To laugh or to cry, dear Buckeyes, that is the question. In recent years, state lawmakers in Ohio have set about the business of underfunding education, undermining teachers unions, improperly tying student test scores to teacher evaluations, and rigging the game to prop up a for-profit charter school industry that has become the laughingstock of the nation.
If you know public school teachers around Ohio, and talk to them, you’ll find morale is low, stress is high and the joy of learning is being robbed from students while the joy of instruction exists now only as a fond memory. Quotas, scores, standards, and evaluation have become the all-immersive motivating force.
It’s part of the larger insidious effort across these United States by the screwheads to profiteer off of a $500 billion annual education industry. The model legislation (typically copied and pasted from ALEC) is churned out in each state like so many pink ooze hot dog links and marked by General Assemblies such as ours in Columbus as prime Angus beef.
Still, though, you’d think that two men referred to as being among the most influential Ohio Republicans on education might’ve been bothered to actually read and give passing thought to the legislation they’ve been rubber stamping into law. You’d be wrong.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Ohio’s value-added measure is a major part of its system for evaluating student progress and teacher effectiveness, but some lawmakers admit they have too little understanding of how it works…
Reps. Ryan Smith and Bob Cupp, two of the more influential House Republicans on education issues, introduced a one-paragraph bill last week that calls for a review of the value-added system…
For such a major component of district report cards and teacher evaluations, there appears to be a lack of understanding of the value-added measure both inside and outside the Statehouse.
“I don’t particularly understand it…” said Cupp, R-Lima. “I think there’s a lot of broad-based questions about it.”
Bravo, gentlemen. Bang-up job you’re doing. You’ve tied tens of thousands of teachers’ lives and careers to a process of which you have shit-all of an understanding. Really phoning it in these days, aren’t we fellas? Damn, Bob, I hope you were able to muster the energy to care to understand issues that came before you on the Ohio Supreme Court.
How wantonly destructive and irresponsible can these people get? How many less fks could they possibly give about public education and the millions of children meant to be served by it?
Value added uses standardized test scores, not to look at whether students are proficient, but rather to determine how much students learned in a given year.
By tracking scores over multiple years, the model is designed to determine whether a school is providing a year’s worth of growth to students, regardless of whether those students start off behind or ahead of their peers.
Calculating the measurement is complicated, which has some lawmakers wishing they had a better grasp of it, especially when groups such as charter schools advocate changing or replacing it.
Ahh, so we see now why they’re perking up and paying attention. The corrupt joke of a charter school industry has come a lobbyin’.
David DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. DeWitt is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS. He can be found on Twitter @DC_DeWitt and on Facebook here.