Raising the level of Ohio’s education system is a top priority for Gov. Kasich and you can read more below from the Columbus Dispatch about the need to better assess educators and ensure that our children are getting the best education possible:
Effective teachers are the most valuable education asset that Ohio (or any state) has. Statistics don’t lie when it comes to their impact on children’s learning. Stanford economist Eric Hanushek, who recently testified before a joint hearing of the Ohio House and Senate education committees, reports that “having a high-quality teacher throughout elementary school can substantially offset or even eliminate the disadvantage of low socio-economic background.” Similarly, a weak teacher can blight a child’s prospects.
Gov. John Kasich’s budget and the recently enacted Senate Bill 5 seek to move the state toward evaluations that identify the impact of individual instructors on student learning, in order to inform decisions around retention, pay, hiring and dismissal. This is a huge opportunity to raise the needle on student achievement. But Ohio has to get the details right. Systems that measure and reward performance are still at the pilot stage, and no jurisdiction has yet developed a perfect system.
Creating better teacher-evaluation systems in Ohio is not as daunting as some would have us think. The key will be to encourage district and teacher participation. Don’t wait for the state to do it – and don’t expect to create a one-size-fits-all evaluation system to cover every local circumstance. Instead, press districts to come up with systems that incorporate common data elements from the state while also incorporating measures such as expert and peer evaluations, building- and district-level performance metrics, and even student evaluations.
Ohio is well-positioned to lead the nation in the development of high-quality teacher-evaluation systems. It has many of the necessary pieces already in place and it has the political momentum to get this done. Now is the time to do it.
You can read the entire editorial here.