Prepared Notes for Board Meeting – Committee Updates

January 24, 2011

 Marc A. Schare –  

614 791-0067

 marc9@aol.com

 

 

Two updates tonight. First, I attended my first “Race to the Top” committee meeting. The committee has organized itself around the three areas of assurance the State of Ohio is requiring for Race to the Top compliance. The first is on “Standards and Assessments” where a subcommittee will continue to work on the adaption of new Ohio content standards, the second is on using data to improve instruction, a rather large area where a subcommittee will work on integration with Worthington’s data warehouse and professional development to assure staff can get the most use out of data already collected and the third on “Great Teachers and Leaders” where a subcommittee is looking at teacher evaluation criteria and trying to figure out the differences between Ohio’s implementation of Value-Add and Battelle’s implementation of Value-Add since the state will be transitioning to the Battelle methodology shortly.

 

This brings me around to my first legislative update of the year. Of course, Rep. Duffey has already discussed HB30, but I find one aspect of HB30 very troubling, that being the reduction of the forecast period for school districts from 5 years to 3 years. Anyone interested in the reasons why can refer to my blog post on the subject. Speaking of Value-Add, HB21 seeks to require the use of student performance data, specifically value-add data in evaluating teachers and principals for licensure. Given how flaky value-add data has been in recent years, Ohio might be best served by going slow on this one. Another piece of legislation, HB36 seeks to restore 5 excused calamity days to the school calendar. In my opinion, Governor Strickland was correct in reducing the number of calamity days. No one is talking about making kids go to school in dangerous conditions, the question is how many of these days should be made up during the school year. Since we are already paying teachers for these days, there is a serious cost involved in excused calamity days. In any event, there is no reason why teachers could not utilize these days for professional development and/or professional collaboration time.