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. Meeee

    As a teacher, all I want to say is thank you to all the other teachers out there who work hard to do 76 different impossible jobs simultaneously and still have the strength to come back day after day. When I started teaching 11 years ago I remember a colleague telling me that teaching is akin to boxing with one hand tied behind your back, on an icy lake covered in oil, while wearing a blindfold and trying to pull the teeth out of an alligator. It isn't easy, but if get it doneyou should be proud. 
    I love my job. Yes, it's way more difficult than most people understand, the hours are long, "time off" is really a joke (what teacher isn't forming lesson ideas while they are shopping, or watching tv, or reading?), the demands are outrageous (I wonder if the non-teachers on here realize what teaching entails?), the pay is barely enough it get by, and in most cases all you hear about is how you didn't do your job well enough. But at the end of the day, I know that I do something that many cannot, I make a difference. All I ask is that I am adequately compensated for my time and skills, treated with respect for my abilities and my commitment, and judged fairly by those who know what good teaching is. A good test score does not make me a good teacher, nor does a poor score mean that I am a poor teacher, and in no way does a number represent what I do. 

    July 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  2. JG

    Studies over the last several decades have consistently shown that the factor most strongly correlated with student success is socioeconomic status (SES)(see Sirin's 2005 meta-analysis or White's 1982 work on the subject). Linking teacher pay to student achievement would create a situation where high SES schools pay significantly better than low SES schools which would in turn create a situation where high SES schools have their pick of teachers while the low SES schools can only retain the teachers of their lowest achieving students. This would both exacerbate our country's already deplorable achievement gap, and further limit class mobility (since highest education level achieved is strongly correlated with earning potential).
    Don't misinterpret me, though; I believe that teacher pay should be linked to some measure of accountability. Student achievement just isn't the correct measure.

    July 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Matt

      That's why they're attaching it to student growth, not student achievement. Student growth is indexed against that student's SES and other factors, including past performance. It's not just a number pulled from one test.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Greg

    When I was in High School (35 yrs ago) I had a teacher that proposed the first merit pay program. It is time that it is implemented as follows.
    Most students have around 40 teachers by the time they graduate. Mr. E’s idea was as follows:
    Teachers get a beginning pay of 30k, increasing 1k per year for 12 years then decreasing 2k for until retirement. After 12 years the teacher receives .1% of the pay every student they have taught. This pay continues the whole working career of the student and at the teachers retirement this money becomes their retirement pay. After 30 years of teaching they should be receiving over $100k and it is total funded by the success of their students.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  4. Gail

    Regarding test scores and teachers' salaries, what a ludicrous idea! Some students get straight A's on every AP and Honors classes, yet do poorly on college entrance exams. That's why my university uses test scores as only a small part of admissions decisions. We have found that students' with high grades may have low test scores and vise versa. Some teachers teach only information that would be on tests rather than teaching the discipline(s) they are required to teach.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  5. Steve

    We already have teachers cheating on behalf of students...now we will give them incentives to do that? Brilliant move. How about Paying teachers a Salary like any employee without stirings. If they are good, they continue teaching, if they are bad they get fired...pretty simple.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Stephanie

      Yeah, unfortunately they have unions which make it almost impossible to get rid of bad teachers. Anyplace that has a Union it is extremely difficult to get rid of the lazy, unproductive or impossible employees. Unions have their place, but when they make it too difficult to get rid of bad employees you wind up with policies like this one.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  6. wgersen

    I'm late to the game and don't have time to read all the posts... but clearly what is wrong with public education is the insistence that we use performance on standardized tests that assume all children mature at the same rate and learn in the same way. We have the technology to individualize and personalize instruction to meet the unique needs of every child and we are squandering it on "measuring student growth" based on age-linked cohorts. As long as we think of schools as factories designed to sort students into two or three "piles" we will continue to use tests to bludgeon students, teachers, and public education.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  7. Veteran special ed. teacher

    Has anyone consideredwhat this will do to the choices of teachers to be? If I was a beginning teacher I would think twice about teaching challenging, special needs or deprived students, who historically do not necessarily score well on standardized testing. Teaching challenging kids might mean that these teachers will be penalized in pay, fired or their teaching reputations marked, because of their students' basic conditions.

    July 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  8. OMG

    I am a Canadian educator who has just begun a Master's degree through a University in the States. Although, there are many similarities between our education systems and the expectations of teachers in our neighboring countries, I simply cannot believe this!!!
    Yes – in Canada, teachers do not get the level of respect they deserve, teachers are underpaid for the number of hours they work, and yes – some of our teachers do "teach to the test" BUT ... being paid according to student results. Really?! Anyone who has taught for longer than a few years knows that all kids (or all classes for that matter) do not come with the same skill set and levels of support. If there are issues with teachers, these need to be dealt with at an administrative level (& yes, I'm an administrator & still believe this). Otherwise, the rich keep getting richer and the poor will continue to get poorer.

    July 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  9. John

    Put the blame on the students and parents. Teachers can only present the material. It's up to the students to learn it. Parents need to take a greater role in their child's learning. Of course, if the parent is uneducated, inarticulate that is going to affect learning. Then you have children of illegal aliens, can't read or speak english. As a country we're expected to welcome them in and teach them english along with other subjects pertaining to their age, grade level.

    Bring back manufacturing to the United States. Not every child is an Enstein. If a student can't learn academia then place them in a vocation school to learn a trade.

    The problem is....This isn't the 1800's. There is so much to learn. How can it all possibly be taught in school. instead of all students on the same track, there should be alternate tracks based on their abilities with the opportunity to change tracks as their ability dictates.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • alf564

      Another problem is that teachers pay is dependent on the students test grades so the teachers teach the tests...in Florida it is the FCAT. Also who selects the courses and subjects that are taught? It is certainly not the teachers but they are held responsible for making sure the students know the subject and pass the state tests. Progress is only good if it is good progress and that appears to be missing in the school system.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  10. robert.preston

    In most schools, students take six classes: Math, English, Social Studies, Science, then two fill-in-the-blanks like PE, Yearbook, Teen Pregnancy, Photography, French, whatever. I predict an exodus of math teachers. It would be wise to recertify as a bongo instructor or deep-breathing teacher. Just how are the non-math/english teachers going to get a raise? Look at what NCLB hath wrought! Anything the Federal government touches turns to _____. And now - OBAMACARE !

    July 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  11. robert.preston

    Teachers need to work more and get paid less. They're lucky to have a job. Teachers should all be assigned yard duty whenever they are not standing in front of the class. After school, teachers should wax the administrators' cars and clean the toilets.

    July 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Colleen Cassel

      Robert, You need to spend a year in a classroom and see if you still feel the same way. I did not go to school for 7 years to get my bachelors and my masters degrees just to be able to wax my principal's car. Nor did I do that to be able to cut the grass on the school grounds after hours. I work many hours after school on classroom related things inorder to be able to teach my students the next day. Not to mention calling parents when a child misbehaves, and meetings for other school related, but not necessarily classroom related topics. I do all these things because I care about my students and my career. It's not a job, it's my career. I am very grateful for it.

      It sounds like you had an unpleasant school experience. I am sorry for that. If you had been in my class, I would have done my best to make your experience different.

      July 14, 2012 at 12:03 am |
      • Bartley

        Colleen, I think you missed the sarcasm in Robert's post.

        July 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • jmgala22

      Your comment is the most ridiculous comment that I have ever heard. Who do you think taught you to read, write, and communicate? Before you make such a ridiculous comment, check to see who gave you opportunities.

      July 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • alf564

      Obviously you are a Politician and have a staff to do all your work and your writing.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  12. Joe

    These are some great comments. What do you think we should use to evaluate learning. Assuming that testing as a measuring tool is not an option, what measure or cluster of measures would you use to measure teaching effectiveness? There has to be a legitimate way to measure both teaching and learning. Let's focus on solutions.

    July 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Mame

    If the physical education teachers pay is linked to students passing a fitness test ai the end of the school term,then the teachers should have the right to put their students on a diet and a fitness plan for homework. Parents must make sure their child follow the plan daily, cook meals based on the teachers plan. Under these conditions teachers should have complete control.

    July 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Thought Police

    I will attempt to put this idea in as simple as possible terms: Situation A – my co-workers and I make yoghurt. In order to make the best product, we need the best ingredients. Our employer ensures that this is the case, and voila, we make an outstanding product. Situation B – same as above, except our employer often accepts "less than the best" ingredients and some of us have to use them, including me. As it turns out in the taste testing, my product is substandard, repeatedly...I get fired. Situation A1 – my coworkers and I teach high school English. We have the "really smart" students. All of our "product" passes the State Test, so we are successful! We get raises. Situation B1 – Same as above, except my students have reading levels ranging from 3rd grade to 8th grade. 2/20 barely pass the State Test. I am not successful and I get no raise. Situation C – The same as situation B1, except this is the second year AND because it is the second time I am unsuccessful, I get fired. Gosh...sounds fair to me. Almost on par with blaming the wife for not bearing a male child. And since this stream of (un)consciousness is continuing, I work 55-60 hours a week, grading papers, making lesson plans, calling parents, taking classes and going to meetings. Almost 150 hrs. more than 40hr/wk workers. This does not include required summer classes/workshops. So don't talk to me about not working as much as other people. God bless you!

