Tri-Village News

Bill will ease teacher-evaluation load on district

Teachers no longer will need to be appraised each year, says superintendent

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The education Mid-Biennium Review signed into law last week by Gov. John Kasich includes new provisions regarding teacher evaluations and graduation requirements.

Superintendent Ed O'Reilly reviewed the major changes included in House Bill 487 during the June 19 meeting of the Grandview school board.

The changes in the teacher evaluation process will reduce the burden a bit for administrators, because the requirement that every teacher be evaluated every year will change, O'Reilly said.

Teachers with "accomplished" ratings will need to be evaluated only once every three years, provided their student growth measure is average or higher, he said. Teachers with "skilled" ratings can be evaluated every two years.

Teachers who are not going through the formal evaluation process must be observed once and one conference must be held with that teacher, O'Reilly said.

Grandview's administrators hold conferences with teachers at the start of the school year and those sessions can count as the required meeting, he said.

During the 2013-14 school year, districts used an evaluation method that based 50 percent on teacher performance and 50 percent on student growth measures.

Districts now will be able to choose an alternative method composed of 42.5 percent for teacher performance, 42.5 percent for student growth measures and 15 percent from one of several categories: student surveys, teacher self-evaluation, peer-review evaluation or student portfolios, O'Reilly said.

"That is a decision the district will have to make for next year," he said.

Under newly adopted policies regarding graduation, the incoming freshman class -- the class of 2018 -- will not take the Ohio Graduation Test.

Instead, these students will take seven end-of-course exams over the four years of high school, O'Reilly said. The tests will be English 1, English 2, geometry, Algebra 1, physical science, American history and American government.

The state board of education will create a system of points students will earn toward graduation based on their test performance, but that model has not been developed yet, O'Reilly said.

These tests can take the place of final exams, he said.

In 2016, the state board will have the option to replace the Algebra 1 requirement with Algebra 2, he said.

Passing scores on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams or dual-enrollment course exams can be used as a substitute for the end-of-course exams, O'Reilly said.

Students will need to earn a cumulative passing score on the end-of-course exams or meet one of two other pathways to graduation, he said.

The alternatives are earning scores on national college admission tests that indicate students can complete college-level work without needing to take remedial classes, or earning industry-recognized credentials and passing scores on nationally recognized job-skills assessments.

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, the state will require all districts and public institutes of higher education to participate in a program to offer college-credit-plus courses, O'Reilly said.

Students must meet college standards for admission and course placement, and districts will not be permitted to charge tuition for CCP courses, he said.

"We have already (included this) in the district budget," O'Reilly said.

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