Ohio links teacher pay to test scores
July 11th, 2012
04:37 PM ET

Ohio links teacher pay to test scores

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) – At a time when test scores are used to determine everything from district funding to whether schools can stay open, they’re taking on even broader meaning in Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich has signed legislation that will partially link scores to what teachers are paid.

In Ohio – and many other states throughout the country – teachers have traditionally been evaluated by observers who’ve determined whether the instructors are satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Evaluations will continue to play a role in Ohio.  But by the 2013-14 school year, Ohio public school districts will be giving each teacher a grade, and half of that grade will be based on how much students learn, gauged by their test scores.

Decisions about salary, which teachers to promote, and which ones to fire will be based on these results.  Teachers’ seniority will take a back seat in the new policy, and all but the top teachers in the state will be evaluated every year.

There are several reasons for the changes.  One lies in the state budget, which specifies that student academic growth must determine at least 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.

Another is the federal government’s Race to the Top program.  In order to receive funds from it, Ohio is one of several states that have promised to find ways to measure and prove students’ academic growth.

A third reason is that Ohio is one of a majority of states that have gotten an Obama administration waiver from parts of the federal No Child Left Behind law.  In order to do that, the state has had to devise more detailed evaluations for teachers and base personnel decisions on them.

Some observers point out that the new Ohio law could still be changed or watered down before it goes into effect.

What’s wrong with America’s school system? Tell us here. 

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Filed under: Carl Azuz • education • Issues • NCLB • Race to the Top • Teachers
soundoff (597 Responses)
  1. pedagoguish

    Great idea! So what do we do now, test every kid in every subject to determine if the shop teachers, or the band teachers, or the art teachers, or the P.E. teachers are doing their jobs? If we go far enough down this ridiculous road, maybe our kids can just spend the entire year answering test questions. We're already a good way down that road already.

    You want to improve the quality of teaching? Give teachers time to teach.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Nate

      We are testing in every single subject in Florida.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • A Dad Who Cares

      Of course the students in those courses can be tested, and should be, and the teachers can and should be evaluated equally. Your argument is silly- all students in any subject will eventually have to compete against their peers for jobs, and the good mathemetician/writer/engineer/carpenter/dancer/athlete/typist/cook/musician/programmer will rise to the top because THEY MASTERED THE SUBJECT MATTER BETTER THAN THEIR PEERS through hard work, discipline, intelligence, etc. How will the employer know? HE WILL TEST THEM, and ask for transcripts, and they will be tested again every day in the workplace. I am well educated, knowledgeable, and intelligent and I came from a poor family, and I PASSED DOZENS OF TESTS that proved that I LEARNED. Just what the heck are you so afraid of, that poor Johnny or poor Mary will feel bad?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  2. DaveinCincy

    LeeCMH: You're a boob....

    July 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Hateful Christians have called me all kinds of names, most I cannot repeat on this comment area. Boob? That's new. And funny.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  3. Monica

    I can definitely tell you this is the worse thing you can do to a teacher. We are facing this down here in Florida and no one is addressing some of the bigger difficulties of this issue. For example, how will you test your art teacher? How about the guitar/music teacher? Down here, they had no idea what to do so they applied the scores of all the teachers to all elective teachers which means it doesn't really apply to that individual teacher. This is just one more way for the testing companies to make a profit. It's all about who gets the money. The question is did they create legislation that addresses students who skip? How did they factor in disabled and ESOL kids? Down here a schools score is guaranteed to drop if those categories exist. Already, many teachers are trying to do their best to get out of schools which are lower socioeconomic. I know tons of teachers going back to school with one intent – to drop out of the profession. They've fried the teachers through overtesting in Florida and now everyone in Ohio gets to go through the same things. I would recommend looking up what's happening in Texas and Florida and you will get truly annoyed at what's about to happen to your children.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • DaveinTexas

      Yes, I feel sorry for you with Michelle "I Cheat" Rhee driving the educational buggy in Florida. Republicans could care less about public schools because they're wealthy enough that their kids couldn't tell you where a public school is located.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  4. DaveinTexas

    Perhaps we should link pay with business performance in this nation but I suppose a lot of people would bankrupt!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Jacob

      I guess I'm having a hard time seeing why this is a bad idea. Isn't student grades a teachers job? Students are in class to learn. That knowledge rightly or wrongly is measured by tests and grades. If an airline pilot is supposed to take you from New York to California and decides he'd rather dump you in Chicago and says "ahh, close enough", he isn't doing his job and would be fired. If a former editor doesn't realize that using the phrase "chink in the aromor" when referring to an asian player might be construed as offensinve, they get fired. If a sales manager can't motivate his staff, and sales are at an all time low for a long eneough period, he/she gets fired. Having said all that, teaching should pay a hell of a lot more than it does now to find quality people who are up to the task, and keep the good ones that already exist from fleeing.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
      • jb

        Jacob, your comparison of the pilot to the teacher is way off base. If the pilot doesn't do his job of getting you to California because he dedided to dump you off in Chicago, this act was SOLELY the decision of the pilot. Therefore his/her actions warrant some type of corrective action. A teacher, on the other hand, does not have that luxury. The rating of that teacher depends on so many other things than just their willingness and abillity to do their job correctly.

        July 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  5. Crazy Yates

    If I was a teacher and this was the way I was going t be paid I'd want to be able to pick and choose who was in my class. I know from experience that many times classes are loaded with the problem children. Perhaps a teacher is good with them, perhaps the administrator wants to limit the exposure to the other kids. It doesn't matter. This is going to be a problem. This isn't as cut and dried as everyone wants it to be. This isn't going to eliminate bad teachers it's going to chase away good ones. The bad ones will just take the pay cut because they know they can't doo better anyplace else.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • DaveinTexas

      It's actually a simply matter of statistics! I personally would not concentrate on teaching those children in my class with a known learning disability and would concentrate more on kids who stood a chance at passing the standardized test!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  6. DaveinTexas

    Florida and Ohio led by their Republican majorities are an embarassment to public education across the United States. Perhaps we should link Legislator's pay with successful legislation, I suppose most of them would go broke quickly!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • ProblemSolving

      @ DaveinTexas – AWESOME! That is an idea that we need to get behind.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • EEE

      I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • SGTJ

      Amen!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Common Sense

      That's a great idea. That way we could get rid of all democrats.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  7. Jeff in San Diego

    Absolutely a terrible idea. Test scores are linked to wealth and class more than teacher quality. This will cause good teachers to avoid teaching is=n schools that really need them and further the divide of opportunity in this country.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  8. ProblemSolving

    Imagine what we could do if we actually funded our education system properly so it can be functional. You don't want to pay taxes, you get the education system as it is today. Everyone screams cut taxes, cut taxes. Well they did and now you get to live with the results.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  9. Normal In NH

    Be careful Ohio, this is starting to sound a lot like personal accountability within the education system...how did their union approve this?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  10. LeeCMH

    The Republicans want to eliminate public schools. They want only well to do to have education. The hateful Christians are on board as they want vouchers for their hateful Christian schools. Will hateful Christian schools receiving tax money be forced to evaluate their teachers similarly?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  11. Mad Sam

    We need to look to the countries that are succeeding in order to find a good example of an education system that works. And, NO, I am not referring to Asian countries that push their kids to extremes with year-round schooling. (If a country has more than one billion people, it is bound to have a lot of intelligent students.) Let's look at Europe, particularly the Nordic countries, and let's create a system inspired by theirs that emphasizes real-world benefits while simultaneously attacking the sort of classroom misbehavior (such as bullying) that is causing the system to fail. If a student is not interested in succeeding in life, give him the boot or, better yet, a lethal injection. Use as much money as possible on those students who actually care about becoming productive citizens in the future. Cleanse the prisons of this country by pardoning a few inmates and then executing the rest and divert funds that would go toward feeding the s c u m of this nation to our public schools.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Jeff in San Diego

      True Sam. The best schools in the world are those who don't cut the number of days their children go to school. We need to add more days and hours to the school year to improve our system. We need year-round school with shorter breaks. The idea that we sacrifice this improvement because some spoiled kids won't have three weeks to play in Hawaii every summer is ridiculous.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  12. us_1776

    Ohio, you're now headed for the same administration/teacher scandals that have taken place in every state that tried this.

