Though many districts nationwide have experimented with the controversial teacher compensation system, Ohio might be the first state to formally declare that merit-based pay has merit.
The state's new collective bargaining law could make it the first in the country to replace automatic raises with performance-based raises statewide, the Associated Press reports.
The measure, also known as Senate Bill 5, was passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. John Kasich. But the unions, with support from Democrats, have launched a drive that will ask voters in November to overturn the measure, which has not yet become effective.
If Senate Bill 5 holds, student achievement would be half of the determining factor affecting pay raises. Teachers aren't supportive of the idea, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, saying many other issues affect student learning. And, no standards of measurement have been put into place yet.
"We are concerned about it because currently there aren't any student growth measures that exist that are designed to be valid and reliable for high stakes decisions like teacher compensation," said Matt Dotson, of the Ohio Education Association.
Kathy Christie, chief of staff for the Denver-based Education Commission of the States, tells the Associated Press why she sees the law as essential:
"If you are not pulling your weight, if you are not getting performance, if you are not tenacious and really trying to learn and all those sorts of things you want to see teachers doing, then you don't move up at all."