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. suzannel

    Perhaps if teachers' pay should be determined by the test scores of their pupils then police officers' salaries can be determined by the level of crime in their community. Dentists can be paid based on the number of cavities their patients have.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  2. Penny Byrd

    Guess what Ohio and any and all other states considering this, you just cut your nose off to spite your face. Of course this will only benefit those pushing charters and privatizing education. Prediction: All those teaching presently who are even near retirement age will retire. This is over a million teachers. Where are you going to get a million fools to take these jobs? Next, all those with 5 or less years of service will leave for different fields. Finally, those who were considering going into education will not. Who would go into a profession where your job depends on the whims of a child? Would you go into debt to buy houses, cars, or any big ticket items when your job could be gone if your test scores are not what the admin thinks they should be? Leave teaching NOW fellow teachers. Make a plan to get out. After we're gone, then maybe the self-serving politicians and these stupid parents will realize, "Where is the babysitter?" which is basically what they think you are.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  3. lance corporal

    more radical right nonsensical focus on scoring...... not results mind you
    and with most every thing they do it is a poorly thought out knee jerkk reaction that will have the opposite effect of what they want
    can we go back to when elite was not a dirty word and smart people ran things?????

    July 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  4. caesarbc

    Could it possibly be... that the teachers who deserve the amount of pay they do get actually do a better job than most??

    Or, is it the fact that conservatives reach for conspiracy first?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • jc

      If politics and and emotions could be left out of it, it might work...but we all know that is impossible.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  5. B

    I think it's appropriate to measure students' knowledge and skills. Those tests are not a good way to measure teacher effectiveness. It's pretty obvious actually: smarter kids score higher. So, crappy teachers with smart kids will make more (even with "growth" models). Good luck Ohio.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  6. Linda

    I think this is so stupid! Not every kid is born to be a straight A student. Many kids have learning disablilites. You can't gauge what a student has learned by test scores. Some kids struggle taking tests.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  7. KasichFatCat

    Kasich is lucky we don't apply the same standard to politicians. His pay would be negative.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  8. Mei

    Bad grades has a lot to do with our culture and dysfunctional family situation–probably more so than poor teachers. Most people who go into education WANT to teach and try to do a good job. Maybe if they are in the field for too many years, they might become slack but that goes with every occupation. Seriously, I doubt anyone would want to take a test on THEIR job to determine pay status. Not only is it demeaning, but this law will keep teachers out of the state!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  9. Antar Rowe

    Standardized testing is not a good way to determine how much students know. This is not good!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • t

      then what kind of criterion do you suggest?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
      • J

        Portfolio based assessment would probably be my choice. Throughout the year pieces of writing from english class, math assignments, science lab writeups will be collected. Parents can get feedback from the portfolio that is more meaningful than a letter grade and the teachers who will be teaching the student the following year will have a better idea of where they're at.

        This also provides a more accurate example of the real world. After graduating from college not many applications require your GPA and those that do normally place it at a lower priority than experience. 5 years out of college and I would be shocked if an employer asked what my GPA was or SAT or GRE score. What they want to know is what did I do in my previous jobs and what skills did I pick up. A school portfolio fills this same role.

        The one downside of portfolios is that you don't get a nice statistic from it. You can offset this to some degree by providing rubrics for grading the portfolio but the work being done in each class will very to some degree which makes and statistics not so great. I could go on as to why that statistic isn't important and how much more effective it could be to empower teachers by providing greater freedom with a more localized oversight and less top down management but this post is already too long.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  10. OkieDokie

    What a great idea! Let's extend it to all public and private sector jobs. A patient doesn't respond to a doctor's treatment, don't pay him or the hospital or the nurses, HR staff, or purchasing agents. Army loses a battle, don't pay the soldiers, fire their commander. A drilling rig hits a dry hole, fire the roughnecks. A truck has a flat, fire the driver. Bandits rob a convenience store, fire the police. A house catches fire, fire the fire department.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Mei

      You said that very well! I honestly think no one else would want to do this in their own field–including the law makers who are passing this new law. Lets give them a test each year in order to get paid.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  11. Paganguy

    First of all, test scores are not productive. Some students are brilliant, some just stumble along, lots of the in-between
    Secondly this stupid linkage idea was invented by lawyers (members of the legislature and the governor)
    So let's link the politicians' pay to their performance.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  12. Steve

    Anyone that thinks this is a solution needs to read Chapter 1 of Freakonmics: Discovering cheating as applied to teachers. There are actual test cases where it was proven with certainty that teachers cheated on grading students in order to keep their jobs.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  13. Former teacher who said no way

    Sounds more like 'race to the bottom' instead.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • acurrentteacher

      All the teachers will want to teach at the top school and then no one will want to teach at the poorer school.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
      • fp737

        My thoughts exactly.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Duh...

        Yeah, you will see even more teacher recruitment issues for poorly performing districts.

        Teachers have little overall impact on the academic success of the students.

        Studies have shown the two biggest indicators are the mother's educational level and the family socio-economic level.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  14. Matt

    This week: teacher pay linked to test scores

    Next week: teachers want to expel stupid students

    Seriously, this law is poorly conceived. Teachers now have a financial incentive to abandon struggling schools.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • jk

      This will also make every teacher avoid failing schools like the plague. Why would you want to teach at a school where you know you'll earn nothing for tons of work to try to generate interest among disinterested kids with failure parents?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Matt

      As if teachers don't already try to load difficult and unruly students? What's so scary about accountability? Teachers hold the lives of students in their hands, as much as any surgeon or doctor! You want a surgeon who's killed a higher percentage than the next? He or she was probably only dealt the dying ones right? Yes, teaching is hard, and of course, students have different abilities, but we must trust in "teachers professionalism" to overcome those obstacles. (I use quotes not out of sarcasm but because it comes from a phrase with a already described meaning)

      July 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • concerned parent

        My concern is that there is no accountabilty for students or parents. Parents have a huge impact on the success of their students and all responsibitly falls only on teachers. There is so much more to being an educated person than a test score and teaching to a test waters down education. I am fine with holding teachers accountable, but what about holding students accountable for their success?

        July 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • aine

      Coaches make more than reading, writing, and math teachers,,,,,,,shows what is important in many school districts, plus benefits are being cut helter skelter...look what is happening in Wisconsin. Education SHOULD be a high priority. People think teachers " have it so easy" ...and do not know of all the prep work involved plus paperwork Give teachers a break! SUPPORT THEM

      July 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  15. bubbub

    This will backfire because it could only work if all students had the same exact ability. The bad students will get bad scores, teachers who are good will get a better job and teachers who are unable to get a better job will remain, thus you get worse and worse teachers teaching the worse students. Furthermore, it will encourage the reduction of academic standards (as if they weren't already pitiful).

    July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  16. 0RacKL

    Another example of the business model taking over in education, as if the most valuable parts of the educational process could even be put into numbers. This is exactly the kind of crap that resulted in my early retirement from academia. You can have it, I don't want it. Aren't they even wondering why US test results are so low in comparison with other countries?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  17. Aldin Chapman

    Things like this is why new teachers leave the state and teach elsewhere. Ohio should be paying the top salary given that this is the worst state to live in. I'm taking my talents to California, because Ohio sucks

    July 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Mandor

      Um....not sure California's going to have money to pay teachers... budget shortfalls and municipalities declaring bankruptcy and chopping state workers pay to the federal minimum wage... I'd choose a differnent state

      July 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • good4u

      afraid of accountability?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • seriously?