    Buy stock in erasers.

    .

    July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  13. Steve

    Research shows students living below the poverty line are traditionally the ones who perform below average in the classroom. Those same students traditionally come from homes where education is not a high priority. If you link test scores to a tax credit, then you may see parents who are not involved take their child's education seriously.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • gb333

      Much better idea.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  14. ProblemSolving

    Haven't we lost focus here. We are so focused on testing to measure a students ability to test (b/c that is all it really does), testing to measure student performance, testing to determine funding. What happened to educating our students. Teaching towards our students. The focus needs to be placed back on the student, not a test.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • RSWantig

      So how do we evaluate? The focus is the students , and are they having a good and effective teacher or are they being baby sat by a 8-3 employee, who only cares about their benefits, 3 months of vacation and pension. How do we evaluate someone that is dedicated and effective vs someone who just does their time shows up and doesn't care about the results of their teaching?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  15. Robita

    This policy is great if you want kids who are good at taking standardized tests. Test taking is a skill that has little to do with any kind of intelligence. If you want a future with any sort of innovation you don't do this kind of stuff.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  16. Bob

    This will only cause teachers to become more stressed leading to students to less appreciate education. I feels sorry for the students and the teachers.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  17. DaveinCincy

    Unions should have been working this problem a long long long time ago. Instead they focused on generating money to buy off politicians and left the US educational system ranked 21st (I think) in the world. Unacceptable....
    Look to who does it well...who learns, who succeeds? Great example: Catholic schools. Why? Parents, and the school doesn't hesitate to kick disrespectful kids out.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • teenagefreak

      Not true at all. Catholic schools USED to discipline. Today money talks and administrators don't discipline for fear of losing students. As a result, the good students suffer. The reason Catholic schools are successful with test scores is because parents who send their children are invested in their children's education, both figuratively and literally.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Doug

      Dave...yeah let's kick those disrespectful students out..........Guess where they go from their private catholic schools........PUBLIC SCHOOLS ....and guess what....public schools have to accept them and their underachieving test scores.....and guess what else....public schools can only kick em out 3 days because that ALSO counts against their overall rating from the state. You can expel them for longer but guess what...even that is limited. Then they come right back. Catholic schools and other private schools can pick and choose their students. Public cannot.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  18. ProblemSolving

    @ R.Schultz "...those type of teachers will fail under this system, and I'm okay with that."

    No they won't. You don't need to be a good teacher to teach students how to take and pass a test. Schools will start mandating teachers spend 30 minutes each class period teaching towards the test because their funding is dependant on the test. 30 minutes every day and any teacher can teach a majority of the students how to pass. That is how it is done in Texas and the tests haven't weeded out the bad teachers, AT ALL.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  19. Mono20

    The important question is how can we ensure 1) that learning is accelerated in the classroom and 2) teachers are rewarded for this and those who don't aren't. However, linking results to pay isn't the answer. That is the end result. I don't see an issue, as a teacher, linking pay to the steps taken by the teacher to remediate. Did they create lessons that instruct and remediate? Did they assess and involve students in their own learning in a variety of ways?
    Or set up base pay for each teacher and then give larger bonuses to those teachers who took on the harder students vs those who took on the more intelligent students. So, if I took on a classroom that had 30 students with emotional and behavioral needs. I then took them from failing to 100% graduation, maybe then i'd receive a 100k bonus at the end. However, if I took on an honors class and they all graduated I might only get a $1k bonus.
    Other ways to do this would be for parents to choose what school they go to. If a school is successful then the teacher will get a higher salary.
    A simple correlation between pay and results is not analogous to a business or banking system.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • heysailor

      Let's also pay dentists for the quality of their children patient's teeth.
      Inner city dentists would be paid less due to poor families who cannot
      pay nor value that and education. Paid more would be those having
      child patients from wealthy families who value that and education.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  20. Edwin

    I can think of no policy MORE likely to increase teacher-aided cheating on the part of the students... though most parents probably approve. After all, if the teacher helps them cheat, they are less likely to get caught, and more likely to learn how to cheat on college entrance exams.

    Who says policy can't be designed with the families in mind? It may be unethical, but I'd bet this policy and its logical consequences will meet with overwhelming approval.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  21. Teach108

    I'm not certain this law will do anything to "improve" education. A previous blog post cited research that determined kids are not motivated by test scores, especially state standardized scores. If a teacher has a group of unmotivated students, then there's not much the teacher can do to get them interested. In fact, a high school student once told me that kids don't really care about standardized tests because "everybody knows they're just used to grade the teacher. If you don't like the teacher, you do bad on the test because it isn't used for your grade." Hmmm!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  22. iceload9

    They can keep chasing the teachers but the bottom line is the problem doesn't reside with the teachers. An artist can only work with the materials he is sent. There are students who are sent to school to learn and the rest are wasting their time and everyone else's.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Reggie

      It is not entirely the teachers fault no. But a teacher is paid to teach so if the kids are not picking up what they teach who do you blame the kids or the student/parents. How much credit/blame do you give a teacher?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • SUSIEQ

      AMEN!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • TOTY

        Thank you for your insight, however; I love the classroom and am NOT leaving the classroom NOR returning to school to become an admin. I truly love my job and my students. No fooling here...I am a classroom teacher.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • IOWAGUY1958

      EXACTLY!!!! If the kids don't want to be there or don't want to learn, the teacher will fail and get fired because someones whiny brat that should have the stupid knocked out of them by the parents can make or break a teacher!!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  23. AnneSD

    The only way I can see this could have a chance at being fair and in any way useful, would be if A) there is also higher pay and/or appropriate bonuses for teachers willing to work in underachieving schools and B) the test score scales are not absolute across the state, but in brackets based on factors that traditionally effect performance (mostly socioeconomic). Otherwise, the most experienced teachers are going to work with their unions to choose to teach in the higher socioeconomic schools, since those already have a head start in student achievement.

    It is already hard enough to get teachers to work in schools in which half (or more) of the students are disinterested or hostile. Now the state also wants to punish those teachers further by saying they will be paid less for problems that start at home? I would like to hear a lot more about this idea to know how the state plans to take that into account.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  24. Shannon

    I am a teacher of children with special needs. While I can appreciate the desire to pay me based on how well my students perform on the tests, I don't believe that it is the most accurate.... Especially when the assessments are not monitored for accuracy. Assessments in NY had multiple or no possible answers on some of the third and eighth grade exams.

    Paying me based on how well my students do depends on whether or not they use the strategies I (& others) taught them. If they don't use what they were taught, how can I be faulted? I compare this to a doctor. If the patient does not take the prescribed medication the way they have been told, should the doctor not be paid?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Reggie

      The only problem with that logic is that a doctor is paid to treat, not to necessarily heal. it depends on what you pay a teacher for. My wife is a teacher, but it is kind of rediculous to pay a teacher more every year based on a contract instead of what they do. it is also crazy to pay keep bad ones around just because they have seniority

      July 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Name*happyrobot

        We pay teachers to teach. But, the whole point is, if the student doesn't do anything with the tools given him by the teacher, why should the teacher be faulted. The teacher-student relationship is a two-way street and it isn't always clear where the problem lies when there is one.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Mike

      As a teacher for students with mild-to-moderate disabilities here in California, I can appreciate your comments related to test-scores. I would hope that 'the elect' that so many of government officials see themselves as, would also consider an important component that is missing from both NCLB and tying test scores to teacher pay, is that of a parent's responsibility for their children: absences, behavior, low-motivation.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  25. 60minuteman

    If Kasich signed it, we are in big trouble, (again).