    July 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Barb

      It was interesting to hear about the Ohio legislation on CNN today, but you got so much of it wrong. First, it's legislation affecting only Cleveland District schools, not the entire state. Second, the article I read (and heard on CNN) implies that teachers will be judged exclusively on students' achievement test scores. That's just not true. The legislation simply disallows promotions and pay raises based solely on seniority. May I add that the teachers' union embraced the legislation - do you think that would've happened if it was written the way CNN reported? Please do a little more research - there's so much more to the new law, and I believe it will be come a model for other struggling urban school districts.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • Joe

        I read the same article and you have a point. The problem is that even with the stipulations that you include it is still a bad idea. Unless you give teachers control of all the aspects of student learning, which is not possible, you have an a bad measure of teaching. The test will get all the publicity and the other measures will be pushed aside. We need a true measure of teaching not a simple, straightforward, and completely wrong measure of learning.

        July 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • robert.preston

        Hello Barb,
        Will the test determine if the kids pass the course? High stakes is high stakes: if the teacher's life is affected by the test, shouldn't the students' be also? More than a few students will not put forth their best effort if there is nothing in it for them, personally.

        July 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • Ohio Teacher

        Barb, The legislation does not only affect Cleveland schools. It applies to every district in the state. My district, not Cleveland, is currently preparing for this in a myriad of ways. I know this because I sit on the committee. Furthermore, my understanding is that the Ohio Legislature and the Ohio Department of Education have not truly addressed the issue of merit pay. They have no idea what merit pay would even look like. They have told our district and many others to not even think about it yet as they are so far behind their own deadlines. At this point it is only how teachers are evaluated that is the issue. Yes, teachers' names are linked to their students, but at this point it only is for evaluative purposes. Not that any of us are happy about that.... The "bright spot" is that the current legislation uses, I believe, a three year average of student scores. If a teacher would happen to get a low achieving group one year that might only have a small impact on his or her assessment. The legislation also calls for "remediation" or assistance for teachers who fall below expectation. At least there is opportunity for improvement. Teachers are not just sacked completely based on one low scoring class. Please understand, I am not defending this legislation. I am reporting what I understand to be true.

        July 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  15. jb

    Look out Ohio! We started the ball rolling on the same process this past school year. It will be fully implemented in 2014. I, as a teacher, am not afraid of accountability for the STUDENTS THAT I ACTUALLY TEACH. There is nothing in place in Florida that takes into account the student that misses 23 days out of a grading period (9 weeks) or some other excessive absentee rate. I'm still just as responsible for that student's progress and test score as I would be for the student with perfect attendance.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  16. Make

    I think everyone should eat from this plate,if my medication does not work,then The proscription should be free. If a patient dies,then the doctor should not receive payment. If you are going to hold teachers feet to the fire,then Share the blame.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  17. Make

    If you are going to make teachers responsible for a students test results,then a doctor shouldn't receive payment if a patient dies. my auto repair man shouldn't receive payment when my car does not work. I can go on and on. Stop putting this on teachers and not on other professionals.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  18. ted

    I am a black male. I taught high school in Ohio from 1969 to 2007 in a lower social economic area. I was the only black male teacher in the socical studies department at my school. Because of the administration's belief that as a black male teacher I was better able to deal with difficult students. Difficult students are offten low achiever as well. Routinely the most difficult students that other teacher could not handle were assigned to me. Under the new rules being proposed for Ohio teachers I would be fired.

    July 13, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Thomas

      The problem with American education is the influence of non- education professionals having too much influence. Politicians should have nothing to do with education because they put political ideology before what is truly best for education; it is because of political influences that the further an educator gets away from working with kids, the more money they make, hence, all good teachers are striving to leave the classroom. Teachers in America are going to have to band together or risk having our profession destroyed by an ill-informed public and deceitful politicians who are driven by their own self interest. Due to recent changes in pay, longevity and retirement and working environment; being a teacher is no longer worth the struggle. Let parents teach their own kids.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Steve Jay

      One question, did any person responsible for passing this law ever teach in a H.S. classroom. As a H.S. counselor I constantly placed low level, and problem students with select teachers who I felt would help them the most.These students test scores are normally very low, and would affect the teachers rating and pay under Ohio law.. Teachers seldom complained about these placements, but think of the potential for conflict between teacher and counselor (over placement) when this law takes effect.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • alf564

        To Steve,

        No, Politicians are the ones that make the rules. You know, men and women that have staffs to do everything they need done which includes drivers. Sad situation they have placed MY country in because of their lack of common sense.

        July 15, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Rose

      Ted I have the same situation. I had taught special education when I first taught in California so when I went back int general ed my principal gave me all the very low and resource kids because I had a special ed background. If California goes the same route of Ohio I will not take a class of 30 low/RSP kids. What a shame, but thats what it is coming too!

      July 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Joe

      Excellent point.

      July 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  19. Zafarrano Wolffe

    My wife was a high-school teacher in a Cincinnati inner-city school that pulled all students from their elective classes for three months and, instead, tutored them daily on passing state-mandated tests.

    July 13, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  20. johntap

    I'm a school teacher who has just finished our 2nd year in the TAP program, a program that rewards teachers for good test scores and effective teaching. Our test scores are going through the roof! I am an effective teacher who teaches all the kinds of students mentioned by others. It IS part of my job to reach those students. It IS my job to get students who do not want to learn, turn them around, and make them successful.
    As far as teaching to the test, you bet I do. If my state says this is the material you are responsible for teaching, then you can bet this is what I am going to teach. If you think that is bad, then the next time you go for a job interview and have to take a test, I suggest you read some fiction book before you take the test. No, you will study and read about the test in order to do your best.
    I am tired of being the blame for our society's faliure. I wish we were more revered and admired as teachers. But teachers, we have got to stop blaming the parents...we have no control over that. The only thing we have control on is what happens in our classroom. I am proud to be a teacher. It isn't only what I do, it is who I am.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • MrJames

      Johntap.....what school are you at that suddenly has scores "going thru the roof"?

      July 13, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Doug

      I don't believe this for one second. Nice try!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • Doug

        oh...and that was directed to johntap. Id have to see before and after scores, and also know what district in suburbia you teach at to believe this. Not just your test scores john....accross the board teacher scores before and after.

        July 13, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Beverly Projansky

      Point taken. What happens to these students once they leave the system and enter the real world? Has your ability to teach to the test helped them think critically in a global society?

      July 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Cashawk

      If you are teaching to the test, then you are not really teaching. Scores going through the roof mean nothing in life. If a child does not learn how to learn, and how to think critically and creatively, they will not succeed, no matter how high their standardized test scores. There is so much more to life and this type of education will not be preparing any children for the workforce of tomorrow.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Rose

      John, I teach to the test also. I teach 3rd grade and was instructed not to teach social studies, science, health or cursive because it is not tested! So much for the well rounded child! What a shame!

      July 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • robert.preston

        Why don't schools teach cursive writing? It's sad to see teenagers who can not sign their names nor address an envelope.
        Public schools also don't teach grammar, spelling, arithmetic, or common courtesies.
        We would all be served well by school vouchers, the closure of the federal DOE, and a 10% across the board funding cut for your local DOE. It's not the teachers who are killing our schools - IT'S THE GOVERNMENT. Don't you get it? Public schools are another base for the Democrats.

        July 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Joe

      I applaud your success. My point is that these tests are too narrow. You are right that we shouldn't make excuses but the hard truth is that no matter how effectively you teach students, many of them are not going to do well on the tests. If you draw a lower level group, you could be an amazing teacher and still get fired, if we use only the test scores as a measure. There are more measures that should be included than just the scores. Bad scores don't give you any idea of how to improve. They are just bad scores.

      July 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  21. MrJames

    Standardized test scores have no impact on students so what is the motivation for students to try hard? I have smart students who could do well but just fill in the dots because the tests are long and boring. Students have to have some "skin" in the game. You will chase good teachers away from the students who need them most. How did teachers become the scapegoats for our societal ills?

    July 13, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  22. Natch

    And the foolishness continues! To date, whenever a district/state has tied school children's test scores to ANYTHING that will affect monetary awards or pay, the ONLY affect it has had is to force teachers to teach to the test, NOT the curriculum!

    In other words, we're forcing our teachers to teach children how to take the stupid test every few years, instead of teaching them what they need to know, to make it in this world. We're graduating dummies who can pass a federally mandated test every few years, but can't balance a checkbook, or write a simple essay.

    If we keep this up, we'll end up as a country full of idiots, who are only suited for menial labor jobs.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • teacher

      Amen! Teaching to the test does not teach common sense which many children lack these days!

      July 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  23. truethat

    funny stuff on education:


    July 13, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  24. Ed

    What a shame the legislators arent held to the same standards. No balance budget? No raise. Police... a criminal returns to crime that they arrested.... No raise Fire fighters dont prevent all fires.. no raise.... Cancer Doctors dont cure cancer...no raise. See how unrealistic this is? Point there is no way to teach all children to a high standard. especially those unwilling to behave and study. Education is a joint effort of all parties involved. Dont make the teachers the scapegoats. All you are doing is further dumbing down the Education system., again. There will always be leaders. followers and those with no desire to better themselves. Teach foundational learning, vocational training and promote student incentive, then address teahers abilit, if needed.

    July 13, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • John

      Good post Ed!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Fed up

      Could not agree more.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  25. El Diablo

    So low scoring inner city schools that already have a hard time finding teachers will also have oh so attractive lower pay? That a way!

