Senate Passes HB 487 After Adding Senate-passed SB 229 Teacher Evaluation Provisions

This week, the Ohio Senate passed multiple Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) bills, including HB 487, the K-12 Education MBR. It is expected that there will be a conference committee on HB 487 to address the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.
During the HB 487 Senate Education Committee debate, the OEA strongly supported two critical amendments made to the bill that include: 1) the Senate-passed version of SB 229 which lowers the student growth measure percentage on teacher evaluations to 35% from 50%, and 2) a one-year suspension of high-stakes decisions based on standardized testing (this provision builds towards the goal of a three-year suspension set by OEA delegates at the 2014 Spring Representative Assembly).
Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), chief sponsor of the bi-partisan, Senate-passed SB 229 language included in HB 487, said that these provisions are the result of what the Senate has learned by listening to educators. He called for Senate members to be “strong” on the SB 229 teacher evaluation language during the HB 487 conference committee scheduled for next week. “The Ohio Senate is leading toward better education policies in Ohio,” he said.
For more detailed information on these two provisions in HB487, see below:
Teacher Evaluations
  • Adopts the Senate-passed version of SB 229 requiring that student academic growth account for 35% of each teacher’s performance evaluation, rather than the 50% required by current law. Up to 15% of each evaluation may include other measures, such as formal observations and reviews, student surveys, peer review evaluations, or any other factors. 
  • Further, a school district would be permitted to evaluate any teacher who received a rating of “accomplished” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every three years and any teacher who received a rating of “skilled” on the teacher’s most recent evaluation once every two years.
  • Allows a school board to elect not to evaluate a teacher who either: (1) was on leave from the school district for 50% or more of the school year, or (2) has submitted notice of retirement that has been accepted by the board not later than December 1 of the school year in which the evaluation is otherwise scheduled.
One-year Suspension of High-Stakes Decisions Based on Standardized Tests
  • Prohibits the report card ratings issued for the 2014-2015 school year from being considered in determining whether a school district or school is subject to sanctions or penalties, including the following:
    • Provisions defining “challenged school districts” in which new start-up charter schools may be located.
    • Provisions prescribing a new building where students are eligible for the Ed Choice voucher program.
    • Provisions for academic distress commissions.
    • Any restructuring provisions required under state law.
  • Permits a school district, community school, or STEM school to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its teachers’ union that stipulates that the value-added rating issued for the 2014-2015 school year will not be used when making decisions regarding teacher dismissal, retention, tenure, or compensation.

OEA Invite to Town Hall Conversation on Suspending High Stakes Decisions based on Standardized Testing

Join a discussion with OEA officers next Thursday, May 22nd at 7pm
At the OEA Spring Representative Assembly (RA), delegates unanimously approved a resolution calling for the passage of legislation that would suspend for 3 years all high-stakes decisions tied to student standardized test results beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
Share your experiences and join the conversation about what can be done to hit the pause button on high-stakes testing.
To RSVP for the telephone town hall please click here. On the day of the call, OEA will be calling members to join the telephone town hall. So please RSVP and provide the best number at which we can contact you so you can be part of this important discussion.
When: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 7:00-8:00 PM
What: Suspending high-stakes decisions based on student test scores.
To find out more about OEA’s legislative priorities and how to contact your members of the Ohio General Assembly, please click here.