    July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  26. TOTY

    I have been in the classroom for over 15 years, and yes there are teachers that go the extra mile (or ten) for ALL of their students, and there are teachers that just show up and teach to the whole. An effective teacher, stressful as it can get, makes his or her classroom an open forum for learning with flexible-differentiated grouping, whole class, one on one, etc. One single score should not determine pay, but if there was a way to look at each individual child's growth each year, and then base the "merit pay" on that it would make more sense to me. I am certified in Elementary Education, SPED (students with disABILITIES), and Gifted endorsed. To be successful, we need parents, other teachers, admin, school board, etc behind us (only as strong as your weakest link). In a typical classroom, the kids with disABILITIES need to show gain in their area of weakness (and fairly assessed), the middle students need to move up, and the students who are high-achieving/Gifted also need to move up in what they are learning (many of these students could pass the test before the school year started). It is NOT EASY, but you must have a passion for the future generations and make sure all of your students shine bright. PS Be sure to bring parents on board. They know if you truly have their child's best interest at heart. Keep teaching!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      Toty: Yo sound like a FANTASTIC TEACHER!! We need more like you....

      July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • TOTY

        Thank you! I appreciate your compliment. 🙂 I am a parent and a teacher, and every child deserves to learn.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Shannon

      Thanks!!! So well written!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mono20

      Love your post!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
      • SUSIEQ

        BEEN AN EDUCATOR FOR 30+ YEARS
        AND I THINK YA'ALL BEEN FOOLED BY TOTY
        SHE/HE IS GETTING READY TO GET OUT
        OF THE CLASSROOM AND BECOME AN
        ADMINISTRATOR IF NOT ALREADY ONE.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • IOWAGUY1958

      You sound like my wife( a special ed teacher with several degrees) as to how the system should be done. Unfortunatley, teachers don't decide here in our school sytem either.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  27. ProblemSolving

    This type of testing has been around for a long time and has not improved anything. It is just a lazy solution from lazy people. Problem solving is what made this country a world power. We were solution oriented. Give us a problem and we will work it out. These tests are the worst way to determine a student's ability to problem solve. Todays students have been tested so often by the time they graduate it takes little effort for most of them to be able to fill in a bubble sheet and pass. They are expert test takers. They, however, cannot problem solve. They get to college, or life, and struggle because it is difficult for them to work through a problem. Universities are offering more and more remedial courses to more and more entering students because they are extremely deficient in that area. They are having to teach them how to problem solve. Test them maybe every four years and put the emphasis on problem solving. Issues we face don't come to you in true/false, yes/no, or multiple choice.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  28. One Chinese Student

    It was terrible! believe me.
    If you think us can do the test better, ok, go on. I don't want to reiterate that terrible things.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  29. cadet

    What happens to the teacher who gets stuck with little Johnny who's parents don't care? And little Mary Sue who isn't "stupid", just a little slow? And little Billy who chronically shows up to class with no pencil, paper, textbook and no homework? And little Joe who just doesn't show up to class on a regular bases? And little Sam who sleeps through class? And little Betty who stares out the window? And little Harry who is truly ADD? And the list could go on. If a teacher gets "stuck" with four or five students like this in one class, in one year (and for two or three years in a row) why should a teacher be penalized?
    Sometimes yes, you get a bad teacher that needs to go, but sometimes a good teacher gets a bad luck of the draw on poor performing students.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • D-Rob

      You hit the nail on the head. All this is going to do is encourage cheating. How about a grade for the parents and the kids as well? Kids get a grade, you say? Not really. When an accurate grade is given to a student and it happens to be less than the parents think it should be, they go straight to the principal and complain that Little Johnny is smarter than that. Then the pressure is applied to the teacher to change the grade. Until there is accountability for all three groups (teachers, students, parents), nothing will change.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  30. Standardized

    Education in America needs imrovement. The developed nations of the world have students who are excelling in mathematics and science while we are falling behind. This is another politically inspired "solution" to a problem that should only be addressed by intelligent people.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  31. Frank

    What about teachers in non-testing subjects, FAA, FACS, Art, Speech, Drama, Band, Vocal, Physical Education, etc.?
    Teachers should be held accountable as should any employee in any job but this is not the way to do it. Too many things outside of the teachers control influence what happens in the classroom and basing 50% of their ability on what circle a child bubbles in on one day of their life is a poor way of evaluation. Who among us would want 1/2 of your job evaluation to come off a one day snap shot?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  32. duh

    I don't oppose the idea in principle, but the people advocating for this policy are clueless when it comes to human nature. What do you think is going to happen when you say to someone, "Give me a set of numbers that meets certain criteria or we will reduce your pay or worse" and you give the person control over the process that produces the numbers? If you're going to do this you MUST take the teachers out of the classrooms where the tests are administered or you will have massive cheating. If you just want better scores on paper, by all means embrace the policy. If you want scores that are actually better, then enact better testing protocols to prevent cheating. I swear to God I truly believe most officials in state education departments are secretly onboard with cheating based on their refusal to reform the testing environment. REMOVE THE TEACHERS FROM THE CLASSROOMS. APPROACH THESE TESTS WITH THE SAME SERIOUSNESS THAT YOU WOULD IF THEY WERE SAT OR ACT TESTS. INCREASE SECURITY AND FOIL THE CHEATERS! By the way, I am a public school teacher and am not afraid of proposals to link test scores to pay. But many of my colleagues are scoundrels and I know that they will cheat because they already do it on so-called "benchmarks."

    July 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  33. xfiler93

    they should hold these teachers to account. about time.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • MNGuy1

      If teachers' pay should be attached to test scores, should parents' pay as well? A large chunk of student learning occurs when students do homework and practice the material studied. If students don't due their homework, their learning is severely hampered. If parents don't reinforce the importance of school, learning, and the tests, students won't give their best, and as a result, not achieve their potential.

      Where is the student accountability, as well? Grades or test scores are not a major motivator for students. If they lost or gained something that they valued on the basis of that test score (and the work leading up to the test), they would perhaps take it more seriously. I could even see some students go so far as to say that they would purposely do poorly on a test to "get back" at a teacher that they don't like.

      Teachers can only do so much with the ~45 minutes a day that they see the student. Without parents, the community, and the students themselves, teachers alone cannot succeed.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  34. eroteme

    Why give cheating teachers more incentive to cheat?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  35. Merry Prankster

    I don't mean profile here but "inner city" and/or "down on the farm" kids are going to be discriminated against again, as the teachers fight for their territories, the privileged will be catered to by the privileged. Sounds like the beginning of a cast system to me!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • seeclick

      I agree. I am an educator in a blue collar former mill town that is near wealthy Maine coastal communities. The majority of our teachers are hard working and very caring and constantly updating their skills as required by our districts, but on face value you compare our state testing scores to the wealthy enclaves with privileged backgrounds and beautiful schools, and there are some differences. One of our former superintendents left us to go to one of those districts several years ago, and he told me that when he tried to bring in staff development requirements, he was told that they are already great as evidenced by their scores so they did not need to improve. You cannot tell me that their teachers were better than ours or any more dedicated or hard working. Teachers who stick with working in underfunded schools in poor neighborhoods (and I will not go into the comparisons of salaries already) are real dedicated professionals. the best assessments are those that measure progress for a student from year to year but it is a complex issue. I also don't know where all these powerful unions are. Ihave taught in two states (Maine and Texas) and I have yet to run into them.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  36. seeclick

    Hmmm, care to guess at the test scores of the kids in wealthy districts who come from privileged homes compared to those who come to school with all the disadvantages of an impoverished upbringing? Unless the scores are geared to measure growth from one year to the next, this is not going to be a fair measure of a teacher's worth. Can you imagine the business community tying their officers' salaries to the productivity of the company? Or how about professional baseball players' salaries tied to their records that year(I'm thinking the Red Sox–Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzales, Josh Beckett....all of those high paid losers!) Teaching is a complex profession, and parents need to step up to the plate and assume some responsibility. I have been an educator for 38 years, and I know what I am talking about. People who disparage teachers should first spend some time in the classroom.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  37. DaveinCincy

    ...maybe if the Unions would focus on better teaching philosphy instead of lining the pockets of democrats and pumping up their status. Unions have ruined education just like they ruined the Auto industry. Worthless....

