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New Youngstown teacher evaluations to be linked to district performance


Published: Sat, November 4, 2017 @ 6:00 a.m.

VINDICATOR EXCLUSIVE

By AMANDA TONOLI

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

All for one – and one for all – will be the new reality for Youngstown City Schools teachers once a new evaluation system is put in place.

Teacher evaluations now will include “shared attribution measures,” or student-growth measures that can be attributed to a group – in this case, the school district, schools CEO Krish Mohip explained.

This new measure, expected to be unveiled today, will reflect the district as a whole in each teacher’s evaluation. In other words, poor performance by the district as a whole will be reflected on each teacher’s evaluation.

Another reasoning behind the evaluation is to ensure the $4 million being invested in professional development is having an effect, Mohip said.

The new evaluation policy will affect all teachers, a little more than 400 people.

It aims to ensure that all district teachers will be evaluated every year.

Fifty percent of the evaluation will be based on individual success, via walk-through evaluations, and the remaining 50 percent will reflect district progress.

“This helps motivate teachers to help students in areas in which they need the most support – even if that’s not their subject,” Mohip said.

Currently teachers are focusing on improving students’ reading and math skills.

“I want everyone to be thinking, ‘How can we help our students learn and improve those literacy skills throughout their day,’” Mohip said. “So, we need to be collaborative for student success. I want teachers to embed literacy skills into art class and gym class and have everyone really buy into this. Everyone needs to help these children in their literacy and reading scores.”

The half of the evaluation upon which this group grade is based will come from the prior year’s value-added model.

Value-added modeling looks at how much academic progress students with a district, school, or teacher make within a tested grade or subject (such as science, reading, or math) over time, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

“The expectation of progress is based on how the individual students within the group performed, on average, compared to other students just like them across the state,” the state’s website says. “A value-added model then compares a group’s actual progress to the expectation of progress and uses statistical precision to see if there is evidence that that group made more than, less than, or about the same progress as expected.”

By adding that measure to teachers’ evaluations, 50 percent of a teacher’s overall grade based on the prior year’s value-added score will stay with that teacher until the next year’s evaluation.

Before this new policy, teachers were evaluated on a year, two-year or three-year basis, based on their performance in the classroom.

“We feel, given where we are in the district, we want to give evaluative feedback to all teachers every single year,” Mohip said.

Salaries for teachers in Youngstown range from $30,483 entry level to $69,275 top scale.

“This way, we are making sure we have a professional development path every teacher needs,” Mohip added. “It’s about holding everyone accountable.”


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