IBJNews

Outside group calls for audit of teacher evaluation programs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An outside education group is asking the Department of Education to conduct an audit of each school district’s teacher evaluation plan.

Stand for Children Indiana, a group that advocates for Common Core and other progressive education issues, says the teacher evaluations conducted last year were inconsistent and that some districts failed to conduct annual evaluations of all certified educators.

That would include an assessment of anyone working for the school district that needs a license to do his or her job — including teachers, counselors, administrators and others.

“At a time when Indiana is already facing scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Education, it’s important for state leaders to make sure the existing teacher evaluation law is being implemented properly and followed to the letter,” said Justin Ohlemiller, executive director of Stand for Children Indiana.

The group worked with Bellwether Education Partners to study the evaluation models in six districts but is calling on the Department of Education to do a statewide audit. The Stand for Children evaluation found:

— Several instances where the district-developed evaluation models did not comply with the the state law’s requirements;

— Districts used their flexibility to lessen the rigor of evaluations;

— Modification to the state’s sample evaluation model lessen the impact of the objective student data components, which the group says are key to Indiana maintaining its No Child Left Behind waiver agreement with the federal government.

The evaluation data is the product of a 2011 law passed by the Indiana General Assembly requiring public school districts to establish a system to review their licensed educators.

Statewide, schools rated 26.4 percent of educators as highly effective, 61.2 percent effective, 2 percent as needing improvement and 0.39 percent ineffective. About 10 percent were not evaluated. Schools with A and B grades had more educators rated highly while those with Cs, Ds and Fs rated more teachers as needing improvement and ineffective.

But even schools with F grades rated less than 1 percent of their educators as ineffective.

House Education Chairman Bob Behning, the Indianapolis Republican who authored the law, said he’s not sure the system produced enough lower ratings to be realistic.

“When we put that language together originally we thought there is no way you could be a C, D, or F schools and have teacher receive highly effective rankings,” Behning said.

The law didn’t mandate a specific evaluation system but does require student test results to play a “significant” role in determining the ratings. Classroom observations and school performance can be other factors.

Behning said the definition of “significant” can cause inconsistencies because there is no set percentage.

But, Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said she thinks the law is “pretty clear.”

Under current state law, districts must develop or adopt performance evaluation systems. A school corporation could adopt the state’s model plan, RISE, the system for Teacher and Student Advancement, or TAP, or the Peer Assistance and Review Teacher Evaluation. Districts with existing teacher contracts – signed prior to the legislation – don’t have to do the evaluations until after those contracts expire.

“If we’re not consistent across the state the value of the evaluation is not as significant,” Behning said.  “There is not a consistent in terms of weighting.

However, the DOE supports local control.

“Superintendent Glenda Ritz continues to believe that local schools need flexibility to design their own evaluation systems, within the confines of state law,” said a statement from the Department of Education. “This does not lessen the use of objective data. Rather, it gives local schools much needed flexibility.”

Meredith said Behning and Stand for Children Indiana are trying to “point fingers” and blame Ritz, but there is nothing to blame her for.

“I think their data is muddy,” Meredith said.

Stand for Children looked at the evaluation models in Alexandria Community Schools, Brown County School Corp., Fort Wayne Community Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools, South Bend Community School Corp. and South Central Community School Corp. While the South Central district submitted an evaluation plan, it was not required under Indiana law to implement it in 2012-2013.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Show me the Money!
    Sure...let's pay for an audit!!! Who else needs money? How much more can we hand out of our taxpayer money? When will INDIANA realize that the black hole of education isn't working and get back to basics? Vote these bums out! Are the kids learning? That might be important... Take a hike Common Core and all the money grabbers.
  • Evaluation of Teachers
    Why don't we stop evaluating the teachers and start evaluating the students and holding them accountable? When I was in the public school system in the 1950's & 1960's, the students were the onves being evaluated, not the teachers, AND I received a very good education that took me far in life and in my career.
  • Customer Feedback
    Here's a way to find out which schools really have effective teachers and which one's don't...let all families choose where to send their kids. Eventually, we'll find out who's inflating performance ratings...and who isn't!
  • Lowering Teacher requirements will get Bob results
    I finally figured out why Pence's State Board of Education is pushing to lower requirements to become a teacher. It's so Bob Behning will get the expected percentage of ineffective teachers.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT