Diving Deeper into Ohio's Education Reform Efforts


FIP: Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Student Learning

Kelli Wohlgamuth, Cincinnati Public Schools; Virginia Ressa, Ohio Department of Education

Summary: Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) combine four things: establishing clear learning targets, collecting evidence of student learning, providing students with effective feedback and preparing students to take ownership of their learning.  Research shows that FIP schools make great gains in student learning, partly because students become more aware of and responsible for where their learning stands in comparison to the goals. This session addresses collecting evidence of student learning, particularly designing effective assessments.

First, teachers should consider which assessment method will yield the most accurate information for a given learning target; what they need to do to ensure the evidence they collect can be used formatively; what is necessary to ensure the evidence collected matches what they taught; and what might be ways to document formative evidence.

There are four requirements in the design of an effective assessment:

    • Select the assessment methods to match the learning targets you are teaching.
    • Use an appropriate sample size.
    • Write or select only high quality assessment items, tasks and scoring rubrics.
    • Control for Bias.

These are covered in detail in the books, Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (2012) by Siggins, Arter, Chappuis and Chappuis.

Also, click here for the session PowerPoint, which contains much deeper detail on these four assessment requirements.


Ohio Resident Educator Program: Looking Ahead to Years 3 & 4

Presenters: Judith Monseur and Brenda Price, Ohio Department of Education

relogoSummary: This session focused on the Resident Educator Summative Assessment that Year 3 Ohio Resident Educators may take. It also outlined provisions for Year 4 Resident Educators.

In Year 3, Resident Educators are inducted into the full life of teaching through reflective practice. They have developed an understanding of teaching and learning and are preparing to demonstrate their professional growth through the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA).

The RESA’s purpose is to assess Resident Educators’ skills and practices, measured by proficiency on the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession. The assessment is being developed through Stanford University, Teachscape and the Ohio Department of Education.

For the assessment, Resident Educators will use an online platform to submit lesson plans, instructional materials, analysis of student learning, student work samples, video clips of lessons, and written teacher reflections as evidence of their teaching performance. These will be reviewed and scored by trained assessors who have five or more years of teaching experience and professional development and coaching experience. Assessment planners will analyze field test data being collected this school year to determine the requirements that will necessary for third-year Resident Educators to pass the RESA.

Resident educators (REs) who take RESA in Year 3 are required to have a licensed educator to help facilitate their preparation. They are not required to have a state-trained mentor to support them, though the person who has been their mentor may also qualify to serve as their facilitator. Required facilitation training will be online beginning in late summer 2013. When selecting a facilitator, districts should look for someone who holds a professional educator license, understands the Resident Educator Program and is already familiar with facilitation and questioning strategies.

If RESA participants are unsuccessful in passing all part of RESA in 2013-2014, they may retake deficient portions in 2014 – 2015.

Schools and districts will determine whether their third-year resident educators are ready for the assessment. If not, these teachers can wait until Year 4 to take the test. If the district determines a Resident Educator should wait until Year 4 to test, it still must provide specific supports to the Resident Educator in Year 3. The RE must be assigned trained mentor, and the mentor will follow a Year 3 Best Practices timeline similar to that of Year 2.  The RE will complete a Year 3 Formative Progress Review in Spring 2014 and begin RESA in Fall 2014.

Costs to implement RESA, such as use of the software platform, site licenses, assessors and facilitation training, are paid by ODE.

Resident Educators, who successfully passed RESA in Year 3, will be supported as Year 4 REs through learning communities in their schools and districts as they deepen their content knowledge, collaborate with colleagues and accept teacher leadership responsibilities.

More information about professional learning opportunities for Year 4 REs will be provided in fall 2013.

Upon successful completion of RESA and all Year 4 requirements, REs may apply for the 5-year professional license.

For more information:
Download Presentation |
Ohio Resident Educator Program | Address questions to REprogram@education.ohio.gov

Collaboration and OTES: The Long and Winding Road

Presenters: Gary Barber, Assistant Superintendent; Peggy McMurray, Principal; Angie Pollock, Director of Academic Achievement; Big Walnut Schools; Erin Barr, Intervention Specialist and president of the Big Walnut Education Association

Summary: Big Walnut is a Race to the Top district that is piloting the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) this school year with 25 volunteer teachers and will implement OTES during the 2013-2014 school year. The district and the Big Walnut Education Association worked together to transition teachers to the OTES process as smoothly and positively as possible, choosing to view OTES as “a stepping stone” to better practice rather than as a “stumbling block” for schools and teachers. The district’s strategy was to get started early; work collaboratively, both internally and with its ESC; simplify information for teachers; and share newly received information as soon as possible.

The district followed this timeline:


    • Opening day professional development for teachers on OTES and Student Learning Objectives


    • Agreed with local teacher’s union to establish an Evaluation Committee containing an equal number of administrators and educators.
    • Formed SLO writing teams and called a late-start day so teachers could work on SLOs in their teams. Result: each teacher was able to submit an SLO in October.
    • Delivered a condensed, two-day version of ODE’s OTES training for evaluators to the Evaluation Committee.


    • Evaluation Committee mapped out teacher professional development, professional growth/improvement plans and class walkthrough guidelines and created a Google document on which principals could record—and teachers could respond to—notes from the class walkthroughs. This facilitated reflective conversations about the walkthroughs between principals and teachers.
    • District used a waiver day to allow teachers to work in SLOs tied to the new standards.
    • Evaluation Committee developed OTES packets for teachers using ODE and locally developed materials and developed a video and FAQ document for teachers to go over in groups.
    • Committed to spend most of the professional development time for this year to OTES-related topics.


