Two lengthy bills have been introduced in the Ohio House that seek to implement significant changes once again to educational practices across the state.
House Bill 176 had its first hearing in the Ohio House Education and Career Readiness Committee on May 16, and House Bill 181 gets its first hearing this coming Tuesday, May 23, in the same committee (click on image above).
The two bills have many similarities, so it’s curious that Chair Andrew Brenner is giving the bills separate hearings in the committee, especially considering they are both sponsored by House Republicans and details could have (theoretically) been easily hammered out in the House Republican Caucus. If, after reading the details below, you wish to share your thoughts about these two bills, you can email Representative Brenner by clicking on his picture at the right or at Rep67@ohiohouse.gov.
The bills are 236 and 245 pages, respectively, and cover much of the same territory regarding state tests, academic standards, safe harbor, and the educator evaluation systems, though one might claim that HB176 is a bit more “extreme” in rolling back recent changes. House Bill 176 also includes a provision to eliminate the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA), a provision similar to one that was added to the House’s version of the Budget Bill (HB49; HB176 only eliminates the RESA, not the full RE program).
Both bills also propose changes to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee law. HB176 completely eliminates the retention component while HB181 lowers the required score need in order to advance to 4th grade from “basic” to “limited”.
Here are excerpts from the Legislative Service Commission analyses of the bills:
Academic content standards and model curricula
- Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting, and the Department of Education from implementing, the Common Core State Standards, or any standards developed by any similar initiative process or program, as the state’s academic content standards for English language arts mathematics, science, or social studies and voids any prior actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards.
- Requires the State Board, to replace the academic content standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies with new standards that are consistent with the standards adopted by Massachusetts prior to that state’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, so that Ohio’s standards are as identical as possible to those adopted by Massachusetts, except where an Ohio context requires otherwise.
- States that a school district is not required to utilize all or any part of the academic content standards adopted by the State Board.
- Prohibits the State Board from adopting or revising any academic content standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies until the new or revised standards are approved by the appropriate subject area subcommittee created under the bill, and approved by the General Assembly by a concurrent resolution.
- Creates the 13-member Academic Content Standards Steering Committee to do the following: (1) determine a chair and co-chair for the committee, (2) appoint four individuals to oversee the development of the standards documents, (3) contract, if necessary, with an individual who has a “national reputation” in the areas of academic content standards and assessments to facilitate the committee’s work, (4) establish a subcommittee each in the areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies to review and approve any new or revised standards, and (5) select, by majority vote of all members, a chair for each subcommittee.
- Prohibits the State Board from adopting any model curricula.
- Requires that any revision to the statewide academic content standards be approved by both houses of the General Assembly by concurrent resolution.
- Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting academic content standards that are developed at the national level or by a multistate consortium.
- Requires the State Board, within 30 days after the bill’s effective date, to provide on the Department of Education’s website an online opportunity to make comments about the academic content standards.
- Eliminates the separate academic standards review committees for each of the subjects of English language arts, math, science, and social studies.
- Prohibits the State Board from adopting any model curricula.
State achievement assessments
- Eliminates the fourth-grade and sixth-grade social studies assessments and the fall administration of the third-grade English language arts assessment.
- Specifies that the elementary-level assessments must be the assessments administered prior to 2010 in Iowa.
- Specifies that the administration of the elementary-level assessments must occur at the discretion of each discretion or school.
- Eliminates the retention provision for students who fail to attain a passing score on the third-grade English arts assessment.
- Replaces the current seven high school end-of-course examinations in English language arts I, English language arts II, science, Algebra I, geometry, American history, and American government with examinations in English language arts, mathematics, and science.
- Specifies that the high school exams must be the assessments administered prior to 2010 in Iowa.
- Eliminates an exemption under current law that allows students in public and chartered nonpublic high schools to forego taking a nationally standardized assessment that measures college and career readiness if that student has attained a “remediation-free” score on the assessment and has presented evidence of that fact to the student’s district or school.
- Prohibits the State Board of Education from using the assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the Smarter Balanced assessments, or any other assessment related to or based on the Common Core State Standards for use as state achievement assessments.
- Eliminates the requirement to administer any diagnostic assessment to students in grades kindergarten through three, and instead authorizes districts and schools to administer such assessments.
- Requires new state elementary and high school achievement assessments to be administered beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, and specifies the entities that are involved in identifying, reviewing, recommending, and approving the new state assessments.
- Assigns percentiles to each score level of the elementary achievement assessments.
- Lowers the minimum score by which students must score in order to not be retained under the Third-grade Reading Guarantee.
- Requires a student to be retained if the student scores “limited,” instead of “basic” as under current law, on the third-grade English language arts assessment.
- Qualifies the parent of a third-grade student who receives a score of “basic” to have the student retained and receive remediation services.
- Eliminates the fall administration of the third-grade English language arts assessment.
- Replaces the high school testing system with “a series of nationally norm-referenced, standardized assessments in the areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, American history, and American government.”
- Eliminates an exemption from taking the college readiness assessment (SAT or ACT) for a student who has attained a “remediation free” score on that assessment and has presented evidence of that fact to the student’s district or school.
