Senate Bill 229 (R-Gardner): Legislation Lowering Academic Growth Factor on Teacher Evaluations Scheduled for First Hearing
SB 229, introduced by Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), would help make Ohio’s new system for evaluating teachers more effective, fair and efficient by reducing the academic growth factor and allowing school districts to reduce the frequency of evaluations for highly rated teachers. The OEA strongly supports SB 229 as part of ongoing efforts to address various concerns with Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).
The bill is scheduled for its first hearing in theSenate Education Committee on November 19, 2013, at 9:15 am in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building. The committee will hear both sponsor and proponent testimony.
SB 229 proposes the following changes to Ohio’s teacher evaluation system:
- Academic growth factor: Lowers the academic growth factor percentage required on teacher evaluations to 35% from the current 50%. A school district may attribute an additional percentage to the academic growth factor not to exceed fifteen percent of an evaluation. The academic growth factor under the OTES is based on value-added and/or other student growth measures, depending on the subjects and grades in a teacher’s course load.
- Frequency of evaluations: Authorizes local school boards to reduce the frequency of evaluations required for teachers who receive an evaluation rating of “Skilled” or “Accomplished” (the top two ratings).
- A school board may evaluate each teacher rated “Accomplished” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every three school years. Currently, a board may elect to evaluate an “Accomplished” teacher once every two years, instead of annually.
- A school board may evaluate each teacher rated “Skilled” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every two years. Currently, a board is required to conduct annual evaluations for teachers rated “Skilled.”
Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) to Unveil House Bill 237 “Substitute Bill” in Second Hearing on Proposal to Repeal Ohio’s Adoption of Common Core Curriculum Standards
The OEA opposes HB 237, which would repeal Ohio’s adoption of the Common Core Curriculum standards. The OEA supports Ohio’s participation in the Common Core, along with the participation of over 40 other states in the nation, because higher education standards will better prepare students for success in college and careers in an increasingly competitive global economy. The Common Core is a state-lead, bi-partisan effort to raise and improve education standards across the nation, while still retaining local control.
The House Education Committee plans to accept a HB 237 “substitute bill” for consideration on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. The “substitute bill” will contain changes to the bill proposed by its sponsor Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta). The chair of the House Education Committee (R-Stebelton) opposes the repeal of Common Core, as does the chair of the Senate Education Committee (R-Lehner).
The OEA recognizes that there are many practical challenges that need to be addressed in order to maximize the success and effectiveness of the implementation of Common Core at the local level. The OEA will continue to advocate in various forums for policy makers to address ongoing concerns, which include the need to ensure that schools and teachers have sufficient planning time, resources, professional development and technological capacity to support student learning under the Common Core.
House Bill 193 (R-Brenner): Bill Proposing Revisions to Ohio’s High School Graduation Requirements to Receive Third Hearing in House Education Committee
The OEA has been reviewing the proposed revisions to Ohio’s high school graduation requirements contained in HB 193, as well as a set of graduation requirement changes proposed by the State Board of Education. These proposals for revising graduation requirements are in expectation of the full implementation of the Common Core Curriculum and related assessments.
Amongst many proposed changes, HB 193 would establish new graduation requirements to replace the Ohio Graduation Test. The new graduation requirements would be applicable to students entering ninth grade after July 1, 2014. The OEA has specific concerns with this proposal to revise graduation requirements and the broader issue of whether school districts are prepared to meet the new requirements.
So-called “School Safety” Measure Pending House Floor Vote
OEA continues to voice serious concerns with the provisions of House Bill 8 (Roegner and Kunze). The bill seeks to exclude from collective bargaining the development and implementation of a protocol for the designation of school employees who may carry concealed weapons. Further, the bill would allow school boards to enter into executive session to designate which employees may carry concealed handguns and prohibits the disclosure of those names. The bill also requires the Ohio Attorney General to adopt training curriculum but falls short of mandating that local school boards utilize the curriculum.
During House Education Committee deliberations, legislators heard testimony from various stakeholder groups. Of interest, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the measure, while the Ohio School Boards Association and a couple of school superintendents spoke in favor of the legislation.
An OEA-supported amendment that would have reinstated collective bargaining rights regarding efforts to arms school employees was tabled during committee. The bill passed out of committee and vote on the House floor is pending.
Bill to Allow School Districts to Stock Epinephrine Passes out of Committee
On Wednesday, October 13, 2013, House Bill 296 (Duffey and Johnson) unanimously passed out of the House Education Committee. The bill, which OEA supports, would allow a school or school district to stock non-patient specific dose(s) of epinephrine on school premises. Current state law permits students to carry and self-administer an epinephrine auto-injector with a physician’s prescription. However, this is of no benefit to those individuals who have not been diagnosed with particular allergies. Unknown allergies in children, especially those related to food, are on the rise and epinephrine is the primary treatment and first aid for severe reactions. Currently, 28 states have laws that would allow schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors.
The bill would also allow school districts to adopt a protocol to maintain a stock of epinephrine and allow properly trained personnel to administer the epinephrine to a student, staff or visitor who exhibits signs of anaphylaxis. The bill also contains provisions detailing the training that would need to be provided as well as liability protection for individuals who administer the auto-injector in good faith.