    July 13, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  26. tonyinlargo

    The vast majority of our school facilities and our teachers are the among the very best in the world if not the best. Someone will be at odds with that statement immediately. However, if all of our parents cared enough and made sure that their kids were respectful of teachers and other classmates, and disciplined in the use of their time and understood that education leads to success in life, then we might not be having this discussion. As an old adage states: "you can take the horse to the river bed, but you can't make him drink water". When undisciplined, disrespectful and unruly students disrupt classes, not only do they not learn, but, they also interrupt the dynamics of the give and take of the teaching and learning process between the teacher and those who want to learn. We have placed too much burden on teachers, who are practically pulling their hairs out trying to teach in nearly chaotic situations. Heaven forbid that the students get sent to the principals office and their parents get called-in, because then, the parents will take the side of the student and want to beat-up (literally) the teacher and the principal!! This doesn't mean that 100% of all teachers are well suited to do their jobs. Teachers will be the first to tell you that, as in anywhere you go in life, some culling has to be done, but with the requirements that are in place, there are very few. More emphasis has to be placed on Parents. In Germany, you talk to Public School Children of all ages on their way home in Trolleys and you believe they are in parochial schools. They treat authority and elders with respect and are eager to learn and eager to demonstrate what they have learned in school. That, I experienced. Put more burden on the Parents !!!!!!!

    July 13, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Matt

      Well said.. 101 % agree.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • susie2

      Way to tell it!!!!! If children COME to school WANTING an education it is there! WHY talk about poor schools, poor teachers, poor educations? TALK about poor parenting! MAKE parents RESPONSIBILE!!!!! It is NOT the responsibility of any school to be the parents! Don't have children if you are NOT going to be a parent in all aspects. Make parents responsible for their children and you will see test scores RISE!!! Single parents that is your fault not the educational system.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • TAS

      You couldn't be more correct, but since it is the very public that refuses to press the values of respect onto their kids that push for these laws, we don't see real progress. Sad, very sad.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • TTownGirl

        Yeah, I really got a chuckle out of the comment touting the notion of teaching "social graces" to be under the purview of the school. Although socialization was indeed part of my educational experience, I know who really taught me how to behave and act. It took not one word but one look from my dad when I said or did anything thoughtless (and sometimes a swift swat on the rearend). In fact, on my Kindergarten progress card (back when Kindergarten was still play and socialization), my teacher wrote, "Her home training has been so well done that it was truly a pleasure to teach her." As for academics, I struggled with math a bit, and again good old Dad stepped up to the plate. He certainly didn't head off to the school to find out what was wrong on that end. Okay, so the marathon home tutoring sessions weren't exactly pleasant for me, as I completed assignments through hiccup tears, but I did learn. And this was back in the days when a dad's job was providing for the family, so evenings meant supper on the table by mom, and leave Dad alone while he read the evening newspaper and watched "his" TV. That's what blue collar American society meant in my world as we were educated by our high school graduate and high school drop out parents at home. When did we become a nation of whining pansies?

        July 14, 2012 at 1:45 am |
      • TTownGirl

        Oops, sorry. I had more. In the words of my dad, this is all because of those "damn hippies" on their dope. I'd laugh, except it really is true. Please, hippies. Step aside and retire already. You smoked too much funny stuff, I'm sick of all the fru fru "feel good" stuff, and stop being afraid to call a spade a spade. Now I laugh. Ha ha. 😉

        July 14, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  27. WDinDallas

    Test the teachers also. Some of them can't pass the tests they hand out to the students!

    Performance over Seniority.

    July 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  28. Dennis

    Oh yeah, finally someone has hit on a silver bullet solution that will resolve this complex issue, I knew all along it would be all about the benjamins too.
    So now our children will learn critical thinking and logical analysis skills much more rapidly as we have motivated the teachers to spend their limited time cribbing the students for the bubble tests that determine the teachers' remuneration. No longer will the classroom be burdened with learning to construct a cohesive argument or the subtle nuances of the written word. Their ability to develop creative solutions to multifaceted problems will become boundless overnight. Dang, how could we not have seen this brilliant solution before.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Pitt

      So true, Dennis. This is the worst idea. I live in Ohio, and I don't think that seniority is the end all and be all, and that teachers do need to have a standard, but this will just be teaching to the test. As a college professor, I can tell you now that students already have issues with college 'cause it's not standardized. They don't know how to think on their own, only to regurgitate facts into a bubble on a form. It's pathetic. This is not the solution.

      July 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  29. Dinica Quesada

    This blog misleads by simplification.

    The writer suggests that teacher evaluation legislation is sudden and the result of Governor Kasich's efforts, when in fact, the development of a framework and model have been in process for several years under the guidance of the Educator Standards Board (comprised of educators, the majority of whom are public school teachers) and the support of the Ohio Department of Education.

    The writer further suggests that teacher compensation will be driven solely by test scores. The truth is that schools are experimenting with systems to compensate teachers differently based on different roles and evaluation results. Such evaluations include observations of teacher performance relative to a state teaching standards and evidence of student growth, not simply a raw score.

    He also suggests that decisions about promotion, salaries, etc. will be based on test scores. They will instead be determined by policies and agreements designed and collectively bargained to address the local school community’s aspirations and needs.

    Finally, while there is a Race to the Top (RttT) influence on policies and agreements in those school districts that chose participation in the federal initiative, RttT itself is not the driving force for change. It is simply a contributing factor. A more significant factor in shaping change is the how district actually decided to participate in RttT. That decision was made jointly by local school boards of education and teacher unions and it was made by them with a commitment to labor-management collaboration and to changes that improve teaching and learning. It is also important to note that these commitments were made under the leadership of a different governor, state board of education, and legislature, not the current ones.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • BuckeyeSue

      Thank you for posting. For some reason, my own comments protesting this misleading article were not published.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Doug

      I can't speak for other district involvements in RttT (Race to the Top), but our district is full in because we need the dollars that go with it. (and no that doesn't pay our teacher salaries, before anyone says that). It's for educationally meeting the standards and hoop jumps we need to comply with yet another mandate for which we cannot pay. There are alot of "you must do this...and you must do that" mandates that we MUST comply with besides RttT that are completely unfunded, yet we are told to do them. (or other government funding for other programs will be cut). Comply or else is the way it goes.

      July 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  30. Katie

    Well if I taught in Ohio and they installed this rule, I'd find a different job. I'm pretty tired of being told I'm lazy, that my union is a shill for the Democrats, that I get so much time off I don't deserve vacation pay, that my pension plan is too high and undeserved, and that I should "pay the same as everyone else" for my health care. I put in a lot more hours than my husband, have more higher education than he does, and he makes three times as much money as I do. He is on MY health care plan because the plan his work offers is crap and it costs just as much as mine does. And did I mention that he is a business manager for a district of chain stores?

    July 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  31. Sarah

    Nice concept, but I worry teachers will make the tests easier, or at least score them more leniently.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Sarah Is 'Special'

      Except the teachers don't grade the tests used to evaluate them.
      Please think before you show how little you know.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jennifer

      The tests they are referring to are the state test. Teachers have no say in what appears on the tests, and they do not grade them.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Dan Hart

      Sarah, tests of the sort being talked about here are generally state generated and scored. Scores on these test do say something, but relying on them too heavily in teacher evaluations is not a valid measure of a teacher's effectiveness. There are far too many variables to consider. Gov. Kasich and the Ohio legislatue really don't know what they're doing or they are working for a hidden agenda which is more likely the case.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • donald

      The teachers do not make up[ the tests, the state and federal government do.

      July 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Erin

      Teachers do not write or score these tests, the state does.

      July 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • teacher

      Teachers do not score their own state test. They are sent off to be scored

      July 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  32. Art

    Imagine that you're a surgeon. You're a good surgeon with a great success record. One day, someone with out a medical degree an no experience takes over the hospital. Soon you get a memo from him telling you teh following... Every operation will take exactly 14 minutes, not a minute more or less. These are the instruments you will use and this is exactly how you will set up the operating room. In addition you will be getting patients that are have stage 4 lung cancer and heart disease. After you operate on them and tell them to come back for followup visits and of course stop smoking and eating high fat diets you send them home. They smoke and eat steak everyday. Should you as their doctor be held accountable if tehy die soon after?
    The same exact situation happens for teachers. Teachers have no control over what time kids go to bed, do homework or rule their house. In NYC they are told how to teach, how long each lesson must be, and how their own rooms must be set. In addition, they have no control over anything that the kids do or don't do outside of school. I have seen kids riding bikes at 11:30 at night on a school night. Should a teacher's job be dependent on those kids test scores? Did you know that a teacher can get in trouble if he just raises his voice or gives the student "A look"? Teachers have no authority to discipline a student whatsoever. I retired after 34 years in NYC. However, if I had a bad rating but had no control over how I taught or the students I taught, my lawyer would be suing the system so fast that I could retire on the spot.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Art

      kids' test scores... not kids test scores. There may be a few more typos before I get flamed for grammatical errors.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Katie

      Excellent analogy, thanks for posting.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan

      The old recycled argument: if you haven't been a teacher, you shouldn't be allowed to determine any sort of educational policy. I'm assuming, Art, that you haven't said a word criticizing bankers lately, right? Because after all, you are a teacher, so what would you know about banking? And I certainly hope that you have no opinion on national defense – after all, you're a teacher, not a military officer.