    July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  38. teacher in OH

    Merit pay is not a bad thing. However, I think it would be much better to base a teacher's success on student GROWTH, not a standardized test score.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  39. coramae

    You can pick your friends,
    You can pick your nose,
    but you can't pick the smart students!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  40. Dennis

    Then those tests are going to be critical...who will decide what needs to be learned??

    July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  41. PhilG

    This is a great way to force teachers to be dishonest.

    They won't have any choice but to lie.

    "Your kids an idiot but he's a genius to me."

    July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  42. Bob

    Well, I now see a motive to cheat and that is not student cheating but Teacher cheating. What happens (perhaps not in Ohio) when you get a bunch of students who just don't want to learn. If this was done in California the teachers in a place like Oakland would be making 10 dollars a month. The schools would be better off going back to the 50's – No cell phones, no leaving campus, no computers to play with at home you had to do your homework, no parents yelling that teachers have no right to punich their poor babies... the true blame for bad grades goes to the Parents and Students....

    July 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  43. Jwild

    Sorry, won't work. 1.) teachers don't have a defined set of students over a number of years, so trends can't be established (what if a teacher "inheirits" last year's poorly taught students and has to remediate?). Also, teacher's will teach to tests–ensuring that scores are high but education is sacrificed.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  44. eastsidedude

    They need to find a way to factor in truancy. If parents aren't going to be responsible and make sure the kids go to school EVERY DAY, there's no way they can test well, and because of one poor parent a teacher's job could be in jeopardy. Really not fair.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  45. Karen

    Very sad for Ohio and Ohio's teachers. This is a totally misguided idea that will result in worse teaching, more poorly educated students, a drop in creativity of teachers and students alike and a lot of wasted energy. This is a giant step backwords for a state that already has so many problems.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  46. Rick

    Have you ever noticed that educational achievement in the United States has declined since the creation of the Department of Education. The only way that education will improve in this country is for parents to finally say enough is enough. The testing program has created a nation of great test takers, but we continue to fall behind the rest of the world in Math, Science and Technology. A coalition of business leaders, educators and local leaders must be developed to reform education.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Mad Sam

      We need to look to the countries that are succeeding in order to find a good example of an education system that works. And, NO, I am not referring to Asian countries that push their kids to extremes with year-round schooling. (If a country has more than one billion people, it is bound to have a lot of intelligent students.) Let's look at Europe, particularly the Nordic countries, and let's create a system inspired by theirs that emphasizes real-world benefits while simultaneously attacking the sort of classroom misbehavior (such as bullying) that is causing the system to fail. If a student is not interested in succeeding in life, give him the boot or, better yet, a lethal injection. Use as much money as possible on those students who actually care about becoming productive citizens in the future.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  47. John

    Let's see how it's going to go in Ohio. This year a teacher has a class full of bright little learners that take school seriously, study hard and do well on the test. The teacher is rewarded. Next year the teacher has a few bad students, maintains their job but is not rewarded. The next year the teacher gets many unmotivated kids, they do poorly on the test and, the teach that was rewarded two years ago is fired. Ohio, how long do you think it will be before Little Johhny shows up for school and there are no teachers to be found?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • R.Schultz

      Isn't it the teachers job to motivate the students to learn?

      I know what everyone says, a teacher cannot do a parents job and it starts at the home, but isn't that a self-defeating argument for teachers? If teachers have so little control, why are they paid so much, isn't that equating them to babysitters? I know teachers are more than that, I can name many in my life that made learning fun and taught me a ton. I can also name many who didn't, and then it was left up to me to teach myself...those type of teachers will fail under this system, and I'm okay with that.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
      • John

        "Isn't it the teachers job to motivate the students to learn?"

        NO, IT ISN'T! Parents should be the ones that motivate their kids to do well in school. If it doesn't start there, it isn't going to happen. What tools does a teacher have to provide that motivation? On a job, income, pay raises in particular, and the ability to not get fired provide motivation for most of us. If a school kid screws off, what's the consequence to them?

        July 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • tczo

      Exactly....

      July 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  48. Torgo23

    You know, I hear a lot about how terrible this is, and I am not unsympathetic to the reasons why many people don't like this. However, the goal is to link pay to performance, and I don't hear any better ideas being floated. I read one comment that mentioned that "better teachers get stuck with kids that are more difficult to teach." Well, how do we know that they are the better teachers? What objective measurement are we using to determine who is a good teacher and who is a bad teacher, and how about we link that measurement to pay? Just tell me what it is and I'll support it.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • MarkKS

      As for one example, my mother (an elementary school teacher with special ed experience) would be assigned 5 or so students in a typical 6th grade class with either mental or behavioral issues while the other teachers would be assigned 1 such student. Now, under this system, she would possibly be subject to a lower evaluation due to her putting forth the effort to be able to improve the services she provides to the district. I have an issue with using a standardized test as a measure of teacher performance as a result of this (and a few other things I've seen in the education system as a result of being a teacher's son)

      July 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  49. DANNY

    Maybe if our school systems went back to teaching basics rather than the importance of gays in our society we would not have some of the problems that we are experiencing now.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Jarrett

      You have made the dumbest comment I've seen yet. Good one.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Aaron Rose

      Haha true, true.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Standardized

      Look in the mrror, pal. You're part of the problem.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  50. Darwin

    Hahaha. Ohio. What about difference in class size? What about differences with students? What about caring about the actual students and their lives instead of a grade so you can get paid? Paying teachers like this is beyond stupid. In fact, it's negative reinforcement. Ohio's Race to the Top is going to go nowhere fast.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  51. Jeff of Peoria

    This sounds like a good idea on the surface but it's not. BESIDES the issue for the MOST PART is PARENT PARTICIPATION in their childs education. You solve that and you solve the education problem. So now you're going to lose good teachers because of LACKK OF parent participation.

    There are other issues but thsi is the BIG ONE!!!

    No – I'm not a teach but a School Board member.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Jeff of Peoria

      ..and yes I can spell but I cannot type

      July 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  52. JMo

    So will there be a draft day where teachers get to hand pick the students in their class. "With the first pick of the 3rd grade draft Ms. Smith selects Johnny!!!!!" Who goes first? The teacher with the worst record from the year before? This is a terrible solution to the problem at hand. Yes, there are bad teachers and basing their pay on performance is not a bad idea. The issue lies in the metric used to rate this performance. A students ability to learn or pass a test is not the best indication of the teacher's ability to teach. The federal government has already tried a similar pay for performance experiment and failed with the National Security Personnel System.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  53. Dana

    I'm in OH and I love it. Ohio ranks very high academically already compared to the rest of the US. This is about focusing on results. And if they teach toward the test, I love that too, since efforts are underway to have the ACT be the official test for high schoolers rather than the current OGT. I agree with the comments about parent responsibility, and also believe culture plays a big part in how kids do. However, everyone I know in the private sector is paid for performance as well - now HOW they do things, but the results they drive. In the private sector, it doesn't matter what road blocks & hurdles are out there; you're still expected to find a way over them.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Dar

      "if they teach toward the test, I love that too" – This is the problem. Teaching to the tests. This doesn't make kids smarter and better able to solve societies problems, it makes them better at taking a particular test.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Eric

      Really? Ohio has a horrible education. I live in Ohio (non-native) and even people who have graduated high school are still as dumb as rocks.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Angela

      Dana, you've got to be KIDDING me when you say "it doesn't matter what road blocks & hurdles are out there; you're still expected to find a way over them." The lives of our CHILDREN are not ROADBLOCKS! I AM a teacher and I think it is absolutely insane when people like you compare "private sector business" methods to that of public education.

