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I hope each and every one of you had time to relax and enjoy your summer in between classes, professional development, work around the house, etc.  Although it is hard to believe that summer is gone, there is always something about the start of school that is new and optimistic.  I don't know if it’s the sense of starting anew or the smell of new supplies - but each year signals the beginning of a new chapter.  However, I do want to take this opportunity to look back at last year and report something that is important for all CTU members to know. 

Last school year was the first school year that teachers in Cleveland and throughout Ohio received a final Effectiveness Rating from the ODE.  The Effectiveness Rating is based 50% on classroom observation (TDES) and 50% Student Growth Measures.  These are combined together to give each teacher a Final Effectiveness Rating based on the Effectiveness Rating Chart created by the Ohio Department of Education. 

What did we learn?  86% of CTU teachers received an Effectiveness Rating of Accomplished (22%) or Skilled (64%)!   Surprised?  Not CTU members. This is what we have been saying all along…we have great teachers in our schools and the Cleveland teachers are doing a great job in the classroom every day for the students of Cleveland.  Yes, when Governor Kasich and the Republican dominated General Assembly passed state law forcing teachers across Ohio to accept a new way of being evaluated, we all rolled up our sleeves and did the job we always do - which is deliver a quality education to our students. 

In order for a teacher to receive a Teacher Effective Rating (eTPES) of Skilled or Accomplished that means that Student Growth Measures must be MET or ABOVE.  So that means that with growth measures factored in - 86% of Cleveland Teachers had to have growth measures of Met or Above.  Met means that a student was delivered a year’s worth of instruction and they grew a year as measured through a combination of Value-Added, vendor assessment, and/or SLOs.  Above means that a student was delivered a year’s worth of instruction and the student grew more than a year because of that instruction.   

I am not saying that using value added or vendor assessments are fair tools for evaluating learning and growth, nor am I saying that these measures should be a part of a teacher’s evaluation, but for all of the teacher haters in the community - this is a telling graphic.  Again, throughout the district and in classroom from Pre-K to 12th grade in all subject areas, Cleveland teachers delivered quality instruction and their students grew a year or more in their learning as measured multiple ways.

What about the remaining 14%?  Roughly 11% were in the Developing category and 2% were rated Ineffective.   Developing is nothing to be ashamed of considering the challenges that our students and teachers face each day and the inherent issues with the proprietary value added formula.   With a strong commitment to Peer Assistance and Review the numbers in the Ineffective category can also decline significantly this school year.  There are still numerous Grievances around TDES that need to be resolved and the data can only get better from there.

As the District prepares their strategy to convince voters this November to approve a Bond issue to improve learning conditions for our children, perhaps they should focus on how we are delivering on our promise of providing great teachers and great learning experiences in all of our schools!  Imagine what we could do with updated schools and facilities!

In Union,