        No it's not fear of accountability that have teachers in an uproar about this law. Maybe you haven't been around children of late, but it is almost impossible to get students to learn when they are disinterested, which is the case for most students. Inner city schools will suffer the most, as they have some of the lowest performance levels. These are the students who need education the most because it can create a better future for them. Many teachers already do not want to teach at inner city schools because these students tend to be disinterested, difficult, and have low-scores. This law provides financial incentive for teachers to avoid as well as flee from these schools.
        Just an fyi, these state test and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) were created in part to even the level for these inner city students. Many parents could care less about education and that transfers to their children. Additionally, education takes a backseat in childrens' priority when people are more worried about where there next meal is coming from. This has spilled into non-inner city schools with the current economy. *Teachers cannot change their students current socio-economic situation nor the current culture of the U.S., which does not seem to value education as much as it should. There should be accountability but linking it to test score is not the answer.... Also, something to take into consideration: The dynamics of our population has changed. These test are geared toward white, middle-class people and this group is becoming a minority. Thus these test should be adjusted.

        July 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  18. RoyInOregon

    This is a horrible idea. Teachers will gravitate toward classrooms in which students are already performing well - of course, avoiding the "at risk" kids who may need them more, and even show more promise, but whose progress may not be demonstrated yet in test scores. Sometimes the most important contribution a teacher can make in a kid's life is just getting that kid to enjoy school, or even just seeing that school may have something positive to offer. The impact of that first teacher's efforts may only be realized in years to come.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  19. sheldon

    Makin them work for their money!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  20. Jay

    Cheating will abound. Get rid of NCLB and hold parents responsible.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  21. Asturiano

    Let's link legislative pay to their percentage of votes and their legislative effectiveness.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Jay

      Nice! You are so right, Asturiano!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  22. Larry

    A law like this is akin to Aparthied. This mindset ignors the fact that some people started off on third base yet think they hit a triple. This is the kind of stuff that's going to cause the rich to become poor in an instant. Keep it up and watch the American Spring happen...

    July 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  23. CTEd

    Can we say.. cheating. Who thinks that there won't be cheating by teachers if their bonus depends on the test. Good teachers again will be paid less, bad teachers will cheat, schools will cheat. Principles will cheat for teachers they like. It's already happened with NCLB.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  24. Mandor

    I don't entirely disapprove... in a lot of jobs, all that matters is results. Even if you're teamed up on a multi-person project, what matters is did the project succeed. If not, doesn't really matter whose fault it was, it counts against you.

    On the other hand... get ready for a round of inflated student grades and scandals about test cheating... no not all teachers will do it at first, but it will gradually creep in more and more, you know it, i know it, everyone here knows it.

    Also get ready for a lot of people who would make good teachers saying "to hell with this" and doing something else for a career.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  25. Huh?

    This is good because we will find that the same classroom's teachers are being replaced. This will hopefully reveal to those who don't get it that the parents must help educate their kids!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  26. Robert

    As a retired teacher, I can tell you this is absolutely idiotic! I have seen students taking the BIG TEST and being finished with it in minutes because they just didn't care! So stupid!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  27. helerina

    This is perfect! Give 12 year olds even more control in the classroom, including the power to get his/her teacher fired! This sounds great! (Insert sarcastic smile here: ).

    July 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  28. Texasteacher

    I am a Texas high school teacher and I would WELCOME some kind of merit based pay. Much like a commission. You get a base salary and bonuses for performance. I am an excellent teacher and it is completely asinine that a bad teacher next door to me can make 10K – 15K more than me just because they have taught for 15 more years than me. There are ways to deal with the differences in socioeconomics and tying it to test scores. You do statistical analysis of the entire "group" in that category and then do a comparison of your school / classroom to the average. It can work and it should be a PORTION of the evaluation process. Teachers should NO LONGER be paid solely on how long they have taught.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Alexandra

      Amen! There is always a was to evaluate someone's effectiveness at their job.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Ken

      I fully agree with you. My pay is determined solely on my performance for the year. I screw up, and I might not make the 20K+ bonus at the end of the year. You loose 5 or 10 or even 15,000 due to the fact youdid not preform to your employers expectations, and guess what. YOU BUST YOUR BUTT off for the next merit rating. Good job Ohio!!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  29. Blondie

    OMG. Utter nonesense. What is happening? WHO in their right mind would go into teaching if THIS is the reward?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  30. Educated Guess

    Stupid is as stupid does – stupid politicians and stupid Ohio. Grading a teacher on how a student performs is totally asinine. How much more backward can they get?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  31. oneanddone


    July 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  32. gary

    I'm retired teacher. Tying scores to wages is sick. It won't work. Hire good, professional teachers and trust them.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • midas

      Hire good teachers and tie their pay to performance... it's about time they did this. It will work!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • Robby

        I will not work and this is why. Once Kids know that if a bunch of them do bad on the state required test they can get the teacher fired they will. They will band together and if you don't think that is true you don't know kids. The other things is if a Kid does not want to learn you can not make him or her, if they don't want to try or they just don't care you can't make them. People as a whole can not be made to do anything. If people don't care what will happen to them or anyone else because of their action or lack there of you can not be made to to anything. Kids today don't care and don't care who they hurt. This is a bad idea just like teaching towards a state test is a bad idea (which is how kids are tought today). Next time think before you speak. js

        July 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • MeAgain74

      No...It should be, unions did this.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  33. Jasie

    The end result is the teachers will teach the test which is not good. But this does keep weak teachers on task and in attendance.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  34. nathanielwade

    So teachers with extra want to go to the worst schools in order to make the most positive change possible get paid less than a teacher that decides to go to rosy clean school in some idyllic suburb with already high test scores? Seems backward.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  35. P Willis

    Another proof that electing Republicans is a recipe for disaster.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Orygun Duck

      Told my daughter, who was interested in pursuing a career as a teacher, to look for a better career elsewhere.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • littlelakegirl

        Wow. I hope you don't encourage her to be a physician...too many risks there. Oh, and don't allow her to be a lawmaker, or a small business owner or a social worker, either.....maybe she will just sit home all day and collect $$ from the government.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • Crazybusy

        Your advice is right on target. Posted by a retired teacher who survived.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • brian

      sounds like someones biased

      July 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • J Ohio

      Couldn't agree more, the Republicans have gone off their rockers!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  36. HClay

    Holding teachers accountable using student test scores seems like a no-brainer. After all, students will learn better from a better teacher, and test scores will be higher. Right?

    Not necessarily. There are just too many factors beyond the teachers control. Is it fair to hold a teacher accountable when his/her class just happens to have....numerous students with frequent absences? numerous students who never complete homework or bring in supplies? huge class sizes of 30, 35, or more students? numerous students who don't speak English? numerous students with disabilities and the teacher is given no support? numerous students with behavior issues who disrupt class daily, but the school administration is unable or unwilling to address the misbehavior? numerous students in the teacher's honors class who were never recommended for honors? a class made up of mostly seniors (who don't really care about state tests now that they've been accepted into college? a classroom which is unbearably hot on the all important testing day? a co-teacher who is terrible? a school that can't afford good textbooks, calculators, computers,etc.? a school system in which these tests have NO impact on students but only on the teachers and schools?....

