Statewide 87 percent of the 55,000 teachers evaluated were rated as “Highly Effective” or “Effective.” Just over 2 percent were rated in the “Improvement Necessary” category, and fewer than 0.04 percent were rated as “Ineffective.”
The data released by the state Department of Education include evaluations of teachers, aides, counselors and school principals. It was precipitated by a 2011 law that requires school districts to evaluate licensed staff each year and use the information to determine compensation. The law – which took effect in the 2012-13 school year – aimed to replace teacher pay based on years of service with merit pay based on student achievement.
The first-ever release of this data reveals the challenges in implementing a statewide evaluation program. The 2011 law left school corporations latitude to do the evaluations. It required schools to use student growth data – such as test scores – but the weight given that data varies.
In some districts, student performance on tests accounts for 50 percent of a teacher’s rating, while in others it’s as low as 15 percent, according to DOE staff. Asked about the discrepancy in evaluation models, DOE spokesman Daniel Altman said: “The results are what they are.” He said it was the Legislature that allowed districts to pick their own evaluation metrics.
Locally, only one teacher in Daviess County was lower than the top two categories. The rest, despite earning mixed grades for their schools, were all rated “Highly Effective” or “Effective.”
In Washington, 101 teachers were rated “Effective,” while 39 teachers received the “Highly Effective” rating. The only teacher was rated “Improvement Necessary” was a teacher at Griffith Elementary School. School grades at Washington schools were across the board for the 2012-13 school year, but showed improvement. At Lena Dunn, the most teachers were rated as “Highly Effective,” with 11 but had the lowest school grade of any Daviess County school with a D. The grade was a significant improvement from a year before.