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Gov. Kasich Signs Law Changing How Teachers Are Evaluated

A teacher in a classroom
Columbus Neighborhoods

A new bill signed into law by Gov. John Kasich is changing the way teachers are evaluated in Ohio.

A union representing some teachers says "The Public School Deregulation Act" is a move in the right direction.

Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, said the new method for measuring teacher performance downplays test scores.

“It will actually embed the testing into the other part of the rubric, so that instead of looking simply at results, now evaluators will be looking at how do teachers analyze that data and use it to change their instructional practices,” she said.

Cropper said this is a more accurate reflection of the teacher and what’s happening in the classroom to make beneficial improvements.

The new policy will cover all Ohio teachers. Cropper said teachers will also see changes to grade bands that limit what subjects they can teach and at what level.

"There are shortages and difficulties in finding teachers for subjects in some districts. This will give teachers greater flexibility in what they can teach," she said

Alongside these changes, Cropper said the Kindergarten Readiness Assesmentwill be eliminated.

"Teachers are mainly concerned that we're starting students' kindergarten career on a testing trajectory," she said. "And that it's taking too long to do all the testing that needs to be done, without getting data that they think is beneficial to them and providing instruction."

Cropper said they're working on a universal assessment to provide the state and teachers with the information they need at a convenient time. 

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.