OCTELA believes that students deserve effective teachers, and teacher evaluation systems should hold teachers to the highest standards of performance. However, while the teacher performance rubric implemented in the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System establishes high expectations for teacher performance and has the potential to support professional growth for educators, the mandate that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation be based upon student growth measures is unfair and potentially damaging to individual teachers and the profession. While standardized testing can provide valuable information to guide improving curriculum and instruction, it is unfair to base high stakes decisions on standardized assessment data from a single annual test. Standardized testing should be a small portion of an evaluation system that includes multiple measures of student and teacher success. OCTELA supports authentic assessments of both teacher and students to evaluate the complexity of effective teaching and learning rather than the narrow measure of achievement possible with a single standardized test.
Student Growth Measures:
Student growth measures upon which 50% of teacher evaluations are based in the state of Ohio are inconsistent across the state and often inconsistent within school districts and in some individual buildings. While some teachers give tests with value added data attached, teachers in a non-tested year or a non-tested subject do not have data directly tied to their students. Teachers without value added data receive student growth measures based on one of the following: 1.) Teacher or district created Student Learning Objectives 2.) Shared attribution from building value added data 3.) Shared attribution from district value added data. 4.) Approved Vendor assessments. This variety of data sources creates a system in which the data source for 50% of each teacher’s evaluation is not necessarily an equal comparison to his/her colleagues’. In addition, based on the current system, some value added data may be directly linked to a teacher while other valued added data may be based on the performance of students who are several grade levels removed from an individual teacher. OCTELA believes that the current system to evaluate teacher performance and to make employment decisions is unfair to teachers and damaging to the teaching profession.
Current testing climate:
Standardized testing in the state of Ohio is in flux. As we transition from PARCC to a new testing system, it is unclear whether the new assessments will produce accurate, valid, and reliable value added data. In addition, data from the 2014-2015 PARCC assessments is not scheduled to be provided to schools until well after the academic year has started. New assessments in the development stage are also problematic. As a result, data from the PARCC assessment cannot be used to adjust curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year, and educators cannot prepare students for an assessment when a blueprint and/or format has not been provided in a timely manner.
OCTELA supports teacher evaluation systems implemented to help teachers identify areas of strength and areas for growth . We support evaluation systems that lead to targeted, ongoing professional development to meet the professional needs of each teacher. We are opposed to teacher evaluations that include widely inconsistent student data for the purpose of employment decisions.