” on the next evaluation after the development of a plan to complete at least 12 hours of in-service professional development at the teacher’s expense.

3)  Permits an employer, at its own expense, to require a teacher to take one or more exams of content knowledge selected by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in addition to completing the professional development.

4)  Permits an employer to terminate a teacher if the teacher does not complete the professional development or content knowledge exam, received an “ineffective “ rating on the teacher’s next evaluation after professional development or fails the exam.

5)  Specifies that the requirement for teacher re-testing applies beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

Nonrenewal of Teacher and Administrator Contracts

1)  Extends the deadlines for a school district or Educational Service Center (ESC) to notify a teacher or administrator that the person’s contract will not be renewed for the following school year, as follows: (1) from April 30 to June 1 in the case of teachers; and (2) from March 31 to June 1 in the case of assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, business managers, supervisors and other administrators.

2)  Extends the deadline from June 1 to June 15 for a teacher or administrator to notify a school district or ESC that the person  is declining reemployment, in cases where the person is automatically reemployed due to the district’s or ESC’s failure to comply with the statutory nonrenewal procedures.