    Many more things could be added to this list. School systems implementing these new accountability measures are certainly aware of the potential unfairness of these complicating factors, but because the money needed for real significant change may not be there, school systems will do what is politically expedient, and if necessary, they will throw some very good teachers "under the school bus" by evaluating them using measures well beyond a teacher's influence.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • All Teachers Left Behind

      I was born, raised, married, lived & worked in Ohio until last year. NCLB in the Buckeye state is the reason I left. Like many of my friends from the high school Class of 2000 who majored in education as an undergrad, I thought I would never be without a job. Unfortunately, while I was in undergrad early in the 21st century, OH passed a law that after finishing an undergrad degree in education, a teacher must complete his/her master's within 5 years. Teachers with a higher level of education sounds ideal, right? WRONG!
      Because I majored in Music Education & arts funding was cut, finding & keeping a job was difficult. Negotiating salary-impossible! I watched many of my colleagues lose their jobs simply because of a lack of funding. On top of it, most of us are turning 30 this year...so if we weren't able to complete a master's program because we didn't have a job and/or got paid crap so we couldn't afford to work on our master's, WE ARE NOW OUT OF THE JOB MARKET AS TEACHERS IN OHIO...AT AGE 30!!!
      I pray that someone sees the error in the OH government's good intentions, before ALL the good teachers leave the state!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • Redspotz

        Please, Kentucky has required a Masters degree for decades with not I'll effect. In an era of austerity, music education falls in importance. You shoud have obtained a teaching certificate in math or science – there's a demand market. Music and kindergarten teachers are a dime a dozens.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Shazaam

      I believe this is an ironic use of the phrase "no brainer"

      July 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • illmatar

      You are so right...let me take it a step further. I am an art teacher – so I'm there but I'm not IN this like a regular teacher would be.

      This is going to be devastating to the students. Devastating.

      It is so hard to be patient with them. It is hard to be patient they are late ALL the time...when they don't do their homework...when they won't or can't focus...when they won't or can't behave. My coworkers do it though. They manage to form loving bonds with even the slow, the lazy, and the rude. Tie the welfare of someone's own children to the performance of these people and you have a recipe for a toxic environment.

      It is not the kids' job to earn our pay! It is NOT THEIR JOB! They are little humans. They have enough to worry about becoming big humans. They will feel it if we do this to them. The ones that care will feel guilty if they do badly. The ones that don't care have bigger issues in their lives which is why they don't care. Either way, this puts stress on a sacred and fragile relationship that has no positive ramifications for children at all.

      Anyone who's been frustrated with a child who is restless on a long car ride should try facing a mob of and forcing them to work on things when they'd rather be playing. (Can you blame them? Wouldn't we all rather play than work?) I'm in Florida right now and I can tell you that the things my co-workers are required to teach for so many minutes a day LITERALLY add up to more minutes than they have. There is so much they have to cover in so little time that it has squeezed all of the creative, fun lessons right out of the day. We are turning school into torture...and yet we are supposed to be imparting a joy of learning. Politicians have given us a calendar which tells classroom teachers what they are to be teaching down to the minute! Forget about the kids who get sick in class or need more time – we have a schedule that assumes they are robots who all learn at the same exact pace.

      They are not robots. They are not trained ponies who should perform on command. They are children. They should have the right to make mistakes and learn from them like every other generation. If they need to fail once in a while they should be allowed to fail without the adults around them freaking out.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • Matt

        Of course it's not the children's job to earn your pay, it YOUR job! If the students are tired, distracted, or overwhelmed, it is unfortunately your job to over come those issues! It seems like you're mixing accountability. Students do need to be held accountable for their behavior, but only if there are clear expectations and those behaviors are constantly modeled. Can you complain about homework not being done if your lesson plan isn't done several weeks in advance? Or complain that students are restless when some teachers show up in a bad mood? Perhaps this will finally provide a mirror for teachers to access themselves and be held accountable by administration.

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

      So what you're saying is that teachers might actually have to connect with students? Oh man, simply showing up with a lesson plan and unloading unruly students to others doesn't work? I apologize for the sarcasm but this is at least one way to hold teachers accountable. As you mentioned, there are many challenges of teaching and simply providing the material to learn is half of the battle, and frankly, is the easy part. Engaging students who would rather be somewhere else is the hard part and is what should make every teacher tick! If students were willing learn at every level, would be need teachers? Not with all of the information available. So please, accept these challenges as a wrinkly of the profession! Of course students are a challenge, it just means they need more attention and more effort. Hopefully more teachers will be willing to go that extra mile if their pay depends on it.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
      • illmatar

        Matt, my coworkers show up early. They stay late. They work through lunch. They work during those precious summers everyone thinks we get paid for. They haul home huge case of papers to work on every night. Their dedication floors me. What in my comments led you to the conclusion that lesson plans weren't done or that teachers weren't connecting with their kids? What connection do your arguments make to mine? Do you seriously think kids will never be restless even for the most bubbly of teachers?

        At my school (an A school since it's inception for whatever that's worth) we had one 3rd grader who was an hour or more late almost every day. It was like he missed a full day of school a week. Homework? What homework? All the other kids in that class passed. He failed – what a shock! Is that the teacher's fault? Is it even his fault that his mom just couldn't seem to get him there? This was a ranching family whose father was suffering from a major back injury. This boy was being asked to become the man of the house. He worked the farm both before and after school....and school was the most important thing in his life. We all felt sorry for the family and did what we could to help them, but still, he failed. How is that the teacher's fault?

        What if your pay was tied to someone who was chronically late and their performance? Do you think it might make you a bit frustrated?

        His teacher was nothing but loving to his face, but believe me there were days she was fit to be tied.

        If you think that this won't filter through to the kids you're delusional. It SHOULDN'T filter through but teacher are actually human too.

        There are ALWAYS factors in a child's life that affect how they do in school. Some are hungry. Some are beaten. Some are raped....and have a nice day kid! Good luck on that test right after you've been violated. Some just have test anxiety and mess up. We do the best we can with what fate sends us but we can't fix their lives and if we are to be held accountable for that then you watch the teaching profession dry up. No one signs up for chronic abuse.

        I've got an idea. If our pay goes down when a kid does poorly then I think parents' taxes should go up for every time they are out without an excuse, tardy, or disruptive with the money going straight to the teachers. We might actually see a raise.

        July 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
      • jb

        So Matt, if I am to spend my time on the few who need more attention and coddling just to get them interested, where does that leave my middle of the road students who aren't necessarily the brightest but do come each day willing and eager to learn. Those are the ones who get lost in the shuffle. I give every student the opportunity to learn; if they CHOOSE not to take advantage of this, well, there are other options available to students other than the traditional classroom (virtual school, homeschooling, adult education, etc.)

        July 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • acurrentteacher

      I definitely agree with your comment. There are so many variables that go into test scores that many people who are not in the profession will never know. Lawmakers and non-teachers always blame the teachers for poor scores..but lets put some blame or praises to the parents. I know for a fact that having supportive parents who have good parenting skills will help a child learn much faster and better than non-supportive parents. It can't be my fault if a child hardly comes to school and never completes his/her homework.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • LMC

      Well said, but I would add that teachers have no control over the make-up of their classrooms. Each year brings different students with different problems (and pluses). There is no control over the number of students with learning disabilities, autism, behavior problems, move frequently, or are English language learners in a classroom. In some states the test scores mean nothing to the students because low scores do not cause students to be retained (held back). Most teachers try hard to help their students learn and achieve, but have no control over what happens in ther students' lives. One of the best ways students could be helped would be to eliminate poverty!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  37. dru

    This is really, really good. Because its proven that teaching kids to the test is the way we succeed in this new day and age...


