2009 State Policy Yearbook: Ohio

Eric Ulas

National Council on Teacher Quality
January 2010

This third edition of the NCTQ Yearbook takes another well-deserved look at the teaching profession, boasting a revamped set of goals and indicators even more rigorous than last year’s. The headline for Ohio? We joined the rest of the nation in floundering on all fronts. Whereas the highest grade in 2008 was a B+ (North Carolina), this year’s front-runner clocks in with only a C (Florida). Ohio scored marginally above the national average of a D, garnering a rating of D+. The comparisons stop there, however, as NCTQ President Kate Walsh explains, because the metrics were significantly overhauled--and to our eyes, for the better. There are now five focus areas (up from three): teacher training, recruitment (in particular, expanding the pool), identifying effective teachers, retaining effective teachers, and dismissing ineffective ones. 

The report found that Ohio did particularly poorly in four areas: Failure to use evidence of student progress the main component of teacher evaluations; lack of an efficient termination process for ineffective teachers; a disingenuous route to alternative licensure; and not ensuring that elementary teachers are well prepared to teach mathematics. Ohio’s policy highlights, as outlined by the report, were somewhat lackluster. They included supports for differential pay in high-needs schools and shortage subjects, support for performance pay, and requiring that all new teachers pass a pedagogy test. While Ohio technically supports differentiated and merit based pay, there has been no substantive effort by the state to enable them. If these are the highlights of Ohio’s teacher prep policies, we’re pretty comfortable stating that the Buckeye State earned its rating. There’s much more to comb through in both the national and state reports. Find the full report here and see how Ohio did here.

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