Frequency of Evaluations : Ohio

2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Frequency of Evaluations : Ohio results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/OH-Frequency-of-Evaluations--8

Analysis of Ohio's policies

Regrettably, Ohio does not ensure that all teachers are evaluated annually.

Although the state now requires that all teachers must be evaluated at least annually, Ohio allows districts to adopt a resolution that would allow for the biennial evaluation of teachers who receive an "accomplished" rating on their most recent evaluation.

The state articulates that all evaluations must be comprised of at least two classroom observations. 

New teachers in Ohio must be evaluated twice a year. The first evaluation must be completed by January 15, with the written report submitted to the teacher by January 25; the second must be scheduled between February 10 and April 1, with the written report submitted to the teacher by April 10.

SB 5, which included policy that related to this goal, was repealed by referendum in November 2011.

Citation

Recommendations for Ohio

Require annual formal evaluations for all teachers.
All teachers in Ohio should be evaluated annually, regardless of their performance on previous evaluations. Rather than treated as mere formalities, these teacher evaluations should serve as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance.

Consider feasibility of multiple evaluation ratings in a single year for new teachers.
As evaluation instruments become more data driven, it may not be feasible to issue multiple formal evaluation ratings during a single year. While multiple observations with feedback are critical, applicable student data will likely not be available to support multiple ratings.  

State response to our analysis

Ohio asserted that its interpretation of HB 153 is that there will be two observations within the timeframe listed in the analysis. For beginning teachers, these will be announced observations. The state noted that its intent is not to have two separate evaluations but rather one annual evaluation with two observations.  

How we graded

Annual evaluations are standard practice in most professional jobs.

Although there has been much progress on this front recently, about half of the states still do not mandate annual evaluations of teachers who have reached permanent or tenured status. The lack of regular evaluations is unique to the teaching profession and does little to advance the notion that teachers are professionals.

Further, teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance. State policy should reflect the importance of evaluations so that teachers and principals alike take their consequences seriously.

Evaluations are especially important for new teachers.

Individuals new to a profession frequently have reduced responsibilities coupled with increased oversight. As competencies are demonstrated, new responsibilities are added and supervision decreases. Such is seldom the case for new teachers, who generally have the same classroom responsibilities as veteran teachers, including responsibility for the academic progress of their students, but may receive limited feedback on their performance. In the absence of good metrics for determining who will be an effective teacher before he or she begins to teach, it is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers.

The state should specifically require that districts observe new teachers early in the school year. This policy would help ensure that new teachers get the support they need early and that supervisors know from the beginning of the school year which new teachers (and which students) may be at risk. Subsequent observations provide important data about the teacher's ability to improve. Data from evaluations from the teacher's early years of teaching can then be used as part of the performance-based evidence to make a decision about tenure.

Research rationale

For the frequency of evaluations in government and private industry, see survey results from Hudson Employment Index's report: "Pay and Performance in America: 2005 Compensation and Benefits Report" Hudson Highlands Group (2005).

For research emphasizing the importance of evaluation and observations for new teachers in predicting future success and providing support for teachers see, D. Staiger and J. Rockoff, "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information." The Journal of Economic Perspectives. (24:3) American Economic Association (2010).