Ohio Requires Credentialing of All Teacher Evaluators

The Ohio Teacher Evaluation Framework
Ohio Revised Code (Section 3319.111) requires that a person who evaluates a teacher must hold the following licenses or designation:

  • Superintendent
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Principal
  • Vocational Director
  • Supervisor
  • Person designated to conduct evaluations under an agreement providing for peer review (PA

House Bill 153, signed into law on June 30, 2011, significantly changes the way teachers in Ohio will be evaluated.  HB 153 creates mandates at both the state and local level that will shape teacher evaluation policy development and teacher evaluation practices and procedures over the next several years.  NEA and OEA have long advocated for teacher evaluation systems that are reliable, valid and focused on helping all teachers become more effective.  It’s true that HB 153 presents many challenges; however, the legislation also requires that local teacher evaluation policy be developed in consultation with the district’s teachers, representing an opportunity for OEA members to make substantive and transformative changes in their districts.  And, if we commit to take the lead as the architects of this process in each of our districts, we can build high quality local teacher evaluation systems that work for our teachers and their students and strengthen the teaching profession.

One of the faults with most current evaluation systems is that observation is usually the only measure, and very few individuals who evaluate teachers have any training at all in how to observe and record specific evidence to be used in determining a teacher’s final evaluation rating.  Under the newly adopted state framework (see below), one of the most significant changes to how teacher evaluation is conducted in Ohio is that upon implementation of the revised teacher evaluation system, every district evaluator must be credentialed in addition to having the appropriate license or PAR designation.  This means that having one of the required licenses or PAR designation (see below) is no longer the sole criteria to be an evaluator.

The credentialing process for evaluators looks similar to the credentialing process for Resident Educator mentors.  Evaluators will be required to attend a three-day face-to-face training in which participants view a variety of teaching videos and learn to score accurately and with fidelity using the OTES observation rubric.  Following the training, evaluators will then need to pass an online assessment where they will be required to observe a teaching segment and rate the teacher within an acceptable range on the rubric to be fully credentialed.  Districts are free to adopt or develop models and tools of their own, but all of the state training will be conducted using the OTES observation rubric.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is in the process of selecting a company to develop the online assessment and will spend the spring of 2012 training state trainers who will be providing the evaluator credentialing training regionally beginning in June 2012.  The training will roll out similar to the training for Resident Educator mentors, and in the first year it will be offered free of charge.  Race to the Top districts who plan to implement revised evaluation systems prior to 2013 should take advantage of training this year.  In subsequent years, there will likely be a cost for the training.

Evaluators will need to be periodically recalibrated and reassessed, and once the initial training has rolled out, ODE will begin work on developing those components.  The credentialing process fills a great void in many districts where administrators who evaluate teachers have little or no training in how to observe and use observation evidence to rate teacher performance.

By Michele Winship, OEA Education Reform Consultant

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