    July 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Ding Ding Ding!!!

      Not only that, a third grade teacher will benefit from the previous teacher (2nd grade) when their new class starts this school year. Time and time again it is shown that how kids are taught in the lower grades, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, directly affect how well they test later, especially with the AIMS tests. Teachers will not seek out schools which historically test well because they know they will receive higher pay there.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  38. caliborn

    Yes. Parents helping children with homework is a wonderful thing and will definitely make a difference. My husband, though, has a PhD in physics. Our children have an on-site tutor. If teacher pay is linked to test scores, then teachers might start lobbying for the children of the smartest (or best educated) parents! Again, why should a teacher's salary be based on how educated or dedicated her students' parents are?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  39. Former Teacher

    This is why I am no longer a teacher. If we continue with rules like this, we will lose all of our good teachers.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Crazybusy


      July 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  40. Bob

    This is great. Can teachers use their discretion in dumping non performing students or troubled cases?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  41. Sara Schnorr

    Students are not like raw materials on an industrial assembly line. If I'm GM, I carefully select my suppliers – if they don't deliver supplies, parts and materials up to my standards, I stop using them. That's how GM can control its quality.

    As a former teacher (a long time ago back in the 1970s), I was always offended by the love affair that politicians and policy makers and – sadly – even "professional" educators had with the industrial model of public education.

    Children in our schools are NOT widgets. Each one is a complex individual who has strengths and weaknesses thanks to his/her socioeconomic status, his/her genes, how much education is or is not valued in his/her home, whether s/he has learning disabilities, etc. Every school teacher in this country knows that – regardless of whether you teach in the inner city or a tiny farm town or a tony upper class suburb – some years you have a class of kids who love to learn, and some years you have kids who could care less about learning. Teacher don't get to select who shows up in their classrooms every year.

    Kids are NOTall the same. That's one of the exciting things about being a teacher, and frankly being a human being.

    So Ohio will base teacher raises and bonuses based upon the luck of the draw, depending upon how good your class is this year versus last year.

    Shame on Ohio!


    July 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  42. alexpdx

    If all states adopt this policy our nation's teachers will all be filing for bankruptcy soon.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Look at your kid

      Low test scores aren't the fault of teachers. Blame it on do-nothing indulgent parents and lackluster indifferent spoiled kids.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
      • widget

        You must be an Obama supporter and have learned the "blame game" well from him. I agree that parents need to get more involved and not just put all of the responsibility on teachers. Your message, however, doesn't put any of the blame on the teachers. My parents were supportive, but I also benefitted from some exceptional teachers and did not learn as much from some poor teachers.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  43. Teresa C

    Well, there is a very big ingredient that isn't being taken into account and/or added to the mix. Parental involvment/enforcement! If we as parents are also doing our part by insuring that homework is being completed, I can see where making this connection (pay based upon student performance) would be a accurate measure and tool for weeding out the weak.

    But what happens when we as parents don't do our jobs! This is where student grades and test scores are going to suffer. Now, Ohio parents will have the fate of a teachers pay in their hands. Because let's face it, we parents have as much (actually more) responsibility where our child(ren)s education is concerned. Time to inspect our rules as parents to insure they are on point and enforced. If all Ohio parents are able to say that, then the new requirements will be great.. if not, prepare to possibly loose some good teachers only to be replaced by new teachers with sooner or later LESS EXPERIENCE. Ohio teachers, you will obviously be charged with working much harder to insure the information sticks without homework! Good luck to all of you (both parents & teachers)!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  44. Stephen

    I am an elementary school teacher. One recent year, I started with 23 students and ended with 23 students. However, this came about from losing 12 and gaining 12 new throughout the course of the year..including two students who came one month before state testing. I am accountable for children's test scores whom I did not have most of the year??????This past year I volunteered to take on the low performers in our grade. 1/3 of them are special ed. There growth is nowhere near those who are on/above level. How can you judge when the playing field is not even. Let my principal evaluate me. My principal sees me....sees test scores....knows the hand I am dealt each year....gets feedback from parents, good and bad....my immediate supervisor.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • P Willis

      Good points. Teaching is not a simple "product" that can be evaluated that easily.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • R Burns

      Yes, that was my first thought and I'm not even a teacher! I know that some years a classroom can be filled with students well behaved and eager to learn, other years with disruptive kids intent on learning as little as possible – and it's contagious. We already have trouble retaining the best teachers, and this isn't going to help.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • littlelakegirl

      STEPHEN, I am so sorry to read that you are an Elementary school teacher and you do not even use the word "their" properly. Wow.....we don't need your Principal evaluating you positively because he/she likes you and has worked with you for years. We need teachers that are EFFECTIVE!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • wootdude

        @llgirl, did it ever occur to you that that maybe a thing called autocorrect might have changed the word? Instead of nitpicking, why don't you read the comment and see if you can get the gist ot what he wrote. You must be one of those folks who complain about teachers and consider themselves above everyone else. Just think, there/their/they're had to be a teacher in your background who showed you how to use your/you're vast knowledge of the English language to belittle others. Momma must be so proud.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
      • widget

        I see that your their was not "autocorrected" to there. It appears that neither was mine. It must just be Stephen's computer.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  45. Ohio resident

    "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."

    Who taught the author to write? Doesn't CNN edit anything?
    s/b "that have received an Obama Administration"

    July 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  46. Bill

    As I've said before, the morons who come up with these "bright" ideas should be required to spend a year in the classroom to SEE what teachers are up against. Then maybe they'd have a clue.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  47. Dewey

    What a farking stupid idea.

    So you get stuck with the morons, and your pay gets cut. Or you pish off three students who deliberatley do not do well on tests to get back at you. Or you teach gym, or art, or band, or chorus, or theater, or home ec etc. - how exactly do you link test scores to those subjects?

    This is one more assault on teachers from a republicon governor who wants to take taxpayer money, give it to for profit companies who will gut the ed system, cost taxpayers more, and provide less. Just like what has happened in water, sewer, trash, and all sorts of other privatized public sector domains. And guess who will then get campaign contributions from those compaines who are bilking taxpayers?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  48. stevec

    Laws like this tempt teachers to "teach the test", instead of covering material; especially if the classroom is filled with lower-achieving students. Add to this, the fact that many observers are not teachers, but admin officials. Improvement in the education system has to be comprehensive, not this piece-meal approach.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  49. caliborn

    How could that possibly be fair? I'm not a teacher, but how can the test scores of a class full of gifted or talented or advantaged students be compared to the scores of a class full of conventional students–ones who might not have eaten breakfast, ones who might show up to school just a couple times a week, ones whose parents work a couple jobs and don't have time to help with homework or whose parents are in jail? How ever can the scores be compared? And which teachers, then, would ever dare to teach in socio-economically disadvantaged schools? They'd be set up to fail.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • John

      Because it's not based on the test scores themselves, but on *improvement* in test scores and other factors that help normalize the results based on the ability of the typical student in the class.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • brian

        sure its based on improvement, but that just leads teachers to teach to the test, or just teaching what the kids have to know. The students won't learn much, and all the teachers would be worried about would be to make sure the kids get good scores instead of making sure they learn something

        July 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Dewey

      Add to that that most states test only some things during some years. PA for example does PSSA testing in reading, writing, math, science and only in grades 5,7, 9, 11. How exactly could you expect to create a fair system for student evaluation connecting to teacher pay given that tiny data set?

