Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Kasich’s teacher retesting law that was passed through his budget, HB153. This was the
first second time that the eye-popping story of the punitive law against teachers had been published in one of Ohio’s main newspapers (The Columbus Dispatch posted a story the day after we created the list of affected teachers). It’s an appalling law so we would like to congratulate the Enquirer for getting the scoop on the other rags around the state. With that effort, surely they have earned their self-appointed byline.
If you’ve been following our site for the past year, you’ll find little new information in this article that starts nearer the end of this larger story, but there are a few key items that are worth dissecting from this article:
“It’s unclear how much teacher re-testing will cost. The education association has estimated it at $2.1 million a year to test some 6,000 teachers. But Ohio’s education department says it has not yet picked the tests. It’s also unknown whether Ohio will pay for the tests or make districts and charter schools foot the bill.”
First, those estimated numbers originated here at Plunderbund, NOT through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The department has never publicly announced the number of teachers nor the projected cost, though we released BOTH of those details in August and even received a tacit acknowledgement from Superintendent Heffner about the list of teachers (on video). In that same video from late August, Heffner clearly passes on the cost of paying for those test to local districts when he says,
“Districts need to prepare for the payments, the costs, of these.” Stan Heffner, 8/29/12
On the very same day that Heffner was recording this video, August 29, ODE put out this internal memo (emphasis added):
You may have seen a series of blogs and articles from the weekend on the retesting of teachers in the lowest performing 10% of schools in Ohio. While the bloggers [Plunderbund] have created their own list of teachers, no such list exists at ODE. The message below was sent to the Dispatch this afternoon in hopes that clarification may be provided to the misinformaiton [sic] that is being circulated on this topic. ODE will continue to work with OEA and OFT to help publish accurate information. Both have received inquiries to date.
Michael [Sawyers, ODE Interim Deputy Superintendent]
The final statement from the Enquirer Exclusive that needs addressed is this one, “Ohio’s education department says it has not yet picked the tests.” That’s actually not a problem since it’s not ODE’s choice. As can be found repeatedly in the Ohio Administrative Code, individuals seeking a teaching license must successfully pass “an examination prescribed by the state board of education.” The ODE website clearly delineates this authority on their website detailing the current teacher licensure exams, so I can’t imagine why the ODE would somehow try to usurp the authority of the State Board of Education.
The Teacher Retesting law, ORC 3319.58 is also clear about who determines these tests:
“…take all written examinations prescribed by the state board of education for licensure…”
If you are interested in learning more about the year-long history of the teacher testing law from these uncredited-and-apparently-very-hard-to-find-posts-even-if-someone-quoted-in-the-article-had-already-mentioned-the-blog, I’ve created an anthology of our writing and research on this topic. You’ll find that it’s much more nuanced than the ENQUIRER EXCLUSIVE. And I highly recommend watching the video of Stan Heffner from the September 3 post.
Contact your Ohio Representative today and request a repeal of Ohio Revised Code 3319.58 through the upcoming budget revisions.