Legislation to update Ohio teacher evaluation system

State Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) has announced newly introduced legislation that seeks to enact updates to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) as recommended by the Educator Standards Board in January of 2017.

House Bill 540, which is companion legislation to Senate Bill 240 sponsored by State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), focuses on improving efficiency, transparency and accountability in how Ohio teachers are evaluated. While taking such steps as updating the OTES Rubric with clarifying language, it also eliminates the requirement for student academic growth to contribute to half of an evaluation and removes the use of student learning objectives as a standard of evaluation. Additionally, it removes alternative evaluation framework and a provision of current law stating that certain public school teachers must take exams to prove knowledge of their subject under specific circumstances.

Among other adjustments to the standards is the removal of shared attribution, which was deemed an inaccurate measurement of teacher performance or student growth. An additional change adds off-year requirements for teachers who are rated as “Accomplished” or “Skilled,” such as conference attendance to promote professional growth and the submitting of a personalized professional growth plan.

Having been introduced this week, House Bill 540 awaits a House committee designation, where it will receive further review.