April 7, 2014


There has been no lack of controversy and contention surrounding the new teacher evaluation models that link teacher performance to compensation based on student test scores. Following the broad education “reform” legislation during the 2011 General Assembly, districts were faced with a major challenge to quickly adapt evaluations to the new law.


Statewide, administrators were required to evaluate every teacher annually--creating a major shift in their time spent evaluating versus leading educational programming.


The 2012-13 school year was the first year that the new statewide teacher evaluation model was implemented providing aggregate data results in the four categories of designation (i.e. “highly-effective,” “effective,” “improvement necessary,” and “ineffective”). The Department of Education released these results today.  


This has been a process that has held many educators in suspense due to the drastic shift in evaluation models in such a short time frame. The results include data for all certified school employees (including administrators) in addition to teachers.


Data is aggregated to protect individual personal identifiers – privacy protection that came out of HEA 1388 this session, a bill on teacher preparation programs, which prohibits the release of individual teacher evaluation data.


Now educators can stop holding their breath and take a look at the results themselves. The results were not at all surprising.  The data has been positive and paints an optimistic picture for public school teaching in Indiana. More than 80 percent of teachers statewide received an evaluation rating of “highly-effective” or “effective” –across A-F schools. In contrast, a very low percentage (below 1 percent) of teachers received an “ineffective” designation.


These results should send a strong and resounding message to educators and (more importantly) policy-makers throughout Indiana: Hoosier teachers are performing at high levels and are demonstrating excellence in the classroom. 


In the wake of this news about evaluations, ISTA calls on policy-makers to refocus their collective attention on providing resources to teachers, classrooms, and student programs designed to help children learn.


With the upcoming budget-writing legislative session, it is time for legislators to turn from reforms centered on bureaucracy and adults, and move toward improvements in learning opportunities for students.


In the meantime, ISTA commends Indiana’s teachers for a job well done.