    • OTES packets distributed to staff by Evaluation Committee members in small meetings. Later, an administrator/teacher team from the committee answered follow-up questions in small groups.


    • All questions collected in small groups were answered in writing by Evaluation Committee members and emailed to all district teaching staff.
    • All teachers in the district then received 3.5 hours of OTES training.

For More Information: Big Walnut is glad share all the tools and documents it developed through its pilot programs with other districts. Email garybarber@bigwalnut.k12.oh.us; erinbarr@bigwalnut@k12.oh.us; peggymcmurry@bigwalnut.k12.oh.us; or angiepollock@bigwalnut.k12.oh.us; or visit www.bigwalnut.k12.oh.us.

Download Presentation | Download Handouts | Download Timeline

Example: A more detailed discussion of student growth measures can be found here

“Going Deeper” with Ohio’s New Learning Standards…What Does That Mean and Where Might We Begin?

Presenters:  Melodie Bernhard, Race to the Top Regional Specialist – SW; Sally Levine, Race to the Top Regional Specialist – NE; Kathy Nolan, Race to the Top Regional Specialist – SE

Summary: Ohio’s educators are on a continuum to roll out revised standards in 2014-2015.  Although this process is still in the early stages, much work has been done thus far to assist educators, including the development of a crosswalk and a comparison analysis.  These tools underscore the need for professional development to begin now to prepare for these instructional shifts and approaching changes.

The alignment process is much more than updating previous courses of study.  It is a transition which is ongoing.  This includes revisiting documents, adding to them and deepening the staff’s understanding of standards.  When the PARCC exams are implemented, this will mean big changes in the classroom.  In 18 months, students will be expected to read at two grade levels higher than current standards.  This Common Core example chart (below) illustrates the shift for 4th and 5th graders.  The grade level shifts (Lexile level) will be about two years above current levels.

Grade Band Current Lexile Band
(Typical text measures by grade)
“Stretch” Lexile Band
(Text complexity grade bands and associated Lexile ranges)
Grade 4 and 5 645L – 845L 740L – 1010L

What can educators do know?  The preparation for this transition can begin now.  First, focus on the instructional shifts and how this will impact classroom strategies.  Second, think about how you may introduce more complex text with current grade level text. Further, classroom teachers can build knowledge through content-rich informational texts.  In 4th grade, the split is half and half between literary and informational text.  By 12th grade, 30% will be literary, but 70% will be informational.  This is a significant shift and signals a much higher level of rigor.  Reading, writing and speaking are all grounded in evidence from the text, which can build upon the content.  Classroom teachers can begin preparing for this transition now by pairing fictional text with informational text.  For example, bring in examples and background knowledge from fictional text via informational text.

The instructional shifts to occur in math will also provide new levels of rigor.  For educators, it is important to think across grades and link major topics within grades to provide coherence.  In major topics, teachers should pursue conceptual understanding, including real world situations, to provide procedural skill and fluency.  When students encounter life’s situations, the concepts will not be presented in the form of actual math problems, but instead students must apply the lesson concepts from class to their situation. This is why building coherence about concepts over time is important to preparing for the shifts to occur in 2014-2015.

For More Information:
www.achievethecore.org | Download Presentation | English Checklist | Math Checklist | Cue Cards | Vocabulary Cards

State-Level Implementation of Standards and Assessments

Presenter: Sasheen Phillips, Executive Director, Ohio Department of Education Office of Curriculum and Assessment

Summary:  The PARCC and State level assessment model is a two-part summative assessment model with performance based and end of year assessments.

We have a tentative plan to transition from OGT to end of course exams and a cumulative point system based on 5 levels of mastery.

This year’s eighth graders will be the first graduating class (2017) required to take the PARCC assessments for graduation.


The PARCC End of Course Exams will be phased in, with five exams for the Class of 2017, eight for the Class of 2018 and 10 for the Class of 2019 and beyond.

Reaching Levels 4 and 5 on the  English 3, and Integrated Math 2 and 3 will indicate college readiness with no need for remediation.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee should be looked at as an intervention plan, not a retention plan.

There are three key components:

    • All K-3 students must be given a reading diagnostic test by Sept.30 of each year. 
    • Schools are required to develop intervention plan and report the number of students below grade level.
    • Intervention programs must be conducted by reading certified teachers.

One of the directives in HB 555 requires ODE to develop an approved list of research-based reading instruction programs that will meet the teacher qualifications component of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The department will post the list of approved programs and the criteria used on the ODE website. Presently this option is good only for the 2013-2014 school year, but language in current SB 21 would make these programs and option beyond that.

ODE has released the approved list of programs and the criteria. The announcement also will include the process and form for submitting additional programs to be considered for inclusion on the list. Submissions must include evidence that shows how the program meets the criteria. Send submissions to ThirdGradeGuarantee@education.ohio.gov before April 17, 2013.

Ohio Performance Assessment Pilot Project – An Instructional Approach to Assessment


Presenter: Lauren Monowar-Jones, Ohio Department of Education

Summary: OPAPP is a multi- faceted approach that is closely aligned to many of the significant reforms underway in Ohio.

This pilot combines a formative and summative task dyad, similar to PARCC approach to the Common Core online assessments. OPAPP enables teachers to logically incorporate online learning, formative instructional assessment, and new learning standards into their teaching approach.

This pilot will give us the data to support the shift in approaches results in greater comprehension.

For More Information: To learn more about OPAPP or to participate in the pilot, visit opapp.education.ohio.gov