Ohio Senate Bill 229, a bill designed to modify the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio, has disappeared in the Ohio House.  Despite passing 33-0 in the Senate, House Education Committee Chairman Gerald Stebelton is ignoring the bill and has yet to allow it to be introduced for hearings on his committee.

Senate Bill 229 would provide some much needed relief to Ohio’s principals who are being run ragged trying to keep up with the onerous processes required by the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and better allow them to be the instructional leaders in Ohio’s school buildings instead of the paper-pushers that they have been forced to become to implement the new law.

In addition, the bill would make modifications that would treat educators with a modicum of professionalism by reducing the frequency with which our high-quality teachers would need to run the OTES gauntlet simply to prove to [no one in particular] that they are doing the job that they are paid to do and doing it very well.

Lastly, the legislation would allow districts more control to reduce the emphasis of disconnected and one-day high-stakes standardized tests that simply don’t apply to the vast majority of students or teachers.

All of these changes to the state evaluation system would be a good start to bringing better balance to a new system that was discovered to be flawed early on in the implementation as it quickly became an unnecessary and time-consuming distraction to teachers, principals, schools, and districts trying to focus on the work of educating children while dealing with fewer resources from the state.

Apparently Representative Stebelton, despite his responsibility as chair of the House Education Committee, isn’t so interested in bringing these common sense changes to fruition by putting them on “his” agenda despite enormous public interest in adopting the legislation.  Stebelton’s House Education Committee, which was assigned the legislation on December 10, has yet to have SB 229 placed on his agenda.

Again, this bill received unanimous support in the Republican-dominated Senate and should be quickly adopted by the House so that the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio’s schools can begin to plan the necessary changes for next school year now instead of again scrambling to implement last-minute legislation as has become the norm under the Kasich administration.

Take action: Contact Representative Stebelton’s office by phone at (614) 466-8100 or by email (click here) and tell him to stop ignoring Senate Bill 229 and get it passed immediately.

If you’d like to kindly urge other members of the House Education Committee (wink, wink) to support this bill, you can find their contact information here.