      Of course the purpose of this legislation is the same as the anti-teacher legislation in every republicon controlled state in the country. It has nothing at all to do with increasing performance and everything to do with gutting education as a pretense for then attacking teachers.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  50. Bill

    As so many have pointed out, this PERHAPS addresses one aspect of the problem. I was a high school teacher for two years. It was, by far, the hardest job I ever had in my life. Planning, teaching, evaluating...over & over again...I was putting in 80 hour weeks easily. My wife & I figured my effective pay at about $3/hr. On average, I taught 110 students/semester. Try & keep up with 110 people on a daily basis, trying to give them individual attention & tayloring learning to address their weaknesses. YIKES!!! Per ususal, the student who really needs your help is often the one least receptive to receiving it, until its too late & their grade is shot to hell. Further, the parents of that student, more times than not, were single parents struggling themselves, or not particularly interested in helping. OF COURSE you teach to your test! Why not?? That's the body of knowledge you'd like your students to learn!
    At the end of the day, unless students, parents, teachers and administrators are working toward the same outcomes you're just not going to get excellent achievement. To place all the responsibility on the teacher is irresponsible and not helpful.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • FreeReally

      How much of your class time was actually spent teaching? In my kids classes they spend at least half of each class day on grading the previous days homework, not going over the problems with kids didn't get right just grading it and turning it in for the teacher to enter the grades. Also time is spent grading tests by the students. If the class time was actually spent teaching and the teacher did the grading and seeing where each student is having a problem and readdressing these areas, I would agree with your statement. Because my kids come home half the time not understanding the homework, I spend my evenings helping the go over it, especially math and chemistry. Both my kids are good students, try hard, have both parents very involved in their academics, and I am completely frustrated by the lack of responsibility placed on the teachers for the grades. If tests are the only way funding is going to filter to schools, then darn right the teachers should be held responsible for those test grades. Now lets see how long it takes before teachers are caught falsifying grades.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bill

      Amen !!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • CTEd

      You are not a teacher. BS. Do that math.
      80 hours a week at 3.00 per hour.
      Teachers work 180 days year, plus some prof development days on average. No more than 10 PDs a year and that's pretty high in my experience. so about 190 days a year give or take. That doesn't include vacation so we'll give you 2 weeks paid vacation (10 days). So 200 days a year. again ballpark but very close. A few days (even 10) one way or the other won't afect the end result by much.

      200days / 5 = 40 weeks per year worked.
      80 hours a week for 40 weeks = 3200 total hours worked
      $3.00 per hour times 3200 hours = a salary from teh school of 9,600.00 per year. for a full time 80hr per week teacher...

      I call BS.

      I'm married to a teacher, I know they can work hard during the year, but they DO get 12 weeks or more of vacation. When comparing yearly pay the sometimes seem a bit low, when compairing hourly wage they seem a bit high. I'm all for good teacher pay, but you should sue your math teacher.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  51. BL

    This is ridiculous. Perhaps we need educational reform top down. How about year around school and pay teachers comparable to people who work 12 months in similar degree areas. There are some teachers who need to go – but most do a fantastic job and work hard at what they do whit what they have.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  52. scir91onYouTube

    why would you teach special needs students if you know they are likelier to fail? i'd just teach talented and gifted students and cut my labor and stress in half.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  53. Jim

    That is pretty crappy. You cannot force a child to learn and study. So if you get a teach stuck dealing with a special punk kid class they get screwed in their salary?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Rick

      Wah, wah, wah, teachers now have to do what they are paid to do. The gravy train has left the station folks and the Teacher Unions is now the caboose!!!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
      • Astroboy

        No crying here. I've taught high school Physics in Ohio for 12 years. What "test scores" are they going to use? There is no way to see how much (or little) I've taught my students in the year that I have instructed them. There is no way the state can determine this by 2013-2014. End of course tests for Physics won't be ready in Ohio until at least 2015. How is this fair to the teachers that have the students that have missed over 30 days of school in a year? By all means hold me accountable as a professional, (yes I am a professional with degrees in Physics as well as Education) but find a fair way of doing it that isn't biased.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • James

        To Rick: I've read that line somewhere else. Very original.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  54. Andrew


    Best argument for abolishing public schools. Watch it or reply to me.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Orygun Duck

      Abolish poverty or maybe abolish large urban areas and maybe schools will improve. Make a law against divorce, too That might help. You can't look at these problems in isolation.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
      • Andrew

        that is all what abolishing the public schools would lead to. obviously you didnt have the intelectual curiosity to watch a nobel prize winning economist go through the explanation

        July 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Orygun Duck

      I grew up in a family with both parents as teachers. Doesn't make me an expert at all. Two of my sisters chose the profession. I've heard all sides of this discussed. The problems faced by public schools should be considered in the social context and not used as partisan politics talking points, which is what has happended. Some kids in bad schools do thrive and succeed and behind that success you will always find an involved and a caring parent or two.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  55. Mad Sam

    Use money meant for prisons in our public schools instead and put all criminals and bullies six feet under. Problem solved.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  56. James PDX

    To be fair, I just presented a bill that would link elected officials' pay to their performance. If passed, the entire state of Ohio's deficit will be wiped out with the money they'll owe for negative performances.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  57. stephan

    Look at all of the racists decrying the inner city youth. You would think that they are brain damaged or something, instead of not being educated by the teachers and the community.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  58. Justin

    People have no idea what unions do. Unions ensure that DUE PROCESS is used if a district wants to get rid of a tenured teacher. There is no such thing as a union "not allowing" a teacher to be fired. There is a PROCESS and unions simply hold districts accountable to the process that they have agreed to in collective bargaining agreements. Don't blame unions because an administrator didn't do his/her job initially in getring rid of a bad teacher. Merit pay has never worked in education. Not one attempt at it has been successful and shown that linking pay and performance actually improves student learning. New York City just got rid of merit pay because it didn't work. That we continue to try the same thing over and over despite it not working is ridiculous, and quite simply it only serves as an attack on teachers.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Kris

      Justin, maybe the way this has been stuctured will cause teachers to kick the bad eggs that bring down all test scores out of their schools. I know if I were being sent students who were below level I'd find out if it was a bad teacher the prior year and try to fix it before they ruin another class of students.
      Teachers should assess teachers, but trust has to be developed between the profession and the public again first.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  59. Mad Sam, Problem Solver

    CNN, let me post my comments, you F***ING [FEMALE DOGS]!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  60. Otrebogir

    Pretty soon teacher will teach just to past the test , test oriented classes and practices will destroy education, this is NOT a GOOD idea. It seems to make sense but it will ended up just making studens capable of passing a test which tipically is almost the same year after year, pretty soon people will figure out the exact content of these test and teach just that...problem solved !! My inrease will cme , students will pass ...USA will lost

    July 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • beon

      And who taught you to write so well?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • Ohio resident

        Agreed –
        "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."

