It’s positive information if you’re an educator or a teacher, but to many in the general public and especially to school reformers and even some legislators who wrote Indiana’s Teacher Evaluation Law the first release of data on the effectiveness of Indiana public school educators wasn’t what they expected. Instead of seeing significant numbers of teachers evaluated as ineffective of needing improvement, the data showed just the opposite. Of Indiana’s 55-thousand licensed teachers and educators, just 2.0% or 1,110 were evaluated as needing “Improvement Necessary” and just 0.4% or 218 were evaluated as “Ineffective” according to the data released by the Indiana Department of Education. That Teacher Effectiveness Data also showed that 61.2% of Indiana’s teacher educators, some 33,909 were evaluated by their school districts as “Effective”. Another 26.4% or 14,658 teachers were evaluated by their school districts as “Highly Effective”. More than five out of every six teachers and licensed educators in Indiana’s public schools are effective or highly effective teachers according to their district’s evaluation data. The data was required to be compiled by a state law that went into effect in 2012. Under that law school districts had to evaluate teachers based on evaluation criteria developed by each of Indiana’s school corporations following guidelines written into the law. Though State Law and the Indiana Department of Education suggested how evaluations should be done, the law doesn’t mandate one set of evaluation criteria to be used by every Indiana district.
Appearing on Afternoons with Amos, veteran education reporter Scott Elliott, Editor of Chalkbeat Indiana discussed the results of the data with Amos and listeners. You can hear their interview and listener reaction to the data below. According to the data, in the best public schools, those receiving the “A” Accountability Grade, 57.8% of those teachers in “A” schools were evaluated as “Effective” and 31.8% were labeled as “Highly Effective.” Only 0.3% of teachers at “A” schools were evaluated as “Ineffective” and just 1.5% were evaluated as “Improvement Necessary”. The pattern was similar for “B” schools where 62.5% were evaluated as Effective, 25.3% as Highly Effective, 1.7% Needing Improvement and 0.4% Ineffective. For “C: schools, 65.8% of teacher/educators were evaluated as Effective, 22.2% Highly Effective, 2.3% Needing Improvement and 0.6% Ineffective. Surprisingly, in the schools with the lowest accountability grades, “F”, the vast majority of teachers received the higher evaluations. In “F” schools, 67.8% of teacher educators were evaluated as Effective, 11.4% Highly Effective, with just 5.6% evaluated as Needing Improvement and only 0.8% evaluated as Ineffective. The results were virtually the same in “D” schools: 68.2% Effective, 15.9% Highly Effective, 2.9% Needing Improvement, 0.3% Ineffective. Because each school district’s evaluation procedures differ, it’s impossible to compare teacher educator effectiveness data for school districts and individual schools across districts. However, among major Indianapolis area districts, PraiseIndy.com observed some interesting patterns. Of the major school districts in the Indianapolis area, Perry Township had the highest percentage of teachers evaluated as Effective (88.5%) followed by Decatur Township 87.5%, Beech Grove 76.0% and the Indianapolis Public Schools 75.9%. Speedway had the lowest percentage of educators evaluated as Effective at 35.1%, followed by two takeover schools Howe 42.2%, Lawrence Township 43.9% and takeover Emma Donnan 45.0%. Speedway schools had the highest percentage of their educators evaluated as Highly Effective at 56.5%, followed by Lawrence Township 51.7% and Wayne Township 46.3%. Emma Donnan and Howe had the highest percentage of educators evaluated as Needing Improvement with Emma Donnan at 40.0% and Howe at 22.2%. None of the other major districts were in double digits. Some 66 school districts were not required to submit teacher effectiveness data for the 2012-2013 year because the new state law exempted them from reporting because they were under collective bargaining agreements with their educators. Charter schools were also exempt under the first year of the evaluation law. The schools taken over by the state in 2012 were required to provide data. The one takeover school in Gary and three in Indianapolis complied. EdPower which operates takeover school Arlington High School didn’t comply. But after contacted by AM1310The Light, the data for Arlington has been submitted to the Indiana Department of Education. No word when they will release that data to the public. Click the Link to Download the Teacher Accountability Data for Schools, School Districts and Data on Teacher Effectiveness by Colleges Attended and Length of Teaching. 2012-13 Indiana Teacher Effectiveness Data For Schools & Districts Click the Arrow to hear Amos and Veteran Education Reporter Scott Elliott discuss the data and get Listener Reaction. Runs 41 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.