MOUNT VERNON — The new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System has two parts: One is the actual teacher performance in the classroom and the other relates to student growth. Knox County Educational Service Center consultant Bonny Buffington has been helping area schools prepare to implement the OTES.
“We all want to see students grow academically,” she said. “The problem is, how do you measure that? In order to provide accurate growth data [for teacher evaluation purposes], I have to be able to link teachers directly to the instruction of each child. I have to know where the child started and how far he or she has progressed.”
The Ohio Achievement Assessments will be used to determine student growth for those educators who teach math and English in grades four through eight. Those test results do show value-added [student growth] data, but they are norm-referenced tests.
“Norm-referenced tests should never be used for accountability,” said Buffington. “Results are based on a bell curve, with equivalent scores. No matter how many answers a student may get correct, the top is always 99, the middle is fifty and the bottom is one.”
There is another problem with using the OAA data: Tests are given in the spring and school districts don’t get that data until September or October. Buffington doesn’t like that scenario.
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