      Find YOUR way around the road block of a child who comes to school hungry EVERYDAY or who doesn't get enough sleep because he's waiting for his drunk mother to come home (because VERY few of my students even have present fathers, of course) and also, Dana, while you're at it, find your way around the road block of kids who don't speak English and those who are so mentally challenged that they can't write their own name on the test.

      So quit your cushy desk job, come into the class room and show me how to overcome THOSE road blocks.

      From a teacher who actually cares and who has $750 in student loan payments from a STATE school and who worked at least $40+ during college to just get by.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • VA teacher

      The difference is however, in the private sector an employee's performance is linked to just that, their performance. A teacher's performance has many different independent variables that are completely out of the teacher's control. For example, truancy, what about the students who never come to school? Or what about the students who are not receiving the Special Education services they need to succeed? Or what about the teachers who are given the lower-track classes, full of students who have historically been low-achieving academically? How will these be factored into the equation? Also, a test score is a snapshot of a student's ability on a given day, wouldn't a portfolio that shows growth be a better measure? I teach middle-school students who have never passed a state test in their life, I do my best but I am not a miracle worker. I should not lose my job because of that, it's just plain crazy.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • ProblemSolving

      These tests are the worst way to determine a student's ability to problem solve. Todays students have been tested so often by the time they graduate it takes little effort for most of them to be able to fill in a bubble sheet and pass. They are expert test takers. They, however, cannot problem solve. They get to college, or life, and struggle because it is difficult for them to work through a problem. Universities are offering more and more remedial courses to more and more entering students because they are extremely deficient in that area. They are having to teach them how to problem solve. Test them maybe every four years and put the emphasis on problem solving. That is what made this country a world power. We were solution oriented. Give us a problem and we will work it out. Issues we face don't come to you in true/false, yes/no, or multiple choice. This type of testing has been around for a long time and has not improved anything. It is just a lazy solution from lazy people.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Time Bandit

      The flaw in your logic:

      If your dentist cleans your teeth and tells you to brush and floss, but you don't, should the dentist be paid less if you subsequently get a cavity?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • firegoodell

      is everyone in the private sector that is paid according to performance paid based on how those under their charge do? and is that performance based pay based on test results that are taken by children for 1-3 days?? I think not – this policy will change as soon as the sorry excuse for a governor is voted out of office in 2014....which can't come soon enough.. this type of legislation does not belong in a budget bill and was nothing more than an end run around the repeal of SB5 – study after study after study – has been clear that linking teacher pay to student test scores DOES NOT Increase student learning ... but why would the GOP in their rush to demonize teachers and other public service workers...bother to let facts, research and studies get in their way.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • MDteacher

      It all comes down to are we reting teacher performance or student performance. Class size matters, and I have not seen a guidance department that can set equal class sizes. So is a teacher of 35 students held to the same mark as a teacher of 20 students? While I work with some amazing teachers and also some lazy teachers, this is not the best way to determine a teacher's worth. I would like to see unscheduled evaluations not test scores determine my pay. There are soem students that just don't care and are not in class enough to determine my pay. Will teachers receive pay for all the extra things we do? I spend countless hours every year writing recomendations to college for my students. This will also help them succeed but won't fit so neately on a student test.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  54. Joe D

    This will surely make teachers want to get the brighter kids for their classes and failing that, to do a ton of practice tests before the final evaluation. Either get the top kids or kill time on specific test questions – nice choice.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do so, teach. Those who can do neither, legislate.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  55. Anne

    I rather like the idea of merit pay for teachers, but ONLY if the administrators and supervisors can actually and effectively measure teachers' performance, NOT based on test scores. Why? Glad you asked. I used to teach high school, and when they introduced standardized end-of-year tests in key subjects, many teachers started teaching to the test, meaning their students were only learning what the teachers thought would be on the test, NOT the comprehensive material that they should be teaching. AND, and this is one of the reasons why I resigned, one teacher had been involved in developing the questions and answers for the state-wide test, and HE taught the answers to his students so HE would look good. He did NOT share anything with the rest of us, and so WE looked bad. I don't object to our not having the inside information, but I do object to anyone with inside information getting rewarded for gaming the system.

    Yes, there are a few good teachers, but so many are poorly qualified in the subjects they teach and their M.Ed.s are just pieces of paper. They cannot spell. They have poor grammar. They don't understand their subjects. And they don't understand the concept of discipline or teaching kids to take responsibility for their own actions. So how can their students be any better? And the admins make it worse, by undermining the ability of the teacher to do his or her job, by always siding with the student and parents when a student really needs discipline.

    End of rant.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  56. About Time

    I know the lazy union members will whine they have to work harder to earn their money but once we get past all that noise I think you will hear the cheers of students that actually become engaged at school. Our education system has been dumbed down so far, evidenced by our declining world rankings, that something like this is needed. In the private sector pay is based off performance, if you can't cut the muster you are let go. I applaud this.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Dennis Abercrombie

      Why don't you teach? You seem to know so much more than people that have dedicated their lives to teaching young people. In indbustry, personnel directors have the ability to remove non performing workers. In industry, mechanics have the ability to remove defective parts. Do you want to give schools the same discretion–to remove ineffective students? By the way, I am retired. This is not personal. But, if teachers continue to be mistreated, fewer will be willing to do the job. It is not like people are standing in the door waiting to be math and science teachers.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Lola

      That's "cut the mustard," dolt.

      Relegating education to market forces is the problem here. Public education is a public good and should be treated as such. The willfully illiterate – you come to mind – are ruining everything by worshiping the altar of capitalism. Why don't you interrogate it the way you interrogate other economic systems? Afraid of what you might find?

      Congratulations on your efforts to continue pushing this nation toward an ever-closer cliff.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • PK

      Why don't you go teach if you think you can do it better. As an ex teacher told me, he had no control over the students he was given, he couldn't pick and choose so if all he had were students with disabilities, disciplinary problems etc. he had to live with it and do his best which didn't always work. In private educational systems they don't accept students with learning disabilities, they only accept the best and the brightest with a high IQ. Sometimes I think it would be best to revert to the teaching of the 50s and early 60s, raise the standards back to what they should be with discipline allowed in the classroom. Students might actually learn something. Today, it's pass no matter what, it's time we go back to pass or fail with a grading structure, only then will parents and students realize where they actually stand and improve if they want. As the saying goes, You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it. The same is true for students.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  57. Slav

    Prediction – the comments for this article will immediately claim that this move will result in teachers "teaching to the test". What they will not mention is that the much-despised tests actually check basic knowledge of the subject. If the teachers teach to these tests, their students will leave the classroom with better knowledge than they do now.

