COLUMBUS—State Representatives Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today applauded passage of their jointly-sponsored legislation by the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 540 seeks to create a more accurate, improved method for teacher evaluations, and requires the Ohio Department of Education to utilize the official recommendations of the Educator Standards Board to revise the current Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). The revised OTES would receive a one-year trial period.
“Updating these evaluations came as a result of recommendations from teachers, administrators, schools boards, higher education members and members of the General Assembly,” Rep. Gavarone said. “I am proud of the work that went into establishing these modifications that ensure educators will be provided with reliable and relevant information to help them meet the specific needs of their students.”
“House Bill 540 is much needed legislation that will streamline the process of how we evaluate our teachers in Lorain County and across Ohio,” Rep. Manning said. “This will allow teachers to focus more on the growth and educational development of their students rather than test scores, while also ensuring educators are properly assessed.”
The recommendations aim to create a process providing teachers with feedback that is specific and helpful, while more accurately reflecting necessary improvement. Among other updates to the OTES rubric, student growth would no longer count for 50 percent of an evaluation, but two kinds of “high quality” data utilized instead as measures of student learning.
Shared attribution would be removed from the rubric, deemed an inaccurate measurement of performance and student growth. Alternative framework components would be officially added, meaning teachers could still be evaluated by such indicators as student surveys and the need for a separate alternative framework eliminated.
The recommendations suggest that the timing and structure of observations be more in tune with teachers, encouraging them to focus on improvement and growth. ESB also says that teachers who are rated “accomplished” or “skilled” must be provided with off-year resources for professional growth, requiring them to attend conferences and to submit professional growth plans.
House Bill 540 was drafted in close partnership with the Ohio Education Association (OEA), ensuring prioritization of teachers’ needs. The bill is supported by the OEA and the Ohio Educator Standards Board. Having passed out of the House, House Bill 540 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.