Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Ohio

2011 Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should articulate consequences for teachers with unsatisfactory evaluations, including specifying that teachers with multiple unsatisfactory evaluations should be eligible for dismissal.

Meets a small part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Unsatisfactory Evaluations: Ohio results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/OH-Unsatisfactory-Evaluations-10

Analysis of Ohio's policies

Ohio requires local school boards to include procedures for using evaluation results for the removal of poorly performing teachers. The state does not have policy regarding improvement plans for teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations.

SB 5, which included policy that related to this goal, was repealed by referendum in November 2011.

Citation

Recommendations for Ohio

Require that all teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans.
Ohio should adopt a policy requiring that teachers who receive even one unsatisfactory evaluation be placed on structured improvement plans. These plans should focus on performance areas that directly connect to student learning and should list noted deficiencies, define specific action steps necessary to address these deficiencies and describe how and when progress will be measured.

Make eligibility for dismissal a consequence of unsatisfactory evaluations.
Teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations or have two unsatisfactory evaluations within five years should be formally eligible for dismissal, regardless of whether they have tenure. Ohio should strengthen its current policy to ensure that teachers who receive such unsatisfactory evaluations are eligible for dismissal. 

State response to our analysis

Ohio asserted that improvement plans are developed and implemented in response to concerns about performance. The OTES Model Summative Evaluation includes a process of determining teachers who may be ineffective in one or more components. A written improvement plan is initiated by the evaluator/administrator and is put in place with a timeline for improvement to desired level of performance. The state also added that Race to the Top LEAs commit to using data and results from the evaluation system to inform decisions about removal of low-performing teachers. 

Last word

It appears that the OTES Model Summative Evaluation will only be followed closely by Race to the Top districts. NCTQ encourages Ohio to adopt a policy requiring that all teachers receiving unsatisfactory evaluations be placed on improvement plans and that after two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations, such teachers are eligible for dismissal.

  

How we graded

Negative evaluations should have meaningful consequences.

Teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers to 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. Accordingly, states should articulate the consequences of negative evaluations. First, teachers that receive a negative evaluation should be placed on improvement plans. These plans should focus on performance areas that directly connect to student learning and should list noted deficiencies, define specific action steps necessary to address these deficiencies and describe how progress will be measured. While teachers that receive negative evaluations should receive support and additional training, opportunities to improve should not be unlimited. States should articulate policies wherein two negative evaluations within five years are sufficient justification for dismissal.

Employment status should not determine the consequences of a negative evaluation.

Differentiating consequences of a negative evaluation based on whether a teacher has probationary or nonprobationary status puts the interests of adults before those of students. Ideally, weaknesses and deficiencies would be identified and corrected during the probationary period; if the deficiencies were found to be insurmountable, the teacher would not be awarded permanent status. However, in the absence of meaningful tenure processes based on teacher effectiveness, limiting significant consequences to the probationary period is insufficient. Any teacher who receives a negative evaluation, regardless of employment status, should be placed on an improvement plan, and any teacher who receives multiple negative evaluations, regardless of employment status, should be eligible for dismissal.

Research rationale

To review the process and types of personnel evaluations observed in other job sectors, including the problems inherent to some evaluation systems see, for example, Gliddon, David (October 2004). Effective Performance Management Systems, Current Criticisms and New Ideas for Employee Evaluation in Performance Improvement 43(9), 27-36.