The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

April 8, 2014

Release of teacher results raises questions of validity

Only 1 teacher rated for improvement locally

(Continued)

At Barr-Reeve, 12 teachers were in the “Highly Effective” category, while 43 teachers were “Effective.” At North Daviess, only one teacher was rated “Highly Effective,” while the others, 72, were in the “Effective.”

There was a wider range of evaluations in Pike and Martin counties. For the Pike County School Corporation, three teachers were rated “Improvement Necessary,” and a teacher was even rated “Ineffective.” In Shoals, five teachers were rated for improvement and a teacher was given the lowest, “Ineffective,” rating.

Loogootee schools chose not to make their teacher evaluations public.

The state developed an evaluation model for districts, called RISE, which gives significant weight to test scores. Only 115 of nearly 300 districts in Indiana used that model. The rest used other evaluation tools or created their own. About 20 districts failed to report which model they used, DOE officials said.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz was a sharp critic of the educator evaluation law when she ran for office in 2012. A Democrat, Ritz defeated incumbent Republican Tony Bennett, who’d championed the idea of a standard, statewide evaluation.

Rep. Bob Behning, R-Noblesville, one of the authors of the 2011 law, said evaluation data demonstrates the need to have a uniform model.

“Allowing for local school districts to make their own determination about what model to use makes it palatable to educators,” Behning said. “But appears to me that results are less reliable.”

Behning noted the results varied widely. In some districts, more than two-thirds of teachers were rated as “Highly Effective,” while other districts rated all teachers simply as “Effective.” Even in schools with low student achievement, few teachers were rated as “Ineffective.”

Behning, a Republican who chairs the House Education Committee, said he’ll encourage legislators to revisit the 2011 educator evaluation law to include more uniform performance metrics.

“We want good teachers to know how much we appreciate their efforts,” Behning said. “We need to recognize quality and reward it.”

Staff Writer Nate Smith contributed to this report

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