        Where do they find these writers who can't write? Who edits their stories? Pathetic.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Kevin H

      I guess this is what kills me. Most people who work in successful, enterprise level business are familiar with the 360 process. 360 ensures input by the employee, the manager, stakeholders, customers and others. The process is relatively fair because everyone, including the individual has input into the process. Meanwhile back in public schools we use stupid, century old adversarial systems that pit the organizations against the teachers. This is bad. Very bad. 360 should be used for teachers and students. Students need to be part of the process as early as possible. "She's not nice" and "she doesn't like me" are perfectly valid. Teachers are human beings – they do develop antipathy towards students – they try not to but it's a natural occurrence when you're around young people so often and for such long stretches at a time. Teachers, however, need to be able to evaluate parents too. When parents are doing a poor job it needs to be recorded, for the record, available to legal authorities if necessary. That would protect teachers and students. The other thing that I think we need to start doing is independent e-portfolios at all grade levels. Tests should not be the measure of achievement – it should be the student portfolio. The teacher and student agree on their "best" and that should be placed in a portfolio that is evaluated independently by the teacher's peer. So the 360 – student and teacher – as well as the e-portfolio and classroom test scores are the way to move forward. "Standardized" tests are too controversial, the shall game can be played too often. It's a lot tougher to fiddle with e-Portfolios, classroom test scores and the 360 process – taken together those can be evaluated by educators, parents, children and the community at large. We need to treat education like a sane instead of insane business and the unions need to buy into a better looped feedback system.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  61. Yoski

    As teacher you'll be broke if you get stuck with a bunch of dumb kids.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  62. ron

    Not too bad an idea....but hold on ...in the downtrodden section of Cincy where many kids will not see their first meal till noon (i.e. no breakfast) and where the unemployment rate is 6x the rest of the state, the kids will be given the same test as those from Knob-Hill, where there is no unemployment..where the average parent has 5 years of post-secondary education and the average family income is $160,000.00. Bring it on. Ron (teacher from Knob Hill).

    July 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  63. DaveinCincy

    LeeCMH: You're confusing Christians and Atheists...the most intollerant group in the world right next to the Taliban. Hate Christians all you want, but they're happier, loving, tollerant, and succesful. Put that in your Prius and drive....

    July 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  64. grey

    Seriously? Do you guys even know what goes on at a school with the No Child Left Behind law? As a special education teacher it's horrible! I teach 5th graders who have to take these tests at a 5th grade reading level and they can barely read at a 2nd grade reading level, and the state doesn't care! I'm not even allowed to read it to them! I have to sit there and watch them struggle and look to me for help, but my hands are tied. Why don't you actualy talk to these teachers or visit their classroom, and you'll soon find that instead of getting up in arms becuase you don't think they are earning their keep, you will want to give them a hug for dealing with all of this crap

    July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Don Jones

      Basing a teacher's ability to teach on test scores is not reliable. It must be rather discouraging for a teacher to work under such a stipulation. In my mind, it will reveal that the best teachers are those who by luck are assigned the classes with the students having the highest mental ability. Such students are not as difficult to teach so the teacher who works his butt off with slower students, who ultimately score lower on standardized tests, does not receive the credit he deserves.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • ginger315

      Grey: You must not teach in Ohio because students with identified learning disabilities are issued and IEP (Individual Education Plan) by the school psychologist which teachers and principals must follow. If the student has a diagnosed reading disability, they are read to, yes even on the test. I know this because I'm a teacher and those students are removed from the classroom for the test and whatever accomodation has been made for them on their IEP is followed.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  65. Andrew Sampson

    Trouble is, test scores cannot be compared "apples to apples." Inner city teachers will tend to be at a disadvantage due to factors beyond their control. The first line in education is parental involvement. Today's reality is that too many parents are parents in name only. Kids without support are unlikely to do as well regardless of the quality of the teacher.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • JT

      I could not agree more with you Andrew! You are making the teachers the enemy in this situation and there will be a backlash of teachers leaving inner-city schools or getting out of the profession all together. Time and time again more students are being crammed into classrooms with no support and ask to perform miracles. To all the parents with kids in public schools, you should be up in arms about this Ohio situation.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  66. Arleen

    As a retired educator, this decision presents the worse possible experience for both students and teachers....Teachers WILL be teaching to the test; students will not have the opportunity to think, question, challenge, or expand in areas that motivate them.....And sadly, integrity does not always go hand in hand with a teaching credential. The teachers will need to be monitored in how they present the tests - or tests will need to be given by independent, outside sources - so that there is no room for a teacher nudging a student, giving a slight shake of the head, or making eye contact that says "recheck your answer"......These government programs do nothing for the education of our youth. Test scores mean nothing if you can't think. We need to loose an agrarian calendar and add more days to the teaching year; have school boards and educational departments understand epistemology; get rid of "social promotion"; require teachers to hold master's degrees in education; and hold parents, teachers, administrators, AND students accountable.IMHO

    July 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  67. Nathan

    And so Ohio recedes into the darkness.

    Educational assessment is a corporate profit-driven racket, legitimized by experts who couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag. And yet they can SELL testing. With their self-verifying numbers that give the appearance of knowledge, they put one over on almost everyone and make ungodly amounts of money off of the schools. Testing of the kind perpetrated by Big Assessment essentially tests how well one takes a test–developed according to the testing theory du jour.

    Don't misunderstand. Testing is a helpful tool for teachers who know what they are doing and can balance the knowledge provided by testing with all the other ways they gather knowledge about how their students are doing. But Big Testing by the State is something entirely different.

    We should hire teachers that we trust, well-trained professionals. They will, if we train and hire carefully, be far smarter and have much better insight and judgment about assessing their students' learning than the Big Assessment bureaucrats thousands of miles away who are fundamentally motivated by consolidating power over a market and keeping the market demand up through lobbying for testing legislation.

    As a by-product of good training and hiring, we would eliminate all the corruption the testing industry generates, from the intellectual fraud at the top of the system all the way down to the schools and parents and teachers on whom this fraud is perpetrated. We might even begin to attract more genuinely talented people to teaching. What enthusiastic, intelligent, innovative young graduate committed to the real intellectual growth and education of children would want to spend a career teaching to these mindless tests designed by technocrats? NOT MANY!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  68. CoJo

    ABC news reports: Washington and Wisconsin are joining 24 other states that have earned waivers from the federal education law.

    So if NCLB is so great (and not broken) why are so many states trying to get out of it?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  69. Suns

    In addition to teacher's pay contigent on student's success, we should tax parents who's student's fail. Give them some encouragement to pay attention to their kids and help them accademically.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Chris

      This is a simply and smart idea 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • Chris

        a simple and smart idea is what I meant!

        July 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • Sarah

        Chris, children's ability to access the curriculum is generally in place before they start Kindergarten. If they do not have English as a first language they will instantly be disadvantaged. Likewise if they are from a lower socio-economic family or have special educational needs.
        If a teacher is working in a school with children from a higher socio-economic background it will be much easier to obtain the required results (or exceed them).
        If a teacher is working in an area where the children do not have English as their first language or are from a poorer socio-economic background the teacher will automatically be at a disadvantage when trying to get his/her pupils to the required standard.
        Thjs could result in all teachers wanting to teach ONLY in the more "desirable" areas. Surely high quality teachers will also be needed in the poorer areas? (One could argue that this is where the creme de la creme of the teaching profession are most desperately needed.)
        A fairer method of ensuring teachers are doing their jobs well would be to look at the "value added" on each child. This means assessing the children every year and seeing how much they have improved from their starting point each year. Some children will be starting off far behind their wealthier/more advantaged peers. These children may still make lots of progress each year but still be working below the determined required levels.
        I work in education. I strongly agree that teachers should be held accountable for pupil progress. But children are all different and this needs to be taken into consideration when assessing individual progress.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • daniel

        Smart? How about paying our elected Republican representatives based on what they accomplish. #0 votes on the health care act, and they don't give up and don't have an alternate plan. While we are at it, lets pay police based on reduction in crime, pay fire fighters based on reductions in fires, pay samitation on the reduction of solid waste, pay the military on the number of people they kill.

