2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook
There has been much discussion recently about teacher effectiveness: can it be measured, how much of it should depend on student outcome, and what are the consequences of these evaluations. The Obama administration placed its seal of approval on teacher evaluations by releasing yet another round of Race to the Top, this one aimed at improving teacher effectiveness. Leading up to the U.S. Department of Education’s release of RESPECT, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released the 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook.
The 2011 release makes the fifth edition of the State Teacher Policy Yearbook, in which NCTQ takes a look at the laws and policies concerning teacher quality in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state receives a grade for five specific goal areas, and an overall grade that summarizes how the state matched up against the five goals. The goal areas are:
- Delivering well prepared teachers
- Expanding the teaching pool
- Identifying effective teachers
- Retaining effective teachers
- Exiting Ineffective teachers
Ohio ranked seventh in the nation with an overall grade of C+, beating the national grade of D+ by a whole letter grade. The Buckeye State’s best score, a B-, was in “Expanding the teaching pool”. In this goal area, our policy strengths are alternative licensure routes that require evidence of content knowledge, flexibility for nontraditional students, and licensure for content experts to teach part-time. Ohio ran into trouble with “Delivering well prepared teachers,” receiving a meager D+ grade. Our policy weaknesses are in that category are generic K-12 special education licensure, no requirement of proof of effectiveness for those selected as cooperating teachers, and teaching programs not held accountable for the quality of teachers they produce.
NCTQ also notes that this 2011 report card only takes into account policies already in place, not legislation in the works or changes yet to be implemented -- specifically noting that most state recipients of Race to the Top funds have not fully implemented the promises each made in their applications. Thus, any of Ohio’s policy changes promised in our Race to the Top application, like a new teacher evaluation system, are not reflected in this report card. The Buckeye State was ranked number 11 in the nation for progress since the 2009 report card, and with changes on tap through Race to the Top and the state budget bill, we should only improve before the next report is issued.
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