    My concern will be that some hacks will try to cheat for the students, like the ones that were caught in some other states. There should be stringent monitoring and the ones caught should never be allowed to teach anywhere at all.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  58. Larry L

    The single-most important factor controlling success in education is the socieconomic status of the parents. Unless the pay system somehow operates on a sliding scale, where the student population is evaluated to establish a baseline of probability for success, and progress is weighted accordingly, nobody will want to teach in the ghetto. Few want to teach in the poorer neighborhoods now – with more crime, worse facilities, and a much weaker parental support system.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • JMo

      ditto

      July 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  59. Jim

    This same standard should apply all the way to the legislators. If the students in your district are not performing, you get fired.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  60. ssampson

    Wow – I guess all kids will learn in Ohio is how to pass a single test....

    I beleive in testing – but testing does NOT take everything into consideration – I could never teach – I don't have the patience – but my parents taught and were GOOD teachers – they'd walk 100 miles to help a student and about 2 for me an my sister – (not complaining – good parents too, but better teachers)

    I could always tell when they had challenging classes – they worked harder to help them, but their stress level went up...

    Teaching doesn't always give uniform results – the kids DO play a roll in how much is learned – so do the parents – Basing pay on these scores will pruge Ohio of good teachers – SURE, there are bad ones – there are bad workers in EVERY profession and every facet of life.... But nobody wants to be punished for the actions of others...

    Anyway – just another point of stupidity in goernment – noble cause, wrong actons

    July 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Say it louder

      They have been doing standardize testing in Ohio for a very long time. This really is not news and considering in there districts this is how they divi up the moneys, then it should really be of no surprise they would single out the teachers at one point.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  61. ronjayaz

    NYC had the Regents Tests when I was a kid. Everything was built around the superiority of the "best" when they finally realized that such a pursuit at the expense of socialization was fruitless. It is a well-known fact that the population is 20% above average and that 80% are below average. Academics will stunt the population. Ohio is absurd!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Penny

      "It is a well-known fact that the population is 20% above average and that 80% are below average. " ??

      By the definition of "average" that can not be right.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  62. a teacher

    It is time for educators to start brainstorming, and for politicians to step aside. Experts should stick to their own field; maybe our country could then actually solve problems instead of needlessly spending energy passing the blame.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  63. DaveinCincy

    ...they should have included a plan to address that fat lazy parents who would rather watch tv and eat Dorritos, than read to their kids at night.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Mike

      Doritos is spelled with one "r"

      July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  64. A Dad Who Cares

    What, you're worried it will get WORSE than it already is?? Fat chance- we're failing our students, and YES, teachers need to be more accountable. I know some great, conscientious teachers, and for every one of them I'll bet there are 10 who are in it for short workdays, lots of time off, and fat benefits. And you whiners know it, so cut the crap. Something has to change, and the public is finally tired of being bullied by the teachers' unions. I AM A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT who says "this is a necessary first step, I hope every state gets on board".

    July 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Paul

      So tea party?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • David Phillips

      Ok, holding teachers to this kind of standard is worng.? Why? I think we need to give the parents a grade. Teachers can not disciple students can not make a comment to the parents. Parents our the reason grades our falling. Take a count of the life sytle most kids today live. I see most 1-3 graders our up past 8:00 on a school night. I see kids more involved in sports and dance and all other things then family time and good values. Lets start giving the parents a grade, your kid fails? Fine the parent.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • wowreally

        Another bitter teacher. Why don't we fine farmers when you don't like your fries then. Its not my job to work 12 hours a day then come home and teach my child what you failed to do. Behavior? Morals? Parent. Sure. Your job is to educate them on the curriculum. Not mine.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Pat

      Short days and big benefits are not what the majority of teachers are in it for. I was in education in a hospital. Pay raises for my staff was based on our very detailed evaluations. One year all ten of my staff members were evaluated at the highest level with very measurable objectives. They should have all received top raises. Doesn't work that way. Administration said you can't give them all top pay raises. My experience has been that administrators will continue to pay people what they feel they deserve regardless of what evaluations determine. Administrators keep changing the goal posts.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Jim

      The focus should always be on how to best teach the kids, not on how to get back at those teachers. Although you may be right about the 10 who want the pay and benefits, who doesn't want good pay and benefits. You're going to hold that against them? I'll be the first to agree that there are great teachers and there are lousy teachers, but I worked in a school system for a few years and have seen the reality: the teacher who cheats on her test scores and administration turns a blind eye. Or the 5th grade girl who is dead tired because whe was watching her siblings until 1AM. Where were her parents you ask? At the casino gambling. What do you think a teacher can do with a student like this? Why is it that Asian students score significantly higher than white students, who consistently perform higher than African American students. They attend the same schools with the same teachers. A good or bad teacher can certainly affect student test scores, but certainly not 50%. One school in my city has won a school of excellence award for many years. It's in a wealthy neighborhood and has 40 full time parent VOLUNTEERS!. No other school in our city comes close to that. Parents who care, have good homes overall and expect success from their kids. That's why it's a success. So quit targeting the teachers. Make the parents step up to the plate. Remember how it used to be? You get in trouble at school and you ask the teacher not to tell your parents, because you'll get in worse trouble at home. Now a kid runs to their parents and the parents accuse the teacher of being mean to their poor little Johhny.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Dennis Abercrombie

      I, too, am a liberal democrat. My career was teaching mathematics, and I loved it. I did my best until i was literally carried out of the school with heart failure. I met teachers with more ability than others, and I met those with less ability than others, but in my career I never met anyone who should be fired that wasn't fired. We didn't cover for people not suited for teaching. We encouraged those who could not keep the pace to leave. The quality of student has changed with the decline of society. Declining student output is the result of society's decline, and the loss of respect for teachers is indicative of the loss of respect for others in all aspects of society.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  65. phoenician1

    I've always thought this was a great idea. I just thought it should be applied to politicians first. Put simply, if the state (or city, or nation, etc.) is doing better according to an agreed-upon test, then the pols all get to run again. If not, then just like with the teachers, we throw all the current pols out on their damn a-s, and they aren't allowed to run again. Great idea.

    After doing it to the teachers, how could Governors and Representatives disagree with it?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  66. Dr. B

    Jesus wept. Why do people who have never taught a class in their lives get to make educational policy? Just because they went to school doesn't mean they know what it takes to teach. I drive a car everyday, but that doesn't mean I know anything about fixing cars.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  67. Paul

    Doesn't Georgia do the same thing? YES! and the city of Atlanta recently fired the bulk of 1600 teachers investigated for cheating, teaching the test so they would get better raises' and better choices of assignments! KASICH YOU ARE THE EPIDOMY OF REPUBLICAN THINKING ~ MORON

    July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • A Dad Who Cares

      Umm, before you call anyone a moron, maybe you'd better ask your children to teach you how to use spell-check. Just sayin', if you want credibility...

      July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Cathi

      Georgia does not evaluate teachers, at this time, based on student performance on the state-wide test. They did accept Obama's money from Race To The Top and are supposed to be linking teacher evaluation to test scores. However, just this past week the current governor of Georgia said he is not going to go forward with that plan. Part of the Georgia plan was to have students/parent fill out surveys on their teachers, as well as using the test scores. I am sure the evaluation of teachers in Georgia will change; however, right now it is still based on three 20-minute evaluations/observations by the administration each year.

      The teachers that were investigated in Atlanta we mostly found not guilty of cheating on the test. The majority of them have been reinstated by the Professional Standards Commission of Georgia. Many of the teachers were investigated because the erasure percentage on the tests, from wrong answer to right answer, were above the percentage that the testing company felt were acce[table. So, while there were some teachers that were caught cheating, I believe the actual number dropped down to around 130 actual cases confirmed, most of the 1600 were found innocent of that charge.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  68. jo an

    Having been a teacher...you 'teach to the test' and then work super hard to teach what matters...

    July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  69. HORRIBLE IDEA

    WOW! What a horrible idea! I'd say more, but it looks like all the other comments covered exactly what I was thinking! Simply dumbfounding. I feel really sorry for Teachers in Ohio...

