In early December, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, which examines the laws and regulations governing state teacher policy. NCTQ evaluated states in five policy areas, each of which contained sub-goals such as delivering well-prepared teachers, expanding the teaching pool, and identifying effective teachers. States were evaluated on each dimension and given a grade for each policy area. The five policy area grades were then rolled into one state grade.
In terms of overall grades, Ohio did fairly well, earning a B-minus. (The top-performing state was Florida with a B+, while the lowest performer was Montana with an F.) Ohio received the same grade in 2013, but earlier overall grades (a C-plus in 2011 and a D-plus in 2009) were far less impressive, and the results point to general improvement. The Buckeye State earned its highest area grade, a solid B, in expanding the teacher pool through efforts to increase teaching opportunities with flexible and rigorous pathways. But the state earned its lowest grade (a C-minus) for delivering well-prepared teachers—mostly due to its failure to require prospective elementary, secondary science, secondary social studies, and special education teachers to pass rigorous content tests in all the subjects they will teach. The Buckeye State also suffered for its lack of requirements for admission into teacher preparation programs. Here’s a look at Ohio’s grades in each of the five policy areas:
- Delivering well-prepared teachers: C-minus
- Expanding the teacher pool: B
- Identifying effective teachers: C-plus
- Retaining effective teachers: B-minus
- Exiting Ineffective teachers: B-minus
NCTQ rounds out their report with a list of critical areas where states need to improve their teacher policies. For Ohio, these areas include improving teacher preparation, giving districts flexibility to determine their own pay structures and scales, and ensuring that new teachers are observed and receive feedback early in the school year. Despite this room for improvement, however, Ohio continues to move forward on the right path.
SOURCE: “2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook,” The National Council on Teacher Quality (December 2015).