BOE hears system to assess teachers

WAYNESFIELD — Waynesfield-Goshen Board of Education members heard an hour-long presentation Monday on a new system that may be used to assess teacher’s ability to teach.

Ohio will soon become a member of the national assessment consortium, which is making broad changes to how teachers are assessed across the state. Student improvement in core subjects will be a large part of teacher assessments with the new system.

Ohio committed itself to embracing higher standards that cross state lines when it joined 45 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting the common core standards in math and English language arts (ELA) in June 2010. These standards, crafted by experts and practitioners convened by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, are more rigorous than Ohio’s current ones. In a 2010 analysis of state academic standards, outside expert reviewers found that Ohio’s ELA and math standards both earned an undistinguished C.

The standards appear deeper and more specific, and more cogent than most state academic standards, including Ohio’s. Experts say they are well grounded in what students will need in order to be successful in college and in a career. The new K-12 common core standards will better ensure that students are college and career ready.

Board members heard a presentation from Barb Fuerbacher of Riverside Publishing in Cincinnati, who presented the Iowa assessment program. The program is named after assessments adopted in Iowa in 2010-2011.

“It would allow the district to measure student learning and student learning growth with a nationally valid assessment,” Superintendent Chris Pfister said. “It is one of only four Ohio Department of Education Approved assessments that can be used for teacher evaluation.

Board members did not immediately vote on the assessment program as board members were given time to evaluate the information.

Pfister said he thinks the program would help ensure student growth.