      I'm not sure what kind of teacher you are or were, but you aren't very good at reading critically. Did you happen to make it to the part in the article where it was stated that students' test performance would be A factor, not the ONLY factor, in teacher evaluations?

      July 13, 2012 at 6:53 am |
      • Joe

        The difference is that my opinion is just that, my thought. I do not have the power to tell them how to do their job. Why are teachers different? Why can't I be given the freedom to do my job and then have the job judged in a realistic way? I would never suggest how to evaluate a banker? I might not like the person but I don't get to force him into doing stupid things.

        July 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  33. jake

    If I were a teacher this is what I would be thinking looking at my students every year..."Is my salary really dependent on these dumb kids with even dumber parents."

    July 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bob

      1) low expectations on the part of most stakeholders, 2) teacher resistance to accountability, 3) inability of all stakeholders to work together. These are just some the reasons.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  34. WHAT?

    Ohio, especially Toledo, is an armpit of a state and needs school reform.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  35. Doug

    Let me ask a question here. Aren't teachers people just like you? Don't you want to earn decent wages? Have a benefit plan that includes insurance of dental, eye care, and health care? Don't you want to have a retirement plan? Don't you want to make a difference with what you do for your work? That's the same thing teachers want. What I am hearing is that people are jealous that there is time off in the summer, and that we are paid to much according to who exactly? Are you comparing it to your wages? If so.....did you go to college....in most cases for 6 years (Doctors, Veterinarians = 6 years and a couple of years of residency ...Teachers 4 years undergraduate study, and 2 years Masters study....and every 4 years taking 2 courses to renew what you earned in 6). Why didn't you choose to study to be a teacher if this was so easy and with such good pay and benefits? You could have! Probably not because it isn't easy money. Do you even know what is like to stand before hundreds of kids each day and convince them that you are worth listening to......that what you have to show them, tell them, and have them discover is important for their future. In 25 years of teaching I have encountered many situations with uncaring or angry kids. I have been there for them in the classroom, on the ball fields, on the track....etc. to help them grow into great people. I have helped raise more kids than you can imagine in that time, and it wasn't easy money at all. I have had the angry ones (angry at life and so on) get in my face and say every expletive and demeaning thing a person can say. I've headed off bullying....had to break up fights between students or groups of students. I have had to console crying students who have lost loved ones, or had parents beat them up. I have seen the worst of the worst and the best of the best in kids. Many kids i've helped raise call me out in the middle of the mall, parking lots, wally world, down the block when I go for runs or walks to say hi. Yeah....I know I make a difference, and so do many many many many others like me. When I hear how easy my money is....and that I don't deserve what I get because YOU and people like you are jealous of my time off and what seems to be perks you don't get.....I say this.........please change your career and come do what I do.....it's so easy RIGHT? And please tell me Mr. Governor how test scores make good people????? I earn what I take home, and I earn my time off, and I earn my retirement. What I've done in 25 years is make a difference....i'm not sure test scores measure that. I can't believe that I would think about leaving the profession after 25 years, but its certainly crossed my mind. This used to be a respected profession.....I have seen that part disappear....and not because of test scores.....for reasons that people don't want to hear is the reality.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Doug

      Grammar correction...the word "too" in pllace of "to".....I was typing fast ok...lol.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Connie

      Doug, you are so right. I taught for over 25 years and just retired last summer. The majority of time I taught in the states, but I have also taught overseas. If teaching is such an easy job with so many benefits, then everyone should stop complaining and get into it. Being evaluated on test scores is ridiculous. How can you compare teachers in the suburbs to inner city schools. They both put their heart and soul into their jobs, but only one set might see the results in their test scores. The others might see the results in the students who go on to a successful life and career. Those students who give you a call and tell you how your class changed their life. It is not test scores on state tests that make successful people, it is the morals they pick up and emotional connection they make with their teachers. Great teachers guide students into treating others with respect. The Golden Rule, that's what it's all about. You can't collect data on these results. Politicians for some reason want the public to disrespect public schools and teachers and send money to private schools owned by their friends. I'm glad their are still great teachers like Doug out their teaching our children. They do make a difference!

      July 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Heffi


      July 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Dan

      Doug – I think a lot of us would actually enjoy teaching. However, those of us with even a glimmer of intelligence and talent would much rather go into another field. Not because of the total compensation – but because of how the compensation is awarded. What bright person would ever go into a field where the compensation is set by a union, seniority rules, and there is no chance of your intelligence ever allowing you to move up in your field? Furthermore, I could work my butt off for 12 hours a day and then watch the crappy teacher in the next room over work 7.5, do a horrible job, and never be fired due to the union.

      Isn't that some irony for you? The very same union contract that teachers say is so necessary is what is truly turning people away.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • Matt

        A huge misconception is that the union prevents or tries to prevent teachers from being fired for whatever reason. It is completely false. Effective teachers want that lazy, worthless teacher in the next room to be fired just like the public does; however, the reality is that administrators do not follow the steps to fire that teachers. All it takes is a series of unsatisfactory ratings to be grounds for dismissal. Do not blame the union – teachers absolutely can and should be fired if administrators follow the due process and proper procedures.

        July 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Cashawk

        There is a misunderstanding that school systems are unable to get rid of poor teachers – not true! There are plenty of "intelligent and talented" people in the world who actually choose to become educators and love what they do. What educators are saying is that we now live in a society that does not value education, as evidenced by the clear lack of attention being paid to the influences of family life, media, etc... on educational performance. Teaching to the test will never produce the results that are being demanded. We live in an age where people expect to do well with little personal effort or accountability. It is not the result of educators, but the result of influences outside the educational realm that have sent education into a state of "in the box" mentality. Some of the best and brightest in the world would have failed miserably had they not had the opportunity to think outside the box. Changes are needed, but not the strict limitations of standardized testing.

        July 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • joe turner

      I commend you for your dedication to your profession as you stated. Did it ever cross your mind that if the teachers that came before you that taught your students parents the way you profess to have taught your students, your job would be a lot simpler and less stressful? That you would enjoy a much greater degree of respect from your students. I am in my 50's and am embarrassed for my generation for what we have done to this country.

      July 13, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  36. Jason

    2010 median Ohio household income, $46k http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/09/14/median-income-in-ohio-hits-27-year-low.html (newspaper citing census information)

    http://www.tos.ohio.gov/state_salary (state government website) This website shows what every teacher in the state of Ohio makes. You can look for yourself, but where I live, no teacher made less then $40k and more then a few were upwards of $80k.....that’s an individual.

    So teachers as 1/2 of a normal household income make (not completely accurate but to make things easier) $40k and the annual average household income for Ohioans is $46k (from 2010's census).

    Teachers need to get a life and realize they are getting paid better then the average person. And us average people demanding some sort of accountability is not exactly out of line.

    Oh and to make matters worse. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html We are not even that smart....

    July 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • teacher

      Jason and "Teacher in Ohio", I agree with what Doug wrote. Please read it. A major factor Jason doesn't consider is that many teachers are not married and not part of 2-income households. Less than 50% of households are 2-income and teachers don't have the ability to make sales incentives, bonuses, etc. that other families can use for savings. The stress that occurs as described in Doug's entry can cause teachers to be very difficult to live with during the school year. I won't even begin to explain all the stressful factors which are compounded by not being able to get enough sleep or even being able to use the restroom when one needs to do so. On top of that "Teacher in Ohio" is naive or has not been in that low income area long enough to realize that those students are less likely to sleep and eat the day of testing or on instruction days. Yes. They may have more room for growth measures, but there will be many students whose lives are so chaotic that nothing a teacher does will matter. This is not a reason to give up on them, but that is what the state will force the good teachers to do if we want longevity in our profession, we will have to go to school districts where we can teach students who are somewhat ready to learn or at least having their basic human needs met on a regular basis.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jason Is Clueless

      The reason some teachers have high salaries is because the high salaries are needed to keep decent teachers in bad places. Like Columbus Public Schools. Nobody wants to teach in Columbus Public. The suburbs are much nicer. But you make less in the suburbs.
      You pay more for a higher-quality television and CPS pays more for higher-quality teachers. Without the high pay, the best teachers would move to the suburbs and then CPS would have even worse scores than they do. Kind of like you and your pay. You're an idiot so no one pays you well. Don't be salty just because others are less inept and more successful than you.
      And "get a life"? Really? Did you time travel from 1991 just to post your comment?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Kate

      There is a difference between median and mean (or average). The median is the middle value but not necessarily the AVERAGE value. For example, if you had the following numbers: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, the median is 2 but the average is 2.7. Mean is the mathematical term for average. Median is not average. So when you look up stats and find the median income in Ohio is $46K, it is possible that the average income is more or less than that. I suspect it's probably more.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • WOW

      So if you have a degree get into a teacher training program and be a teacher.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • whitman30

      First of all, you left out the stat that shows many of the average citizens are not educated, so my average pay should not be correlated to an income where someone works at Taco Bell, etc.....I love how people misuse data to make a point. That would be like telling a nurse or surgeon, who make more than the average, to get a life too.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  37. jsilva

    The problem is we have held teachers accountable. The students up to 9th are passed to the next grade EVEN IF THEY FAIL THE STATE TEST. They are not held accountable. so, when they get to high school, we have a lot of students failing. THIS IS THE MAIN PROBLEM. STUDENTS AND PARENTS ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE. THEY ARE USED TO GETTING PASSED TO THE NEXT GRADE BY JUST GOING TO SUMMER SCHOOL. DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT?? Add on top of that that resource students, immigrants that cannot read, and you might understand why our high school students are not doing well. Get informed. Thats why Texas has some of the lowest scores in the nation. If we made students attend another year in the same grade because they failed, then we might correct some of these problems. And if the immigrants that enrolled would be forced to learn English, then we might actually have them try to learn it.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Susan

      And do you understand that where I teach, it is not up to the teachers to pass or hold back a students. The student can earn an F in my class and in the majority of his/her classes, but it the ADMINISTRATORS who have the final say in promotion. There have been times that I have stood there with my mouth hanging open wondering how a kid got to go on to high school when I know he/she pretty much failed every class and did awful on their end of grade test. Social promotion. It is ridiculous! And the teachers I work with don't agree with it one bit!