    July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Jim

    That should guarantee that our children don't learn anything that's not on the test. Just what America needs, less educated children.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • jo an

      Yep...they are teaching them to say, "My name is and I'll be your server"......that is the test...

      July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Mike

      Short, succinct, and to the point. I couldn't agree more. In Colorado, we already have entire school districts dedicating weeks, if not months of the school year to getting higher scores on a standardized test administered state-wide. And that's without basing teachers' salaries on it. If our teachers were paid based on that test, they'd dedicate the entire year to it and the students would learn even less than they now do. Who in their right mind thinks this is a good idea?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  71. NotSurprised

    Maybe we should link the pay of the parents with the test scores of their children. Or maybe we can impose a special tax on the parents for every C, D and E their child receives. Maybe this will get parents to actually teach their kids to complete their homework and make an effort in class.

    Next, we need to link the pay of the lawmakers with the HUD median income for the area in which they represent. No more fat salaries and no more free health care for life after six years of service. Fat cats which are utterly useless.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Jim

      I agree NotSurprised. Parents are outsourcing their responsibilities to teachers. Mitt Romney is so proud.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • jo an

      The governor should be linked to an I Q test...of course he would fail....

      July 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Julian

      Yeah, actually those are better ideas. Anyone thinks that kids learn best by rote, that teachers are the sole influence on learning ability, or that formal tests are the best way check on progress are actually mentally deficient themselves.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • cadet

      "C, D or E"? Is E the new F?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Dennis Abercrombie

      Unfortunately, parent income is already distressingly linked to student achievement. School is an instrument of society, not a weapon for change in society. Underpriviledget children of impoverished homes are up against incredible odds. Additionally, parental expectation is a key ingredient of student success. When a parent says "That's ok. I wasn't too good in math either." he or she has enabled the student, and made poor math performance acceptable.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  72. Doug

    Watch the mass exodus of young teachers after this goes into affect . The veterans have to stay and let this play out as it will, it's too late in their careers to say " this is ridiculous" and make that career change Also, there are currently less students in college going down the path to an educational career, and I don't know that this type of political thinking is the reason or not. Putting myself in a young persons shoes....pay based on student progress in a world where there are too many factors that are in the way of student academic success ...who would want to enter that buzz saw. Let's see.....go to college for 6 years (4 undergraduate for their Bachelors, and 2 graduate for their Masters)...incur mucho debt......get your first teaching job for about 25,000 dollars....teach a few years in a school district in a diverse community.....possibly not get raises because of factors out of their control,...and finally face being fired because of those factors. Seems clear to me that a young person might want to go into some other field that gains them more than they have to lose. Especially when wanting to start a family.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  73. socwrkr

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Education begins at home. Who is holding the parents/guardians responsible when they are not present, not involved, do not care, bad-mouth education, and disrespect teachers and staff themselves? If that test is not important at home, trust me, it is not important to that child.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Renait

    So no one will want to teach the hard-to-teach kids.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Catherine

    What they need to do is make parents responsible. It doesn't matter how good the teacher is if education isn't supported and made a priority in the home. Look at the results in some inner city schools. Poor parents who put an emphasis on education, supported the teacher, and kicked student butt if they didn't perform had successful kids.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Teachersspouse

      Hmm. So the best paid teachers will be those in neighborhoods where the best students. Does this mean that if you are a good teacher, you would prefer to work in those areas rather than a poorer neighborhood where test scores are generally lower. Also, basing a teachers pay on if a kid is having a bad day or not, or if the kis are good at filling in bubbles or not it is also not a good idea.

      Secondly, all this will do is lead teachers to drill and kill for test, not teach the subject matter.

      What ever happened to the method of having the administrators observe the classes and base teachers performance on that?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  76. Ellen

    So stupid! I am a retired teacher. The best teachers always get the most difficult kids! It is the truth! The best teachers will be penalized. Ohio politicians must really be asses and out of touch with reality.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      ...actually, it makes more sense than some ridiculous notion about seniority which does nothing but protect the lazy teachers who refuse to adapt their lesson plans for inclusive teaching methods. However, I agree with you that for the teachers with special needs students, or dificult students, it will be challenging.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • devosays

      two suggestions for your whining.... first, the best teachers should bring out the best in students... second, if the students aren't teachable, kick them out of the class and don't let them test...

      I did a check on our two highest paid teachers in my sons 8th grade class, the worst average class grades amongst all teachers... so I refute your claim to whine!!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • Catherine

        Were the grades bad because the teachers were tough? I know when I was in high school there was a teacher that did not believe in the Bell Curve. If the entire class earned a C, so be it, everyone earn an F, didn't have a problem with that either. Darn few earned A's. Up until that time, I was an honors, straight A student. I earned a B+ in his class that went on the transcript as a B. It was the best class I ever had and I learned more from him than any other teacher of that subject.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
      • VA teacher

        With your having two children in public schools, you should know that teachers do not choose the students who test. It is state law that 99% of the student population take the state test. The only students who are excused are those with severe cognitive disabilities.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  77. jimdog33

    No pressure here....

    July 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  78. Doc

    THis is a great idea with one flaw. Administrators and support staff should be paid on this merit as well. To often I see a 7th grade student, with a 3rd grade education. So if a child is passed along to get them out of the grade, you are going to hold the next teacher accountable for the failures of the previous grade?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      Great idea.....

      July 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • Joe in Wisconsin

        This is a great idea if it is looked at correctly. Teachers are not always the cause of poor test scores. Some teachers can teach and if they don't have the support from the home it is going to be very difficult to retain. Sometimes the family environment is counterproductive to learning anything. There are poor teachers, but there are also good teachers that will be hurt and not paid correctly because of this. If a teacher is in a good school district that stands up for them and honors them, then this will work. Many School Administrators are taking of having extra control over how funds are used and are cutting needed programs and not giving their teachers the credit they need and deserve. There has to be middle ground between completely basing a teachers worth on test scores and tenure.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • 6ytt

      In the 3rd grade I knew the difference between "to," "two" and "too." Did you miss class that day?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  79. Thom Paine

    As a teacher from Ohio, I am certainly happy that this law is going into effect. Why should a teacher who does a terrible job be rewarded at the same level as me if I do a good job? The biggest problem with American Education lies in a ferocious teachers union protecting inadequate teachers with a shield of "every teacher is special." It is true that teachers jobs should be protected from unbased political attacks, however the process for removing teachers is so large and drawn out that pointless teachers have jobs (and therefore stunt the growth of students) for far to long. As a young teacher breaking into the profession, I imagine that it gets quite frustrating when you know you can do at least as good of a job as a teacher who has been sitting on his/her hands for 15 years, and the union is allowing them to get to 30 years so they can retire. I do hope though that the grades teachers are given are kept private within the district. Publicly ranking teachers would be the worst thing you could do to a teacher, not basing pay on test scores (basing pay on how good you are at your job is what every single job in the world does except education...get with the times).

    July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Catherine

      The question is, which teacher do you hold responsible? Let's say I'm a 4th grade teacher. I get a kid who can barely read. The student takes the test and fails miserably. Is it my fault? Do I weed out the kids who I know will fail by trumping up charges to get them expelled or moved to another classroom? As a teacher, do I get to remove a kid from my class who refuses to learn and whose parents let the kid drift? As a teacher, do I have a right to have social services remove a child from a home if the parents do not stress education as a priority? This isn't a simple problem that can be addressed in a one size fits all rule.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  80. PK

    As the parent of a child with ADHD and learning disabilities, I am so sad to see this. My son has an incredibly difficult time taking tests. He gets stressed out and has memory retention problems. Putting him in a testing environment is so hard for him and his academic skills never shine through. He knows the information, but when put on the spot, he can't do it. He freezes.

