Linking Teacher Evaluations in Ohio to Professional Learning

In 2009, Ohio House Bill 1 directed the Educator Standards Board (ESB) to recommend model evaluation systems for teachers and principals to the State Board of Education for its review and adoption. In response, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) worked extensively with stakeholders to design the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) to support teacher growth and development. After a 2012 pilot, OTES was fully implemented for the 2013–14 school year. For teachers who receive a developing or proficient rating, professional learning will be provided based on OTES results. However, there is no systematic statewide process for districts to review teacher performance evaluation results to guide the design of professional learning. To provide teachers with relevant resources for instructional improvement, ODE needed statewide policies and tools to implement the delivery of high-quality professional learning opportunities aligned to OTES data and results.

Task and Approach

In October 2012, the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) began building the organizational capacity of ODE to support districts and schools in the design and implementation of professional learning opportunities for teachers based on teacher performance evaluation results. GLCC is serving ODE as a thought partner and has partnered with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) to bring in teacher evaluation expertise. GLCC and the GTL Center have collaborated with ODE to design a systematic process for analyzing teacher evaluation results at the district level. This process involves developing the following components: a model for aligning professional learning with teacher evaluation results, state processes for reconciling rating inconsistencies at the district level, and Ohio-specific customized professional learning modules to align OTES results with professional learning opportunities.

  • Identifying research-based resources and providing content expertise. Through the GTL Center, GLCC helped ODE identify a resource, Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Learning, and adapt it to an Ohio policy and practice context.
  • Using data to inform strategy. The GTL Center reviewed state policies and practices on resolving teacher evaluation rating inconsistencies (i.e., a high rating on classroom observation measures coupled with low student growth, or the opposite). ODE is using the results of this review to inform work with the Ohio ESB in developing guidance policies for districts.
  • Facilitating collaboration. GLCC helped define the collaborative roles, responsibilities, and tasks of the GTL Center, GLCC, and ODE, and communicated scopes of work to each partner. GLCC presented the GTL Center’s draft professional learning modules to the Ohio ESB as the potential template for a customized training tool.
  • Leading the way and building capacity. The GTL Center conducted introductory professional learning module training for staff members from ODE, educational service centers (ESCs), and Ohio administrator associations. The GTL Center, GLCC, and ODE led a statewide train-the-facilitator workshop on the Using Ohio Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Learning module. This training will build the capacity of the ESC regional support network to then facilitate training for principals and teacher leaders at a regional level across Ohio.
  • A new customized module, Using Ohio Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Learning, was developed and introduced throughout Ohio.
  • Facilitators at ESCs throughout Ohio are now prepared to train principals and administrators in their regions to implement the Using Ohio Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Learning module.
  • ODE used the GLCC analysis of states' approaches to resolving teacher evaluation rating inconsistencies to develop state guidance for districts regarding resolution of teacher evaluation rating inconsistencies.
  • ODE has a foundation for establishing statewide policies and procedures to ensure that teacher practices inform decisions about professional learning