      July 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  38. jsilva

    Someone said our retirement program is one of the best. My cousin works for the post office. he has 345K after 16 years. I have 70K after 21 years and he doesnt even have a college degree. And to the remark to get a summer job, i have a around the year extra job, just like 34% of teachers in my state. And yes, there are bad teachers, but no more than bad mechanics, dentists, etc. Teaching, especially in the tough areas, is a tough and demanding job. When i retire, i have to find a full time job to supplement my pay, otherwise, i cannot afford it.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • pinball

      Um...You're a teacher? I hope it's math or P.E. It's "an" around year job or "a" 'round year job. Hmm...I wasn't sure about this idea but maybe it makes sense in some cases. In any case, why hold teachers' pay for doing a bad job? The bankers all got their multimillion $$ bonuses after they screwed everything up.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  39. Summer time blues

    It is so funny that all you teachers are clearly relaxing on the couch right now, surfin the net and posting to the message boards with such anger regarding this topic while the rest of working America is at work being evaulated by their performances and losing benefits by the quarter. Teachers need to get a grip, some of them chose to be a teacher because they could be off three months out of the year with pay or some of them just wanted the back door to head coaching postions. Don't we think this is a clear sign of a low performer. The amount of homework sent home to these young chidren is unbelievable, I cant imagine being a single parent. What if the parent doesn't understand Alegbra, or some science material, how are they supposed to help their children when they do not remember or never learned the content themselves? That is why we pay a ridiculous amount in school taxes and levies, plus student fees and all the other nickel and dime requests that get sent home weekly. How about the parents teach their kids eveything they need to know at home in the evenings, then during the day it can be study hall and all the teachers can flirt with each other in the lounge and complain about government (their employers) and lazy parents all day. If you need more money to meet your lifestyles, get a dang job in the summertime while you are sleeping in. The state teachers retirement program is about the best thing going, so earn it while you are working. For all those that like to threaten losing teachers to other job markets, nice try, most of you don't have any skills besides acting like you are being shorted somehow. Don't reply to my post, my lunch is over and I have to get some work done so I can get my 2% raise based on great performance.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • teachny

      Trust me, teachers use the summers to take courses, which, by the way require lengthy papers, or to write curriculum for the school districts because they, teachers, see what is lacking, and /or to prep for a new grade level or subject section they have been told to teach for the upcoming year.
      Teaching is a back-loaded job. Teachers get their pensions while others with advanced degrees, which all teachers must have, make more money from the start of their careers. Who do you think teaches the doctors, lawyers, and politicians?

      July 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • jsilva

      It is you that does not know what you are talking about. The max pay for a teacher in my state is 57k with 20 years of experience. With a college degree, any other profession should be getting more than that. A car salesman makes more than that. Add to the 10-15 hours of overtime a week, meetings, and the abuse from parents and kids, its a wonder teachers stay in the profession. Teachers that teach at the tough schools actually should get paid more than the teachers that teach at the GT schools. Tying in performance scores to pay does not address the fact that some schools have a higher demographic than others and you encounter less problems and higher scores not because of the caliber of teachers, but the caliber of the students.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Kriggens

      I'm not sitting on a couch. I'm taking a lunch break while teaching summer school to students who didn't bother to make an effort and learn the subject during the year. These kids wouldn't graduate if I wasn't here. Students are passed up through the grades with no accountability until they land in my high school math classes. They can't add, subtract, multiply or divide, but you expect my job to be based on what they didn't bother to learn in the previous years? The parents weren't much help in the earlier years. Why didn't they do anything about their child not learning basic math skills? Why wasn't the child held accountable for learning? No teacher can *make* as student learn when the student has decided that they don't have to. If you think my job is so easy, come do it. Or stick to your job that doesn't require you to manage 150 people with individual needs and an adamant resistance to doing what they need to do.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • det

      You seem pretty bitter. Maybe you should consider a career change.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • robert.preston

        Hey Det - a career change would be OK except that your boy Obama has killed the jobs market.

        July 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tom Smith

      What???????? I'm stunned.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • veteran teacher

      Teachers are not PAID for summer vacation! We are paid for the time we work which is between 180 and 185 days. The paychecks are spread out over the entire year. So, yes, we do get checks during the summer – but only for the time we worked during the year. This is a disadvantage to teachers because we have to wait to receive our entire pay.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • jb

      Hey summer time blues......What's "alegbra"?

      July 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • robert.preston


      July 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • whitman30

      I will bother because you found time to surf the web, and if you don't like your job, find another one. That mentality of I hate my job; therefore you should too. What kind of stupid crap is that? Yes, let's make Mrs. Jones miserable every day, so she is excited to teach the children. Wow, what a motivator.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  40. Joe

    try cutting their pay for failure.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  41. TJ

    You'll reap what you sow. You want teacher's salary to depend on test scores? Then guess what will happen... teachers will teach how to solve multiple choice questions instead of how to think. Teachers will focus only on those students who "have a chance" to pass, instead of trying to raise the lowest 15% up.

    I've already seen this happen for the high-stakes testing we have now with one teacher (who was good). She basically separates the class during the last month leading up to the Regents exam and lets the ones who "don't have a chance" sit together in the back and do whatever they want as long as they're quiet, while she focuses on those whom she deems "has a chance" to pass.

    Imagine how bad things will be when the entire country is taught in this manner. Forget about our children being able to think independently and actually receive a decent education. I suppose that's just what the upper 1% want – a bunch of mindless middle-class children who can't figure out their own taxes or paychecks or realize that they're being cheated out of a life.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bob

      I was going to write something like this. Thanks for saving me the time.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • seejay james

      Thank you-perfectly said. Let's teach to the test to save our jobs and keep our (meager) pay, ha! Teaching is incredibly difficult and important, and is hardly ever given the respect or funding or support it deserves and needs.

      Education is far more complex than any test than can be devised, yet we seem to cling to the idea of accountability through testing. We need to take a closer look at Finland, who outperforms us in virtually every educational respect, has excellent teachers who are paid highly (and work fewer hours), and whose schools truly educate kids to be life-long learners. Oh, and no standardized tests. Hmm...I'd rather be enrolled there, I think...

      I was lucky enough to have had Montessori for 3 years. Now THERE'S a system that has some answers for us...!

      July 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Rose

      In the small district I work in in California we are told to focus on the kids who have a chance to improve their test scores and don't focus on the "low" kids. Not fair, but a reality!

      July 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  42. Len Grady

    Here is a thought. You have a bunch of parents at home in innder cities doing nothing. Have them go to a school to learn what their kids have to learn. Then link their welfare checks, section 8 housing, food stamps to the performance AND behavior of their child.

    If their child is a discipline problem and performs poorly, cut their funding. It is one thing to not have a job, but it is another to let your kid's life go to crap.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • bdifiore

      Well put!!! Thank god someone has seen the "emperor's new clothes!" Education begins at home. The "bad teacher" is a myth. Certainly, there are some teachers who are better than others as there are some leaders who are better than those who preceded them. Raise the standards in the schools and then fight or ignore those parents who protest. And protest they will!
      After a few years of toeing the line, everyone will be on the same page!!!

      July 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  43. Josh Rambo

    See the problem with test scores is simple... Now I know all the parents out there who believe that their children are perfect little angels and can do no wrong arent going to like this, and the parents who don't care at all about their children's future won't even read this. But, the problem with poor scores and poor students is the parents themselves. Raise your children right, teach them to be respectful and go to school to be something and guess what they will. Stop blaming teachers because if you keep cutting salaries and firing them no one will want to teach your delinquent brats any more! And that's not to say that there are some idiot teachers out there, but that's only a few in the grand scheme of things. So get your heads on straight and do your job as parents and stop blaming others for your short comings!

    July 12, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • teachny

      thank you

      July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  44. Goducks73

    Good reason to change and fake student scores...way to go Ohio.

    July 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  45. howtomakeitunfair

    What happens when a good teacher is given classes of slower students, academically deficient, or problem children to teach while an average or below average teacher who is buddy-buddy with the administration is given the gifted or highly motivated students to teach? I taught for over 25 years and was even teacher of the year twice and saw it happen many times where our school system lost some of the best teachers and kept marginal teachers.

    July 12, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  46. WJNG

    Charlotte Iserbyt: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of the World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RTSZH2xDV4&feature=related

    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/ to download the free ebook.


    If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey (Warning for a Nation)

    July 12, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  47. Shouldn't we grade them too?