        July 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • azmary

      I agree. Maybe the rate should be $2.00 an hour each school day. That way parents who look at schools as babysitting services could pay for the babysitting service.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • ohSilly

      Brilliant !
      I totally agree with your "tax parents" or some similar method to get those parents accountable for THEIR OWN CHILD. A reasonably well raised kid with any brain can learn in a corn field.
      A kid raised to be a thug or diva (very similar beasts) would fail to learn even with Einstein as their teacher.

      Somehow, teacher pay linked to test scores must also account for parent activity. Our high performance schools are loaded with high performance families. ANYONE can produce high scores in those schools... with or without any teaching skill.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  70. revolting peasant

    Sounds like a good idea in principle, but if I were a cruddy teacher I would kick back and sabotage the education of the kids in protest.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  71. andres

    I can see plenty of problems with this, paying for performance, not a bad deal but it won't be long before we have similar scandals to the Georgia scandals where teachers were cheating to keep the schools open to 'meet' the no child law. No one should be surprized in year or two when we hear on the national news of some Ohio teachers cheating to increase pay.

    Now we do need to come up with an objective measure that truely measures learing and not only base pay on that but continued employment. Get rid of the teacher unions, they have single handedly done more to harm our schools than anything else.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • paulronco

      >> No one should be surprized in year or two when we hear on the national news of some Ohio teachers cheating to increase pay.

      Yes, and we're supposed to assume that charter schools will solve all that. It's a stupid discussion.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  72. I am Joe

    The schools and districts with lowest scores are those with students speaking little English. As their numbers have gone up scores have gone down. To improve scores improve comprehension by more ESL help.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Nathan

      No. No. No. We should fire or at least refuse to promote anyone who attempts to teach these students. That will take care of the problem.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  73. Andrew

    Testing is not teaching or learning. Fail, America.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  74. illumin8r

    Just wondering how test scores are going to be figured in for the teachers of severely and profoundly disabled children. Any thoughts folks?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  75. kent

    education is first and foremost the parents role for the child. teachers get the shaft again. yes i'm a teacher, but i also have two kids, and it is my job, and my wifes to guide them to the importance of an education. and to hold them accountable, not their teachers. i'm from iowa, and a vast majority of teachers are competent and good quality people. a lot of bad pressure put on teachers again. a license to drive or even fish, but no license required to have kids and send them to the local school to learn. this stuff is a bad dream. and, no i'm not an english teacher. 🙂

    July 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  76. PattyFran

    Unbelievable! As a fellow teacher I would expect cheating,and teaching to the test to become the norm. Why would anyone want the added stress knowing that their job depended on test results? Good luck getting decent teachers to work in the lower income areas in Ohio. Who would want to take the risk?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Kris

      PattyFran, where do you teach that "teaching to the test" isn't the norm? They are now teaching teachers to "teach to the test" in OK colleges & universities.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • atomD21

      Teaching to the test is already the norm in Ohio. In fourth grade, there is a huge standardized test at the end of the year, and the entire year's curriculum is designed around the content of the test. This is all a huge joke. Test scores do nothing to prove education, just how good kids are at spitting stuff back out that was crammed into them all year. The only thing test scores do is make politicians happy because they are easier to read than a written evaluation of student progress and teacher effectiveness. They can get back to making sure their corporate overlords are happy much faster.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  77. Greg

    You mean that teachers would have to 'earn' their salary? No way! That can't happen with the unions! Accountability? Absurd! LOLThis is the best news in a long time for education. Like the rest of us, teachers should be ranked on what they produce. NOT their number of years as a teacher. This may not be a perfect answer but it is a start.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • paulronco

      Kind of like how banking and Wall Street executives were rewarded for what they produced?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bren

      Where is the accountability for a student who is out on the streets until 2am and uses the school as a social outlet and not an educational facility? Where is the accountability for parents who do not read to their kids and do not make them accountable for doing homework? Sit back and watch the urban districts become a place where there is no incentive to teach and as a society we will once again leave the lower end troubles populations in the dust. BTW, if you can read this thank a teacher.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • scir91onYouTube

      based on this logic, why would someone want to teach inner city kids who have special needs? harder work, same pay (compare to teaching the normal population). makes no logical sense.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  78. Mad Sam

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

    July 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  79. Mad Sam

    Bring in a successful foreign expert, a "von Steuben" of education, so to speak, and let him improve the education system in a small sample of schools so that they are to his own liking. If what he does works, implement his policies nationwide. We need a new look at our problems (problems that we are apparently incapable of solving), so a fresh mind from outside should be welcomed.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Kris

      A project like you are suggesting was done in West Virginia (I can't recall the county) with wonderful results.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • OkayMan

      I like this idea because we gotta try something new and sane. I can't believe Ohio would continue in this dreadful direction. We need change from the ground up. My role will be to encourage young people to read and keep up my own learning skills . We need to stop being proud of dumb people.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  80. CoJo

    ABC news reports (back in July 6/2012) "Washington and Wisconsin are joining 24 other states that have earned waivers from the federal education law." If NCLB is so great, why are states asking for waivers?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  81. S. stacy

    How would like to teach in a inner city schhol and have this hanging over your head ... you have no chance !!!! Another example of too much govt. Get out of the education business !!!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  82. Kris

    I see a couple of problems with this. First, unless the teacher's are given the freedom to determine the curriculum they will use, how can they know the problem is the teacher rather than the curriculum? Second, are the teachers being graded on the single year scores or on the academic progress of each student? If it is single year scores it cannot be an accurate assessment of the teacher.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  83. steve

    Congratulations, Ohio! You just gave your teachers an incentive to be a part of the new "trend" of test fraud! Although the meaning of children improving is meant well, our politicians and the general public, for the most part, are clueless when it comes to how to improve our schools. The fact of the matter is we are not focussing our curriculum on the skills required for kids in the next 20 years. Our system was designed for the Industrial Revolution, when we were a manufacturing-based economy. We need to cultivate their creativity and divergent thinking skills, design curriculum that is more application-based, and grade kids on how they collaborate (teach Congress a lesson on this as well). The narrow-sighted prepare kids for the way the world is now...We need to prepare kids for what we want the world to be.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Hez316

      Still would be nice if they could read and do basic math once graduated

      July 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Fred


      July 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Loretta

      I was reading through these comments and wondering when someone would rightfully bring up test fraud.

      It is appalling to me (a person with no children but two sisters who are teachers) that this type of law has been enacted.

      Short sighted. Eventually they will find that they have no good teachers. The good ones will have all left the state or changed professions.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  84. dakota2000

    Lesson for the day- Use Tautology in a sentence:

    John Kaish and brainless twit mean the same thing.


    July 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  85. ChachaD

    Good luck getting teachers to teach at the inner city schools. This has been a bad idea for 15 years (at least) and will remain so. This is one more way to drive qualified teachers out of the field of education. Stupidity at its finest. Sigh.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  86. Aurora Chuck

    Imagine that a job that you'll actually have to perform at in order to get a raise! Brilliant!!

