Teacher Effectiveness FAQs

NOTE:  Due to the COVID closures WebXam extended the fall pretesting window by 30 additional days, until October 16. At this time, we are unsure about extending the winter window but will provide details to the field whenever a decision is made.

The following includes information for using WebXam™ Career-Technical Assessments as Category B ODE Vendor-Approved Assessments for Teacher Effectiveness.

1. Are districts required to use category B ODE Vendor assessments for teacher evaluations?

No district is required to use ODE-approved vendor assessments. There are other ways to measure student progress through locally determined measures (e.g., student learning objectives: Category C).

2. If a district uses a category B vendor assessment, do they have to use the data?

If a district uses ODE-approved vendor assessments in the way the vendor prescribes and the district receives a student growth report with a teacher effectiveness rating, then they are required to use the data as part of the teacher effectiveness evaluation. Failure to report data may have consequences.

3. Does ODE-approved vendor assessment data have to account for the entire student growth measure on a teacher evaluation?

No. If there are locally determined measures (e.g., student learning objectives) available, districts can combine those with ODE-approved vendor assessment data to comprise the student growth measure. If the district is in receipt of ODE-approved vendor assessment data, it must comprise a minimum of 10% up to the full student growth measure.

4. Who determines what percentage of ODE-approved vendor assessment data is used to calculate student growth?

The district determines the extent to which the ODE-approved vendor assessment data is used in defining the student growth measure.

5. Does the district have to use the same ODE-approved vendor assessment for all schools within the district, including middle schools?

The district should develop an overall plan, with input from teachers, for using student growth measures for teacher evaluation. Whenever possible, the goal is district-wide consistency. Note that at this time, WebXam tests are only delivered in high schools.

6. How is student growth measurement determined if a teacher is responsible for multiple courses?

If ODE-approved vendor assessment and/or local measures (e.g., student learning objectives) are used, the student growth measure for teacher effectiveness should be proportional and reflect their teaching schedule.

7. Do all teachers in the same department or grade in a district have to use the same percentage of ODE-approved vendor assessment data for student growth measures?

Whenever possible, the goal is district-wide consistency. The district should develop an overall plan, with input from teachers, for using student growth measures for teacher effectiveness. There may be instances, however, when certain teachers need different percentages to comprise the student growth measure. For example, the district may decide to use the ODE-approved vendor assessment data for the minimum 10% of a student growth measure for new teachers, but for the full measure for seasoned teachers.

8. Who will generate the teacher effectiveness rating for the Career-Technical Assessments?

The vendor (CETE) will measure student growth and generate a teacher effectiveness rating of 1 to 5 using the pretest and posttest comparison.  The current ODE-approved vendor for CTE developed a scaling for teacher effectiveness several years ago using input from the field in the form of an online survey, and repeated the process in 2016-18 (so new values are being used for this 2020-21 school year).

9. How will teacher effectiveness ratings be developed for the Career-Technical Assessments?

The vendor gathered input from teachers and CTE administrators to link student gain/growth scores to teacher effectiveness ratings (i.e., Most Effective, Above Average, Average, Approaching Average, & Least Effective).  CETE did provide evidence of content and criterion validity evidence during the RFQ process. In addition, as an ODE-Approved Vendor for CTE, CETE is looking for districts to partner in studying correlates of teacher effectiveness – the validity evidence would be collected by correlating teacher effectiveness levels from student gain (Most Effective through Least Effective) with other measures of performance and quality (district observations of teaching, CTSO competition results, surveys or peer ratings of effectiveness, and similar measures).

10. Because the End-of-Course exams are required for Career-Technical education programs following instruction, does the district have to use the pretest option?

No. However, if a district uses ODE-approved vendor assessments in the way the vendor prescribes and the district receives a student growth report and teacher effectiveness rating, then the district is required to use the data as part of the teacher effectiveness evaluation.

11. When will the pretests be available for the Career Field Pathway end-of-course tests?

The release of pretests was incremental due to item writing and the field-testing cycle and is now complete with 320+ pretest-posttest pairs.  Occasionally, however, pretests must be withdrawn because of field testing or revisions to courses (field testing in Construction Technology for the current year). For a list of available pretests for the 2020-21 school year, visit “About the Tests” at the WebXam site (https://www.webxam.org/legacy/AboutTheTests)

12. When will the teacher effectiveness ratings be reported to districts by the vendor?

The vendor will provide teacher effectiveness ratings to districts by May 7, 2021 for the 2020-21 school year per Ohio Revised Code 3319.111(C) (1). For this reason, post-testing for pretests must end in late April 2021.  Release of the ratings data could be earlier than May 7 depending on when students pretest and posttest. The vendor will have additional information available on release after launch.

13. What is the cost to the district for using Career-Technical Assessments?

The total pretest cost, including teacher effectiveness data, is $2.00 per student. The charge will be assessed after the pretest is delivered and pretests must be ordered by a responsible party at the district. WebXam is using a system of credits that are distributed by the District Test Coordinator.

14. Are any OTES changes expected for 2020-21?

The ODE Educator Evaluation website (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Evaluation-System) is the location to visit for any changes to OTES, either before or during the school year.  

15. Are changes anticipated in the future?

Yes, due to Ohio Senate Bill 216, the ODE Educator Evaluation website notes that changes are coming but no further details are available at this time (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Evaluation-System).