    July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  48. Hold On

    The problem with public schools is that they are being run by politicians, who are so out of touch with reality. To base a teachers salary off of student test scores is a ridiculous notion. Come observe me in the classroom and pay me by the effective skills and strategies I use each and everyday. Do not base my pay off my students filling in bubbles on a standardized test, which will never be able to evaluate the full range of knowledge that they possess.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Mad Sam

      The problem with public schools is that they do not receive sufficient funding. The funding that they do receive is squandered due to the undesirables in most schools (bullies and criminals) who make learning impossible. Kill all bullies and liquidate all prisoners (divert prison funds to our system of education) and then watch how this problem is quickly resolved.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  49. Doug

    And by the way...I don't feel that public schools are failing. I believe that families are failing.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  50. Doug

    When teachers have spoken with the Ohio Education Association about many things you all have been saying. The parts about socioeconomic status, inner city situations, parents that work two jobs, and so on (factors that trickle down to kids and hold them back), the "talk to the hand" thing has happened. They, as well as the politicians like our Governor, do not want to hear the reality. They say it is a crutch that teachers are clinging to. The reality is that this is a political football item....I truly believe that public school will eventually go away because they want it to. Voucher schools and private schools will be the norm. Why ? you ask......hmmm....no government funding at all means they don't have this issue to deal with "school funding.". Tax payers in localities will fund these schools that are private.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Would You Look At That

      Taxpayers wouldn't be funding the private schools through their tax dollars, but through tuition. It's a "night and day" comparison between public and private school performances. It is just something else the goverment fails to keep up with. When the government panders to a particular group of people to make it feel like they have a chance (even though our original education standards helped get us to the top of the world), the system fails.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • Doug

        Tuition....Tax Dollars.....what exactly is the distinction between these two things if public school doesn't exist anymore? It is still money out of your pocket to send your child to school. The only difference being that people who have no child in school pay nothing, which isnt the case now. Govrnment funding will cease to exist....like I said...the government is trying to get public education to go away so they don't have to deal with it.

        July 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  51. helerina

    I have taught at two completely different schools with different student populations, getting much different results with the same teaching style and strategies on the district-wide tests. This law would basically mean that I would NEVER go back to teach the students who did not perform as well, even though they needed my help and expertise even more so.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • coloradom

      helerina: that's the problem though. Just because one style works with a specific set of students doesn't mean that it will work with another. Adaptation must be made and teachers need to figure out how to change their style to something that works with their particular student population. I do believe that parents play a huge and important role in the education of their children. If parents aren't invested in their children, it's going to be difficult for any teacher to teach them effectively. The only answer is to either educate the parents and try to get them involved more, or setup "boarding schools" where teachers and administrative staff manage the entire life of the children. Unfortunately, you can't make parents be good parents.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  52. Jenny

    I wonder how Physical Education teachers will be paid? In California, kids have a fitness test they must pass in order to graduate from high school. So I guess if the PE teachers kids can't run a mile or do 50 push-ups, the teacher should be considered a failure and have their wages cut?

    July 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • MAD

      Thank you! Pretty similar to my comment!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • khanig

      You tell them, luv!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Teach12

      Ok...this law is not based on one student. It is based on a majority or certain percent of your class being proficient or satisfactory. If most of ur kids can't pass the fitness test then NO you should not be paid as much as someone who worked hard and most of their kids did.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • Bob

        My daughter is in a learning support math class. The teacher does an excellent job, but all her classes are learning support. My daughter does all her homework, participates in class, and tries her best, but never does well on tests. I'm sure that the other students in the class face the same problem. Under the Ohio law, this teacher would never receive a raise, even though she deserves one.

        July 12, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  53. MAD

    So for all of those in favor of this...what about the teachers who teach a subject that isn't tested? I know for a fact in middle school, social studies is not tested, and science is only tested in 8th grade. What about teachers who teach students with disabilities such as ED teachers-teachers working with students who have emotional disturbances or MD/MH teachers-teachers working with students who are muliple-disabled/multi-handicapped? How are those teacher to be evaluated when a) ED teachers typically support the student in the learning environment and aren't directly responsible for instruction and b) MD/MH teachers teach all subjects but focus those subjects on life and daily living skills that the student can use in an independent future. Also, MD/MH students have significantly altered testing compared to regular education students. The altered testing is completed directly by the teacher and not by the student so can't the teacher make the student look as good as they possibly can? Wouldn't that boost MD/MH teacher scores?

    July 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  54. AgeofInsanity

    Whatever happened to the notion of being fired for not doing your job to start with! While there are probably a few teachers who do such an outstanding job they deserve some form of bonus pay. In order to obtain bonus pay those test scores should exceed the minimum standards.

    The second point, how meaningful are the test scores to begin with? Students need to develop critical thinking skills not merely be able to recite some list of facts.

    If one wants to make the argument that teachers are not paid enough to begin with that is entirely different discussion. Simply using bonus pay to elevate teacher salaries is not the the way to go about it.

    Why is education in so much trouble today? Four or five generations ago the problems manifesting themselves today were not an issue. Basic skills as known as the 3 R's have not changed that much if at all. Throughout most of our history the country has dealt with large populations that didn't speak the national language and yet those folks seemed to make it.

    The fundamental problems today are all attributable to working families. Mom is no longer home when the kids finish their school day. Kids are largely left to their own devices. No accountability, family structure, discipline, expectations, etc. Of course, there are exceptions, but not many. Schools are not going to fix these problems, they never have and they never will.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  55. Salagubang

    One more blow to the hard working teachers who are already overworked, underpaid, and most of all undervalued by many in administration, by parents, and by students. No wonder many teachers burn out early, and the really good ones don't even want to teach anymore.
    Ohio will have to make plans for recruiting teachers from other countries to teach in their inner cities and rural areas public schools.
    Why can't administration offer professional development opportunities so teachers can continuously learn new skills and upgrade their expertise which will translate into better classroom experience for both teachers and students? Why can't parents support and partner with teachers on a regular basis and monitor the progress of their children? Students who fell safe and comfortable will be more engaged and will do better in standardized test. This will happen only when teachers feel secure and comfortable in their jobs and do not have the uncertainly of losing their livelihood based on their student's performance on some standardized test.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Parent

      Salagubang, when teachers go on strike during a school semester, they lose credibility.... WEED THEM UNION BABIES OUT!!!!!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
      • Jenny

        I have taught for 15 years. I am in a member of the local teachers association. It takes a lot for us to go on strike. First, the bargaining committee (made of teachers and district human resources people) meet in the summer and work out a contract that both can agree upon. he amount of money available is public record. The teachers who are on this committee volunteer their time. Anyway, each side asks for what they want and then they go back and each side usually makes concessions. IF they cannot come to an agreement, the contract goes into arbitration and a judge determines the salary the teachers will receive based upon the money available. The teachers vote to accept the terms or not. If and only if, teachers vote to NOT accept the terms from the arbitration, they will strike. The worst thing teachers can do for themselves, their students, and the school district is to strike so it doesn't happen often in my district. Two years ago the teachers in my district accepted a 10% pay cut for two years and an increase in health care premiums. I cannot imagine how the district would determine pay for teachers without hiring a bunch of human resources people at the district level and then that takes more money out of the classroom.

        July 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  56. Parent

    YEAAAAAA... YOOO HOOO... Nothing has disgusted me more than to see school teachers go on STRIKE, while holding our kids as hostage. Finally..... Hire teachers who want to teach...

    July 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • judy bellon

      I am Not a teacher and would not have the job at any salery. Teaching is the last thing they can do because all day they are dealing with parents that know more than anybody else on the planet. If these parents would teach little Johnny that the world does not revolve around him and some other life rules would help . (would like to see some of these know it all parents do the job) thanks for letting me vent. EVERY TEACHER I KNOW FEELS THIS WAY.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Really?

      Parent: "hire teachers who want to teach"? You just don't get it, do you. The teachers who care about education–who want to teach–are leaving. It's a lot easier to do the job if people who haven't been in a classroom in 25 years would stop making judgments and imposing stupid rules. Your plan for attracting "teachers who want to teach" is to overload classrooms with 35-40 students, let students keep their cell phones, give teachers no support from home, cut their salaries, and criticize them. I can't believe that people aren't beating down the doors to get into such a profession.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • teachny

      We all want to teach. The system holds US hostage.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • DaveinTexas

      Your ignorance is being spread to your children, be careful!

      July 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  57. Jason

    Unfortunately, for us a political figure will never say what the true problem is. We are by far more responsible for our child’s development than a Teacher is. We send our children off to school and put the burden on the establishment to ensure the teacher is doing a good job. We leave this up to politicians to make choices that we can agree with. What he or she cannot say is “Take some personal responsibility” as no parent wants to hear that.

