Research shows that effective teaching matters more than any other factor during a child’s school day. To improve education for all students in Indiana we must start by making sure great teaching is happening in every classroom.
Evaluating performance ensures teachers are treated like other professionals. Accurate, useful feedback gives teachers an opportunity to reflect on their successes and work on their areas of growth. Indiana’s teaching evaluation law requires evaluation each year on multiple measures of performance.
Just like other professions, our very best and brightest teachers should also be recognized and rewarded. By providing meaningful evaluations, school leaders can identify their strongest teacher leaders and provide increased pay to those whos are effective in the classroom.
We know great teaching matters. Meaningful evaluations help recognize and reward our best teachers while ensuring every child has access to one of those teachers.
If we want to dramatically improve education in Indiana, we must re-imagine the systems and policies that collectively shape the learning experience, starting with support for our teachers.
The passage of Indiana Senate Enrolled Act 1 (SEA 1) in 2011 set guardrails to recognize and reward quality teaching while providing targeted feedback to those who need it. Schools around the state have been working hard to create and maintain their own local evaluation systems in accordance with law.
SEA 1 requires teaching be evaluated on multiple measures of performance. The law also states:
– Evaluations must be done annually
– Student achievement data must be a significant component of multiple measures
– Feedback must be tied to professional development to help teachers improve
– Teachers must be placed into one of four performance categories
Also according to law, the Indiana Department of Education must provide a state model for teaching evaluations. The state model, called RISE, was developed in 2011. Local districts have the option of using the state model as is, modifying it, or using another evaluation model that meets the four criteria outlined above.
In the 2013- 2014 school year, 89% of educators were rated in the top two ranking categories: highly effective or effective. 8.8% of educators were not ranked at all for a variety of reasons. In the 2014- 2015 school year, 88% of educators were rated highly effective or effective. 10.2% of educators were not ranked at all for a variety of reasons. When the educators who were not ranked are removed from the calculation, 97.6% (2013- 2014) and 97.9% (2014- 2015) of Indiana's teachers were rated highly effective or effective.
In 2015, the Indiana State Board of Education contracted with Indiana University to review teacher evaluation plans used by local districts in 2014- 2015 and 2015- 2016 school years. The study looked specifically at objective measures used in teacher evaluation plans and other characteristics of plans statewide. The findings may be reviewed under the 'Resources' tab.