Denise Smith Amos reports:
Teachers in Ohio are feeling a little overwhelmed these days.
They’re told they must help students master Ohio’s current academic requirements and pass annual state tests this spring.
But teachers also must prepare students, and themselves, for new Common Core requirements, tougher standards which will replace Ohio’s math and language arts requirements. New Common Core tests are expected in 2014-15.
And between now and then:
• The state is rolling out new school and district report cards with higher academic standards and A to F letter grades beginning this summer.
• Ohio is developing new science and social studies standards and tests.
• Ohio has ordered schools to test reading proficiency as early as kindergarten and provide extra help to slow readers because, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, third-graders can held back if they’re reading behind their grade level.
• Schools will begin evaluating teachers annually, basing half the evaluation on student test scores. For the first time teachers can lose jobs or a raise based on test scores.
Teachers and principals are reeling trying to prepare for it all, they said. Never has so much changed so quickly and pulled them in some many conflicting directions, they say.