    A good education starts at home by us, the parent. We are responsible for ensuring our child is meeting expectations. We are responsible for monitoring our child’s progress. We are responsible for finding out what is failing and reporting it. We fail. Instead, we vote for people who will promise to take that burden from us and regulate it for us. We do this simply because we are too lazy or too engrossed in our own situations and find it easier to shift the blame. Of course there are good and bad teachers. If we were doing our part, we would not need a policy in place to try to weed them out. We would know and we would do something about it.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Parent

      Jason, I just had to repeat your words.. A good education starts at home by us, the parent. We are responsible for ensuring our child is meeting expectations. We are responsible for monitoring our child’s progress. We are responsible for finding out what is failing and reporting it. We fail. Instead, we vote for people who will promise to take that burden from us and regulate it for us. We do this simply because we are too lazy or too engrossed in our own situations and find it easier to shift the blame. Of course there are good and bad teachers. If we were doing our part, we would not need a policy in place to try to weed them out. We would know and we would do something about it.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  58. sdpjc

    I am sure there are a lot of problems with the test, but that simply means the test needs to be improved and only be a portion of the evaluation of a teacher (along with observations and such). Tests dont necessarily have to be multiple choice knowledge questions, I am sure you could create one that had real problem solving in them is well.

    I also know that a big problem with under performing students is poor parents. However, currently the state cannot evaluate or fire parents. We have to accept the situation each kid is in, and try our best with the time we have to improve the student. Blaming parents is great, but we can only change what we can change so we should focus on the difference that CAN be made in the classroom. If no difference can be made, then we should just abolish schools altogether and let the parents take care of it themselves.

    I think charter schools are useful in that they give us chances to experiment with different methods and figure out what works before implementing such changes into our public schools.

    The bottom line is that we need to find some way to evaluate teachers' performance and give them raises or fire them based on it. Maybe tests are part of that equation, maybe not.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • khanig

      And in the mean time? What? Let teachers lose their jobs because we need to alimprove" the test? How about we do that with YOUR job? Makes you uncomfortable? Good. Like most people, you're reasonable. But the legislatures that are decreeing this for their corporate sponsors (thanks to Citizens United) are not. They care not one bit for education. Kids don't vote, son. So they gut away and make up how "bad" things are so reasonable people like yourself and many others are fooled into voting for their nonsense.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Nathan

      Changing the tests isn't so simple. The testing industry is huge, and it maintains powerful connections in Washington and in the state capitols. The big testing corporations control the market, and they produce demand by getting legislators to pass testing laws. Part of their sales schtick is to say that they are experts on testing and that teachers and schools are sort of dumb and corrupt and lazy, etc. and not qualified to perform then right kind of testing.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
      • Nathan

        I should add that there also obscene amounts of money to be made in testing. Money that would otherwise go into teaching and learning.

        July 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • teachny

        The testing companies, College Board, and other businesses are the ones who are making the money. They must have a powerful lobby in Washington !

        July 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Cashawk

      charter schools have been no more successful

      July 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  59. Thor Mentor

    In the ISD where I work as a teacher in an inner city school ( in a state where they say everything is bigger), similar policy will be implemened starting this 2012-2013. It's a year ahead than in Ohio . There are many variables which account for students' achievement aside from teachers – parents, admi, politicians, and students themselves, to name a few. I do my job well and work hard but I am not a miracle worker. Let all the stakeholders be accountable for the sake of fairness.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • khanig


      July 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  60. Ryan

    Statistics and studies show that status model approaches (like this) are largely unrealistic and poor indicators of student performance and ability. Ohio needs to embrace a growth model/VA model approach to truly and effectively evaluate teachers.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • khanig

      Exactly as well.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  61. Nathan

    Of course teachers should be paid based on merit and performance! But that is very different from being paid based on test scores.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • khanig

      You bet!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  62. Mr. Garber

    What a failure for Ohio's schools and Ohio's students! I am fully supportive of holding teachers accountable, but how can you determine someone's livelihood based on students that are only under that teacher's supervision for an hour or less each day? When they are at home more than they are at school? I just don't see this working, and I see it forcing many good teachers from the provision.

    Why don't we just put video cameras in each teacher's class? I would much rather THAT than judging teachers on THIS.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • WOW

      That's fine with me. Then everyone will see how hard I really work.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  63. khanig

    I wonder how many people who have commented that this is a good thing would like THEIR job relying on aa single test score that they have no control over how the test was designed or by whom or why, or if the test was designed by legislative corporate cronies witha poitical axe to grind against teachers, or if the test is valid and reliable and has no political bias. Also, if their job relied on parents that don't care, a gutting of funds for even textbooks that students are to (maybe...in their spare time off the unsupervised internet or video games until the wee hours of the morning) read, parents too exhausted from 3 part-time jobs because GOP legislatures want to get Obama out of office so they purposely trash the economy to make him look bad, hence parent's 3 jobs to put food on the table, 40-45 kids per class w/o supplies again cut by the states because, hey, kids don't vote. And, let's not forget that states have passed laws that trash school's ability to even discipline in the sligjtest w/o being sued. And as one commentator noted, a 12 year old who just doesn't like the teacher that day he took the test, knows the techer's job depends on his test scoren and is aware that he is in power now and not the school or teacher. So, if you think that it's sucha good idea to do thisd to teachers, then let's do it for doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc... And YOU dear reader thsat supports this legislation. Let's see how YOU like having YOUR job depend on the whim of politicians and 12 year olds.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  64. Matt Thornton

    stupid. Now ALL of the teachers will cheat.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • S

      And the teachers that do not cheat are pushed to reach the outstanding scores of some that do. How many great teachers will leave over the next few years? What kind of teachers will be left and will it cause a major shortage. I was offered twice the pay to go into a management position when I graduated from college. I did not accept because of my love for teaching and children. This makes it less fun. Sooooo much stress.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  65. Teach12

    I am a teacher and I agree with this new law! I am a teacher in one of the lowest states in the US. I teach at the lowest school in the state and every year I have scores that are some of the highest in the school, district, and the state. Great teachers should be compensated for their hard work. There is no excuse for such a high percent of minimal performing students. I don't care how awful my students' parents are. It's my job to work with what I have and ensure they learn too. Education and a few others is the only job where employees are not paid based on performance. Some of us work extra hard and should be paid accordingly. Those who don't or can't should find something else to do.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Corey

      I agree. But you cannot rule out that there is problems with that approach. Such as bad teachers padding their scores to get a fatter pay check. I believe this has happened before if I'm not mistaken. No Child Left Behind is bringing to light those problems. Should it be based on standard tests that the teacher has no control over? Because I just don't see how it would work if it is tests that are administered and graded by the teachers.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
      • Teach12

        In my state scores are administered by teachers and a proctor. They are sent to the department of education to be graded. They are not graded by teachers. I agree with you as well; there are positives and negatives to any situation. I just get frustrated sometimes when I and others work hard and we get the same pay as that teacher who talks on her cell phone or sits at her desk all day. 🙂

        July 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Momof2

      While I agree that teacher's should be held accountable, I am wondering how this new law will take into consideration the diverse learning styles that make up school district, or how many students that struggle with test taking? I imagine that for a teacher such as yourself, it is easy to agree with this law as your students are high achievers and you believe that you should be compensated for this...I'm not sure that every teacher would agree...

      July 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
      • Teach12

        Momof2...I am sure that every teacher would Not agree with me, thats exactly my point. Every year I get low performing students not 2 or 3 but a majority of the class. I know how hard it is to get students to learn, but it is NOT optional in my class. It should not be optional in any class. In my school it is 98% African American with 97% free or reduced lunch...still no excuse for failure.

        July 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • teacher

      Jason and "Teach 12", I agree with what Doug wrote. Please read it. A major factor Jason doesn't consider is that many teachers are not married and not part of 2-income households. Less than 50% of households are 2-income and teachers don't have the ability to make sales incentives, bonuses, etc. that other families can use for savings. The stress that occurs as described in Doug's entry can cause teachers to be very difficult to live with during the school year. I won't even begin to explain all the stressful factors which are compounded by not being able to get enough sleep or even being able to use the restroom when one needs to do so. On top of that "Teacher in Ohio" is naive or has not been in that low income area long enough to realize that those students are less likely to sleep and eat the day of testing or on instruction days. Yes. They may have more room for growth measures, but there will be many students whose lives are so chaotic that nothing a teacher does will matter. This is not a reason to give up on them, but that is what the state will force the good teachers to do if we want longevity in our profession, we will have to go to school districts where we can teach students who are somewhat ready to learn or at least having their basic human needs met on a regular basis.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  66. what's going on

    IT'S ABOUT TIME TEACHERS BECAME ACCOUNTABLE. Another good reason to get rid of UNIONS!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Matt Thornton

      Why? Quit serving the interests of the rich. Union's are good for the common person. Don't let your jealousy bring people to wage slavery.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • D Fresh

      Shouldn't the students be the ones held accountable???? Duh, teachers are there to provide the material to learn. It is the student that needs to put in the effort. You could have the worlds greatest teacher and if the students don't care to learn they won't.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
      • Teach12

        D fresh I completely disagree. Children are going to be children. It is my job as a teacher to make sure they learn whether they want to or not. It's my job to make it engaging and interesting so that they will want to learn. Yes, they have some responsibility but it should not soley be left up to them.

        July 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
      • Kriggens

        I wanted to reply to Teach12, but it doesn't give that option. Teach12, I don't believe that you are a teacher. Or if you are, you certainly don't teach high school. Children may be children, but on a high school level the independent "I know all I need to know" kicks in and students will balk at learning and being held accountable. It is the student's responsibility to make the effort to learn what is being taught. Your demographic sounds exactly like mine. I teach the students who have failed almost every math class in middle school and high school. My students come from a collection of teenage parents, juvenile offenders, low income, gangs, and drug abusers. Those are the student's demographics, not necessarily their parents. My scores are the highest in my district and school, but not in my state. If you teach the same demographic as I do, then you teach in a terrible state for your scores to compare that highly. My scores beat my district average because I hold students accountable. I expect them to pass because I know they can learn the subject. I offer extra credit and I give them every opportunity to make up work and re-take assessments. The goal is that they learn the information. No fluffing. If they aren't held accountable, they will take the typical teenage way out and not do it. If they are allowed to blame someone else, they will.