    Or maybe we should just keep giving them more money and more money and more money for the same performance results, which is crap.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Wellis4

      Ok Chuck,
      I'm gonna pay you to make cars. You get a raise from a very meager salary if you make a top notch car. If it is not top notch you'll have your funding cut and have to try again. By the way, did I mention that you will use poor quality parts, and your plans will be crafted by those who don't know the first thing about car making?

      Good luck.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  87. DK

    Who would ever want to teach physics or organic chemistry!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Astroboy

      I love teaching Physics. Have done so in Ohio for 12 years. Hold me accountable, but find a way that is accurate and fair.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  88. Michael Sawyer

    Parents are far more responsible for a child's grades than a teachers. Thus, this is nothing more than justifying cutting teacher salaries with no way for them to earn raises, since nothing will be done about the alarming rise of bad parents in this country who are raising bad kids.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • lgbarn

      I agree with 100%. I want bad teachers out of schools as much as anyone but they have no control over the students that he teach. This also unfair to good teacher that teach in economically depressed areas. Horrible bill all the way around.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • LynneNY

      Thank you Michael. It all starts in the home. If the parents or the single parent does not
      impart to their child the value of education....then it's all over. ..basically. The home life
      has a major major role in what a child does in school. It can never be underestimated.
      Only those in the trenches know this....and we've been trying to tell people about it
      for decades. Education must be valued MORE in this land....and it has to start in the home.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Dotha E.

      I could not agree with you more! The problem isn't with the teachers.True, some should be out of the classroom, but many are hard-working, dedicated professionals who care about kids and what they are doing. However, no program, new textbook, procedure, or technique can make up for poor parenting. Having seen firsthand the results of neglected kids, angry, hostile kids, and/or belligerent parents, it's no wonder little learning occurs in some schools. If there is no support at home, the teacher-parent connection cannot exist. Without such support, teachers flounder no matter what they try to accomplish will ill-served, ill-prepared students.

      And why is it always POLITICIANS or BUSINESSMEN who make these demands? Have they taught? Do they truly KNOW what it's like to be in the trenches everyday, so to speak? Why does no one ASK TEACHERS how to fix schools and give them the RESOURCES to do it? There ALWAYS seems to plenty of money flowing from special interests to the coffers of our supposed representatives and congressmen and women. WHY are they NOT truly representing us anymore???

      July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Lokn70de

      Ahh, a breath of understanding. TY

      July 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  89. billyjim

    CoJo Ohio received a waiver to NCLB. Did you read the article?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  90. Sheila

    GREAT so we'll have a rash of teachers cheating on the exams for their students just like on the news recently. Their incentive is perverse. Just fire the bad teachers immediately. LET THE PARENTS choose their schools, including CHARTER SCHOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Aurora Chuck

      the unions won't let you fire the bad teachers, that's the problem!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • nike

      You do realize when parents get to choose, they all will choose the same best-rated school (which is already the case, only parents relocate to be within the district first when they decide to raise a family). The result is complete increase in student body which results in reduction of education quality.

      Schools already fight for funding to keep their facilities accommodating, and class sizes are getting larger and larger. Parents already have the ability to choose by relocation. And that's trouble enough.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  91. ProblemSolving

    What does it say about our country, especially a state like Texas (I am a Texan) that we are closing schools every year but building new prisons at the same time. Funding for education is out paced by funding for our prison systems.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • FauxNews

      Good point. And, one reason the prisons are growing is because of bad education.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
      • azmary

        Or maybe bad parents.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  92. Jared

    Well, as long as we're going down this road, can we link the pay of the Ohio legislature to job performance as well?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  93. sara

    So teachers will teach to the test, not teach children how to think anaylytically or solve problems or be creative.
    I'm glad I dont' live in Ohio!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jared

      Or Florida....or Virginia....or....

      July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  94. dwallace1

    One or two ask about who determines the tests. It tends to be the same textbook companies that supply the books. Also, check you state's department of education. Most of the members in my state come from business and have no education training. We need to have the guidance of our best minds in education for education. Do you see a mechanic about a broken arm or a doctor about a blown engine?
    I would love for everyone who says, "It's about time" to last a month in a classroom.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Nate

      A month? Most wouldn't last the week.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • IOWAGUY1958

      They wouldn't last a week in a classroom. Teaching is like playing poker, heres the cards you are dealt, now win or find a way to cheat and win! Cards here being the student and if you get a "bad" hand, you better find a way to fill it out! This will lead to cheating to keep your job(win the hand) and that will only make the problem worse.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  95. Really?

    One would think that based on trials by other states that Ohio would be smart enough to avoid this. What I wonder is what the teachers think. The government is clearly writing this to take away their pay-they don't want to pay any more money.

    Just one example: Anyone ever decide to be a math teacher? I am an Actuary. I have a B.S. in Math just like many High School Math Teachers, and make probably 3 times as much. I don't get the entire summer off, but I receive ample vacation time. With legislation like this good luck keeping any math teacher in the business. Oh and did I mention that when I leave work I'm done for the day, which is at 4:00 p.m.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • 2tor

      You say "clearly" it's to take away their pay, and I say you're clearly wrong. Although I am not for this approach, I'm not entirely against it. we've been throwing money at schol systems for decade and getting worse results. Something ha to be done.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • scir91onYouTube

        the money has been going to no-bid and high-bid contracts to companies. teachers, like soldiers, see a very small amount. it's the admin and the people who are pencil pushers who sucked up all of that money

        July 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  96. tafugate

    incredibly bad idea. class size, peer pressure, and the support system at home has far more to do with student success than the proficiency of the teacher. a much better idea is tie custody of the parent to student performance. a student fails to achieve, award custody of the child to a caretaker at the parents' expense.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  97. IronCelt

    Oh, how nice–the teachers in the schools with two-parent, double-income and nanny households will get more money while the teachers in the schools with low-income/low socioeconomic students with big domestic crises will get less. Oh, yeah, that'll make things better.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • nike

      well said, exactly

      July 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  98. rosie

    Taking a test does not equal learning 'how to think'. Learning how to think is what education is supposed to be about. If you learn how to think then you can learn how to solve problems on your own. Once you know how to solve your own problems then you can go forward in life and do great things. Learning to take a test does NOT help you learn anything.
    Of course you can just look at what we elect to government office and see that the American education system has been in dire straights for years.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  99. CoJo

    interesting. While a lot of states are trying to get wavers from the NCLB, Ohio locks teachers to it? It has already been acknowledged that the NCLB is a costly failure. By the way, it was (and still is) a GOP mandate on the states. Another federal mandate what was poorly implemented and very costly. The south states (and even places in NY now) have be caught cheating... This is just the start of the cheating in Ohio.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • 2tor

      you know, I've seen folks dis the NCLB all along, mostly demos of course. It wasn't a failure, it was a complete success! Before NCLB, we were graduating kids that couldn't read ot write. that ended. You got something beeter, great. To say it was a failure, makes you look like one, and the rest of the demos. You all have done NOTHING!

      July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
      • OkieDokie

        If your house was judged on the NCLB and you didn't show progress in one area you would fail completely. Let's say the sanitation department didn't pick up your trash the day of the test. Not only would you fail, your entire neighborhood would fail. Before you rave about the NCLB, understand it first.

        July 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
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