Though the law could still be modified before going into effect, the current measure requires that Ohio public school districts give each teacher a grade by the 2013-14 school year. Half of each educator's score will be based on how much students learn, as determined by their test scores.
Decisions regarding salary, promotions and firings will then be based on these results. All but the top teachers in the state will be evaluated every year.
According to CNN, one of the reasons for the changes concerns the state budget, which holds that student academic growth must determine at least 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. There’s also the matter of the federal government’s Race to the Top program. As one of several states that have promised to pursue means of measuring and proving students’ academic growth, Ohio must follow through in order to receive funds from the program.
Ohio has also received an Obama administration waiver from parts of the No Child Left Behind law, which required that the state devise more detailed teacher evaluations and base personnel decisions on them -- something Iowa, the one state to have its waiver request rejected outright, failed to do.
Similarly, Florida has turned to student scores on standardized exams to help evaluate teachers and determine their pay -- a policy that will become mandatory under a new state law in 2014.
Like Ohio, Florida’s revamped teacher-evaluation system is in part a byproduct of the education reform agenda pushed by the Obama administration, which is awarding states $4.3 billion through its Race to the Top grant program.