        July 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  67. Richard

    Everyone it seems except public sector workers (and some big executives) is employed based on merit of work and compensated for it. Teachers can adhere to the same standards the rest of us have to. Given their positions, they should be held to a higher standard.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • unbelievable

      At your job you have direct control over your work...as a teacher, its up to the students to do work at home and the parents to be involved. The same parents BTW who often think their kids do no wrong.

      So yeah, not exactly the same setup is it?

      Kinda the reason suburban school often our perform inner city schools. Very little to do with the teaching and very much to do with the environment and parental involvement.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Momof2

      Teacher's can do all they can and work to the best of their ability...however, if we are dealing with low income, low achieving population, that is a different story....

      July 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Annie

      Hey Richard, just out of curiosity, if your job performance was based on your ability to manage individuals who Could not afford to eat breakfast or lunch? And/or were abused, had autism, or maybe didn't sleep the night before because their heat was turned off. Or how about if 50% of your employees didnt speak English? How do you think your job performance would turn out? Oh! And by the way, this isn't a compensation plan. We are not talking bonuses, just salary. Just to earn that $35k salary. Trying to pay off the $70k loan taken to acquire the degree.
      Hey Richard, let me tell you. I have been an elementary educator and I have been in corporate sales, (which incidentally I was #1 in the country for the last 3 years), and no job is harder or more challenging than teaching. So screw your "job performance" BS.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • amanda

      merit pay does not work in acheiving higher scores studies prove it...
      that said I also think it is silly to believe that as a teacher I will say...oh..I better teach this more...work harder... or I will get fired or not recieve a raise.... I bust my tail off not because I may get fired if I don't or I won't get a pay raise... but because it is the profession I LOVE.
      If this is what is coming I better get an expense acount for the $1000's I put into my classroom and student every year... someone above said it is one of the only professions where merit plays little part WELL how may other professions drop thousands of dollars a year into their job? doctors do not have to pay for the medicine they perscribe or give you before a surgery...last year out of 26 student I had 4 countem 4 students that came with needed supplies such as pencils, folders and notebooks....I provided the rest as did those same parents send extras for those who came with nothing but their uniform....
      this year I had a student you found out her father was dying of cancer the 2nd day of tests is that going to count against me? Because lets face it her mind was NOT on the test....I would love to see those who are for this be willing to put their job on the line or their pay all in the hands of children who are unpredictable with what they have going on at home (if they have one)....
      if you want to do this it also needs to be at their level as well... I have special ed. kids that just look at the test and feel defeated before they lift a pencil... I had a student who is amazing at math this year shut down the moment the story problems came because the reading was above his level. before we jump on this wagon there needs to be a good discussion and ways found to make this work. Students need to be tested at their level... they need to be tested coming in and going out and that growth measured...if a child does not come to me reading at a fourth grade level but a first grade level then I cannot be expected to get them reading at a 5th grade level by the end of the year.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  68. i like

    i like turtles

    July 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • i also like turtles

      turtles are pretty cool.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
      • robert.preston

        Turtle soup
        Obama is toast

        July 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  69. Phil in Oregon

    The worst part of this is the ceding of power to the students. Giving power to children is always a bad idea and will never produce good results.The US govt could go a long way toward giving students a good example by getting some things done.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  70. unbelievable

    It doesn't work and it NEVER WILL.

    All this will do is make teachers teach to a test and the kids won't learn anything useful. Has no one actually looked at the evidence that shows this doesn't work at all?

    Also, Good luck getting any good teachers to teach in bad schools with failing scores...why would you? It's like the difference between working for a fortune 500 company and a mom and pop hop in the private sector.

    Must be politically motivated because there is no other explanation for such a dumb decision.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • teacherinohio

      I teach in Ohio in a high-performing district and I think that this could potentially discourage teachers from teaching in high-achieving districts, contrary to what most people believe. I have also taught in a low-performing district in a poor area for 3 years previously. This model is based off of student GROWTH. While it is not easy, the potential to produce large amounts of student growth is much greater at the low-performing schools than it is in the high-performing schools. I had quite a few kids make 2-3 years worth of growth when I taught in the low-performing district. It is very rare for kids to make 2-3 years worth of growth in my current school because 90% of them come to me at or above grade-level. Think about it: Would you rather have a class of students that averaged say, a 40% on the previous year's test or a class that averaged an 85% (including about 1/3 that scored at least a 95%)? The evaluation model is based on GROWTH, not your class's overall passage rate. As a teacher whose salary puts food on the table for a wife and 2 kids, I'd much rather take the class that averaged a 40% the previous year, on the premise that it is much easier to increase my class average 15% from 40% to 55%, than it is to increase 15% from 85% to 100%. If you have a bunch of kids that score in the 90s, there's very little room for growth and since growth a greater salary, I'd rather deal with the other issues that come with teaching in an impoverished area, if in the end it makes me more likely to make a greater salary and better provide for my family. If new system was just based on the passage rate, then yeah low-performing districts in poor areas would have a HUGE problem attracting and retaining teachers. However, since the system is based on GROWTH I don't think this will be a problem. I think that the law is fair for the most part and I am very interested to see how it will be implemented.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
      • teacher

        "Teacher in Ohio", I agree with what Doug wrote. Please read it. A major factor Jason doesn't consider is that many teachers are not married and not part of 2-income households. Less than 50% of households are 2-income and teachers don't have the ability to make sales incentives, bonuses, etc. that other families can use for savings. The stress that occurs as described in Doug's entry can cause teachers to be very difficult to live with during the school year. I won't even begin to explain all the stressful factors which are compounded by not being able to get enough sleep or even being able to use the restroom when one needs to do so. On top of that "Teacher in Ohio" is naive or has not been in that low income area long enough to realize that those students are less likely to sleep and eat the day of testing or on instruction days. Yes. They may have more room for growth measures, but there will be many students whose lives are so chaotic that nothing a teacher does will matter. This is not a reason to give up on them, but that is what the state will force the good teachers to do if we want longevity in our profession, we will have to go to school districts where we can teach students who are somewhat ready to learn or at least having their basic human needs met on a regular basis.

        July 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • robert.preston

        What's your salary?

        July 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • jb

      If you need a teacher at a low performing, failing school just call Teach12. He/she seems to have all of the answers and solutions to this problem.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  71. bart Simpson

    I agree that teachers should be evaluated based on the performance.
    However, be very cautious using the test score as yard stick. Even use partially can create some problem
    1) not all students are created equal. some bad teacher may create terrible students. However, in many instances, many students may take longer time or different approach to learn. Student with bad grades don't mean the teachers are bad
    2) It is implemented in Asia. As a result, teachers beat up students for not doing good grades. Students get good grades can do anything they want such as bullying as long as students are getting good grades.
    3) In Asia, since the teachers push so hard, many students (including good students) learn to cheat. In some cases, teachers help students to cheat. Remember school funding depend on the test scores. Many teachers will do anything they could to boost the scores
    4) In Asia, many teachers just gave up the bad performing students. After all, after severely beating, students can't reach certain scores. What is the point? Therefore many teachers concentrate helping good students. In many cases, students get beat up severely for 95% test score. however, the students who receive 10% will receive this remark "better improve your guessing scores". If all the students are F students, the teachers will not do anything

    Teacher should not be rewarded based on seniority.
    However, using score as yardstick is very dangerous. Schools are not like factories.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Cashawk

      The reality in education is that bad teachers tend to get the strongest students. Good teachers tend to get the students who need the one to one help; who need the benefits of a teacher who is going to give a damn. If you judge these teachers based on test scores, in all likelihood, they will be rated at a lower level than the poor teacher. Not a fair methodology at all.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  72. Minnesota teacher

    What principal in their right mind wants to deal with 500 parents calling and demanding that their child be in the classroom of the teacher(s) with the highest scores? For many the solution is to privatize schools so those parents with the means can pay a little extra for that "privilege." The Republicans who implemented NCLB have a goal of eliminating public education. This is just the next step.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  73. stainpouch

    Inner city schools will find it even harder to find teachers. Charter schools and schools in wealthy districts will not. Thanks Ohio.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • khanig

      In my city newspaper, it cited 16 school corporation and the 3 charter schools. All public schools improved state scores (the "expected" average was 87.3%). The 3 charter schools scored (53% or a bit higher 54.6%). Yup. Public schools are such a disgrace with those "awful" union teachers, and those corporate sponsored charter schools that are draining funds from public schools are SUCH a "success" story. Right.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  74. unowhoitsme

    IT DOESN'T WORK...you haven't done your research...the states that are doing this having failing educational systems. Teachers will 'teach to the test' and not the skills that need to be taught. The high school dropout rate will increase. PLAN ON BUILDING MORE PRISONS.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • J

      so lets change the tests so they're evaluating those "skills that nee to be taught" you speak of.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  75. Mike

    When are they going to base the pay of parents on kids' scores also? What can teachers do when kids don't care because their parents don't care about an education?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
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