    His teachers work incredibly hard with him and I would feel horrible having his teacher's salary dependant on these tests. As a parent, the thought stresses me out. Would they not want my son in their class because it could potentially lower their overall score? Will they primarily teach academics specifically on the test just to improve their score? Not loving the thought of this system....

    July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tim

      So what's your plan for when your son goes out into the real world? Coddle him and pay his bills for him? You should be looking to fix the problem and help him learn how to deal with it now, instead of making excuses. Previous generations didn't get a pass for ADHD. Everyone knew a kid with ADHD growing up, and they had to work a little harder, but that's what they did. They didn't get a pass.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Julian

        The real world actually doesn't have too many situations that are like school tests. Or at least there are plenty of successful paths in life that don't require excellence in taking formal tests.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Specialist Teacher

      PK
      You should be the voice for this issue. You concerns are "real".

      July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  81. Kim McCauley

    Interesting thought, what if doctors and nurses were paid based on how healthy their patients are. SO many factors go into testing. It is a single or short few days example of a child's entire learning experience. Student test anxiety plays a role, migrant students who may have moved into the district days/weeks before testing, too much to base a teacher's salary on in my opinion. I wonder if the administrators are under the same requirements.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  82. Chris S.

    I'm not a teacher and I don't believe this is fair representation of a teachers effectiveness. Unless the students and parents have accountability in the learning process, there will be issues. These test scores rarely affect a student's report card or determine elgibility for promotion to the next grade. As such, I don't believe the student has the same level of interest in providing their best effort. Make these test scores part of the promotion/graduation criteria, then we can discuss teachers salary being tied to student test scores.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  83. Gern Blanston

    What could possibly go wrong with this plan??

    July 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  84. kurt bock

    SO DO THE TEACHERS GET TO PICK THEIR STUDENTS??

    July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  85. Catherine

    When can we link legislator's pay with the amount and quality of bills passed and work done. Throw in fiscal responsibility and I'm all for it.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • MrApplesauce

      Maybe a year of jail time for every campaign promise they don't achieve.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • Lauren

        I'd prefer that be for every campaign promise that they dont make reasonable efforts to achieve. Some make the efforts required, but the other political bodies responsible for enabling those campaign promises instead hinder and make it impossible to enact.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  86. Mac

    So now as a teacher I just teach the answers to the test. Nothing more. Simple as that.

    Kasich is a moron.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      Then that would make you a terrible teacher....go do something different.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Right

      Agreed. You have a valid point.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  87. Phouka

    Horrible idea, Ohio. This will just lead to more "teaching to the test," not real teaching or learning. Not a good measure of a teacher's abilities, and a sure-fire way to lower the quality of public education in your state. Ugh.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jim

      I am a teacher in Florida. I think this is a great thing. The test tells how well the students know the skills. It tests comprehension. Good teach to that it's an all important skill. The third grade tests to see if students know math skills. One example is can they order fractions? It is a good skill to know. Teachers should make sure students know these skills. The best teacher is real good at after a while. Some teachers will never get it and should not be teaching.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  88. MrApplesauce

    In other news:

    Ohio teachers just teach the answers to the State created tests and nothing else.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  89. glorydays

    Any poor soul who continues to teach needs mental health care.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  90. Kevin

    While this seems like a good idea to make teachers more accountable, it won't change much. The true deciding factor of how well a student will do is (in most cases) home life. If the parents don't care, the students don't care. If the parents don't make the student do their homework, and care about how well they do, then the child has no motivation to do well. Unfortunately, no politician can tell the public that the parents are the biggest factor, because they won't get re-elected. So, they make the teacher (who is an important piece, not not the biggest) a scapegoat. It is not fair to the teacher or the student. With the demoralization of our nation and less interacting with the family unit in today's society, education will continue to falter (and YES, I am a teacher).

    July 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • SD

      If the sole determinant is family life, and a student's fate cannot be changed by a teacher or schooling, then why do we need public school teachers at all? You are arguing that cannot make any difference in a student's performance, so why are taxpayers supporting public schools?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Julian

        @SD, good question. Public schooling is primarily aimed at helping the disadvantaged. No one with a good home life will learn anything in school that they didn't learn at home first. There is nothing you learn in school that you couldn't learn yourself from a book (or Internet nowadays). This is the main problem - public schooling is for the lowest common denominator. It is an important societal safety net, but we shouldn't kid ourselves to say that it is going to help propel high achievers to do anything they wouldn't be able to do on their own. Overall, public education is mostly serving purpose as a daycare and ensuring that the lowest rung of society gets some support.

        July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  91. CES

    I'm a teacher and am all about evaluating current staff and being held accountable. But what is the governor thinking with this kind of legislation? How are teachers who instruct students in Special Education, English as a Second Language, and other such programs supposed to be assessed? And what about the teachers in poverty-stricken areas in Ohio versus the ones in wealthy areas? This kind of evaluation system will only pit teachers against teachers–who can get the smartest students in their classes. Rethink this, Governor.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • eary

      "English as a Second Language" You're a fool!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • IOWAGUY1958

        ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE(ESOL)is a national requirement due to the vast numbers of legal and illegal migrant children in our public school system. They don't understand the subject being taught because they can't speak or read the language(American English) it is being taught in. Yet the LAW says we must allow them in our schools and teach them. I am sure they score well and that will keep the teacher looking good, NOT!!!! The horse can be led to water but you can't make them drink is the perfect saying for the public school system.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  92. nostrildamus

    And how long before the "ohio teachers caught giving kids test answers" headline?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  93. WOW

    Most of the better teachers teach lower level classes. You actually have to teach in those classes. Higher level class have weaker teachers. The students in higher level classes are self motivated, so the less they tend to teach.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  94. !jjdc

    So students and parents have no accountability but it is ALL on the teachers. I'm not a teacher. I have a child in public school and this is completely stupid! There are many reasons that children don't do well on tests and most of them have nothing to do with the teacher and how well they teach or not. When will parents and children become accountable for their actions and grades? Placing the blame on the teachers will do nothing to help children and everything to have good teachers flee the field. This will not help my children and yours!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  95. Frank Rubkin

    I dont care how dumb your kids are – I gotsta get paid – Im given out answers fo' sho.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  96. Will

    Just wondering what they're going to do when all the teachers tire of all this BS and go to the private sector. Who will they get to teach then?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  97. Brian

    Anyone want to be a special education teacher?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  98. Shannon Cayze

    Oh, this is great! So if the test scores are low because of socioeconomic reasons, the teachers are going to be punished. This will make it even harder for poorly performing schools to attract good teachers who may be able to help turn things around or make a difference in at least some students' lives.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ken

      I am betting that it will make it hard for Ohio to attract good teachers period, not just to poor schools. The way I see it is Ohio's loss if other states' gain.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Charlie C

    Thats disgusting. Not all kids excel at taking tests. When I taught, I refused to give tests to my students because of this exact reason. They must fill their time with taking a test that doesnt prove anything, and now teacher pay is based on it. What a shame.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  100. ExTeacher

    I taught high school science for seven years before returning to the private sector. Basing pay on test scores is the worst possible thing Ohio could do to their children (academically speaking).

    July 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Larry L

      I enjoyed seeing your comment. I also taught high school Biology and Chemistry for seven years – before accepting an Army Commission and spending thirty years in the Army making a much better living for my family. I was voted "Teacher of the Year" in my school district the year I decided to leave teaching. You get what you're willing to pay for...

      July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • FinnGoDo

      I disagree. If teacher pay was based completely on the concept, i'd take issue. Partially it's fair, just like bonuses linked to performance in the private sector. However, I do think there need to be more fail safes to protect teachers from a bad "semester". Not all students are equal, and the pay should be based on an average of several semesters compared to other teachers in the same subject/year state wide.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
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