Educator Standards Board takes stand on teachers as professionals

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Members of the Ohio Educator Standards Board stood up for teachers as professionals who seek opportunities to grow and improve their skills May 3 by balking at a legislative requirement to define "consistently high performing teacher."

Instead, members of the ESB, an advisory board to the Ohio Board of Educaiton, drafted a resolution in response to a requirement in House Bill 64 that the state board define a "consistently high performing teacher" as someone who does not have to participate in professional development to renew their licenses. OFT member Sandy Orth, of  Toledo, chairs the ESB, and members Jeff Cooney, of Oregon City, and Jim Wagner, of Cleveland, serve on the board.

OFT opposes this requirement. It is nearly impossible to define a "consistently high performing teacher" with validity. Teachers are disrespected and not treated as professionals when legislators consider it a reward to not have to do professional development to renew a license. Teachers need and want to keep up with the latest developments in the field. To suggest it is not necessary is an insult to teachers as professionals. 

The ESB drafted a resolution opposing any definition of a "consistently high performing teacher" and urged the Ohio Board of Education to do the same.

The Ohio Educator Standards Board May 3, 2016 passed the following resolution:

Preamble

The Educator Standards Board spent many hours deliberating the idea of defining a Consistently High Performing teacher, with the recognition resulting in removal of professional learning. WE strongly believe that every professional educator should consistently pursue professional learning activities.

Resolution

WHEREAS the Educator Standards Board in its role as an advisory board to the State Board of Education has been made aware of the statutory mandate to define a Consistently High Performing (CHP) teacher;

And WHEREAS members of the Educator Standards Board represent multiple constituencies and stakeholders;

And WHEREAS members of the Educator Standards Board support and believe in professional development within our profession as consistent with all state-licensed professionals;

And WHEREAS members of the Educator Standards Board are unaware of any other profession licensed by the State of Ohio having an analogous label to Consistently High Performing (CHP);

And WHEREAS the Educator Standards Board has demonstrated a consistent dedication and service to the creation of Professional Learning Standards to support the highest quality of education to Ohio’s students;

And WHEREAS the discrepancies in contextual and state-supported resources have contributed to even more entrenched differences between school districts instead of nurturing collaborative practices;

And WHEREAS the Educator Standards Board, in support of Ohio’s teachers, believes that defining a select class of Consistently High Performing teachers only communicates the impression that a Consistently High Performing teacher would be rare in Ohio;

And WHEREAS the Educator Standards Board believes that the definition of this label causes more harm to schools, teachers, and ultimately to Ohio’s students;

Be it therefore RESOLVED that the Educator Standards Board refuses to participate in any process that has as its goal the creation of this or any similar label;

Be it further RESOLVED that members of the Educator Standards Board recognize that there is a risk to not participating in the creation of such a definition and we therefore ask the State Board of Education similarly to refuse to participate in the creation of the definition “Consistently High Performing” and to refer this issue back to the General Assembly for reconsideration.