One of the many controversial provisions in the recently passed state budget bill requires all teachers in the worst performing 10 percent of schools to retake their certification tests.
Never mind that even the developers of that test cautioned that it’s not designed to evaluate educators already in the field. Many teachers feared the list would merely punish teachers who choose to work in troubled districts.
Now it appears those worries have hit home: Though the Ohio Department of Education did not furnish an official list of the dubious 10 percent, a rundown of the losers surfaced last week. The 349 schools slated to have teachers retested fall mostly in poor urban districts. Adding variety to the list are a few poor rural schools, schools targeted at kids with various learning problems, and schools at juvenile correction facilities.
No surprise that teachers in Beachwood, Shaker Heights, Solon, Westlake, and Bay Village won’t be retested — but roughly half of all Cleveland public schools will be.
“We know many teachers agreed to go to some of those schools on the list because they are some of our best teachers and they wanted to make a difference,” says David Quolke, head of the Cleveland Teachers Union, which fought the law’s enactment.
“It’s a disincentive to get teachers to go into those schools. This law assumes student achievement is low because of the quality of the school’s teachers. But we embrace every kid that walks through the door, whether they’re hungry, whether they live in poverty, whether they’re being raised by their grandparents.”
The list also didn’t overlook Cleveland’s magic-bullet solution for underperforming public schools. While charter schools make up only 8.6 percent of Ohio’s total, they accounted for 43.5 percent of the state’s shit list. Well-represented were the Hope and Life Skills academies, brought to you by the educational wrecking crew at White Hat. — Anastasia Pantsios
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