Ohio's new teacher retesting program does not begin until 2012, but recently released statewide test scores indicate 7,000 educators would be retested if the law was in effect this year. Ohio public and charter schools teachers working in schools at the bottom 10 percent of statewide rankings will be tested upon knowledge of their subject matter next school year.
Teachers unions oppose the new policy, believing that it will not help improve school test scores or the classroom learning environment. Educators who pass the test can lose their jobs based upon test failure and other administrative reviews. Successful test takers do not have to retest again for three years.
My Ohio Twitter followers shared their thoughts on the policy via email and instant messaging.
* "It would be nice if the teachers union would give some ideas on what would help raise the academic abilities of Ohio students for a change. They do not think teachers should be tested or reviewed to earn raises and offer nothing pro-active to the discussion of our dismal tests scores, except to give the districts more taxpayer money." -- Matthew Conrad, small business owner, Logan.
* "How can proving you know the material you are supposed to be teaching failing students not help our schools? Teachers unions stand in the way of any real advancements in Ohio school districts. They want us to keep passing levies, but offer nothing but excuses when it comes to why our students are below average."-- Myra Robards, nurse, Kettering.
* "I don't know how all of a sudden teachers became the most hated people in Ohio. Oh wait, yes I do -- we elected Kasich. Why should teachers have to keep proving their worth when faced with parents who do not help their children with work at home or make sure they get enough rest to keep up in class?" -- Kendell Murphy, Ohio University education major, Athens.
* "It may work and is worth a try at this point. The public is losing faith in school to police themselves and have the nerve to get rid of poor teachers. The unions make it as difficult and expensive as possible to fire a substandard teacher." -- Trena Potts, office manager, Cincinnati.
* "For too long I worked beside teachers who thought it would be an easy job with summers off. I loved my kids and wanted to do right by them and prepare them for college or work. I may have been initially offended by the thought of a retest, but if it thinned the herd so all of the kids had a quality teacher, I would have supported it- and passed the test." -- Edith York, retired teacher, Lancaster.
* "Continuing education is common in most professions, so there is already a testing mechanism in place. This isn't that big of a step, and only kicks in if the schools are at the bottom of the barrel. A checks and balance system is long overdue in public education." -- Mac Burchfield, small business owner, Circleville.
* "In any other business, if you don't do you job well you get fired. Educating our children is an extremely important job. Teacher tenure needs to go, performance pay introduced and testing for teachers in schools which churn out poor test scores year after year. It is far past time for accountability in Ohio's public schools." -- Jim Hines, construction supervisor, Dayton.