- Eliminates a provision authorizing a school district to retain a student (1) who does not take a state achievement assessment or (2) who does not take within nine days a missed assessment that was missed due to health reasons “or other good cause,” unless the student was specifically excused as a limited English proficient student.
- Repeals a provision requiring the Department of Education to assign a weight of zero to the assessment score of a student who does not take a state achievement assessment.
- Prohibits the Department of Education from using the assessments related to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the Smarter Balanced assessments, or any other assessments developed by a multistate consortium as any of the state’s achievement assessments.
- Prohibits funds from being appropriated by the General Assembly to be used to purchase assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced assessment consortium.
- Revises the current provision regarding the excusal from state assessments for students receiving special education services and for whom an individualized education program (IEP) has been developed, by stating that the student’s IEP must provide the student with an opportunity to take an assessment “that is determined to approximate the student’s grade level capacity, with reasonable accommodations.”
- Requires each school district with a graduation rate of less than 75% to determine for each of its high schools whether the school must provide intervention services to students who took the high school state assessments.
- Specifies that the elementary and high school achievement assessments must be “norm-referenced.”
Both HB176 and HB181 are proposing significant changes (once again) to the assessments that would be administered to students, though they take different routes. HB176 specifies that Ohio must switch to assessments from Iowa, though the new standards proposed by the bill would basically be those used in the state of Massachusetts. HB181, however, goes for what appears to be a full “reset” for state standards and assessments by requiring that new assessments be created based on new standards that would be developed under the bill.
Teacher and principal evaluations
- Eliminates the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System and the guidelines and requirements related to those systems.
- Requires a municipal school district (Cleveland) continue to evaluate teachers and administrators under provisions of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System.
- Eliminates the standard and alternative frameworks that are the basis for the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES), and eliminates the requirement for school districts, schools, and educational service centers (ESCs) to evaluate their teachers and principals based on the state evaluation frameworks.
- Requires, for teacher evaluations, each district, school, or ESC to adopt a teacher evaluation policy with the teachers and the teachers’ labor organization.
- Requires, for principal evaluations, requires each board to adopt procedures for the evaluation of its principals and to evaluate those employees in accordance with those procedures.
- Maintains the teacher and administrator evaluation systems currently in place for a municipal school district (Cleveland).
Sorry, Cleveland, you’re still stuck with your own set of separate laws. And sorry, school counselors, since your state-mandated evaluation process isn’t mentioned by either bill.
- Extends through the 2019-2020 school year the safe harbor provisions for students, school districts, and other public schools related to achievement assessment score results and state report card ratings, currently in effect for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Specifies the 2020-2021 school year as the first school year for which an overall report card grade will be issued.
- Specifies that the prohibition on including a student who did not take a state achievement assessment during the previous school year in a district’s or school’s enrollment count for state funding does not apply to any student who did not take an assessment during the 2015-2016 through 2019-2020 school years.
- Specifies that a student attending a chartered nonpublic school under a state scholarship program who does not take a required elementary achievement assessment or high school end-of-course exam that is administered in the 2015-2016 through 2019-2020 school years, is eligible to continue receiving the scholarship, provided the student satisfies all other conditions of the scholarship program.
- Delays the first issuance of the overall report card grades on the state report card for school districts and other public schools until the 2019-2020 school year.
- Extends through the 2018-2019 school year, the safe harbor provisions for students, school districts, and other public schools related to the state achievement assessment score results and report card ratings, currently in effect for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Prohibits a school district or school from using the value-added ratings from assessments administered in the 2014-2015 through 2018-2019 school years for the purposes of (1) assessing student academic growth for teacher and principal evaluations and (2) making decisions regarding the dismissal, retention, tenure, or compensation of the teachers or principals.
- Specifies that, for a teacher of a grade level and subject area for which the value-added progress dimension applies and if no other measure is available to determine student academic growth, the evaluation for that teacher or principal must be based solely on teacher or principal performance.
- Suspends until the 2019-2020 school year, the provision that requires an Internet- or computer-based community school (“e-school”) to withdraw a student from enrollment if a student fails for two consecutive school years to take any state achievement assessment, unless the student was specifically excused as a special education student or a limited English proficient student.
- Requires an “e-school” student who does not take a state achievement assessment for any reason, to take an assessment equivalent to the assessment for which the student was absent.
- Prohibits the Department of Education from using the academic performance component when calculating the overall ratings of community school sponsors for the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years.
- Delays until the 2019-2020 school year the consequences that may be applied to a community school sponsor that receives an overall rating of “ineffective” or “poor.”
An interesting point arises here with regards to HB181 and evaluations. While the bill proposes to eliminate the state’s OTES and OPES laws, the bill still makes references to pieces of the evaluation systems’ frameworks with regard to the prohibition of the use of value-added date for student growth measures. This could be a nod that the sponsors of the bill don’t believe that the systems would actually be eliminated and has put these provisions in as a safety net of sorts.
Resident Educator Summative Assessment
- Eliminates the Resident Educator Summative Assessment by prohibiting the Ohio Teacher Residency Program from requiring an entry-level classroom teacher to pass or take such an assessment during the residency program.
Again, if you wish to provide feedback about either or both of these bills, contact the members of the House Education and Career Readiness Committee: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/education-and-career-readiness.