Rushville Republican

April 11, 2014

Indiana Department of Education releases educator effectiveness data

By Kate Thurston Rushville Republican
Rushville Republican

---- — The Indiana Department of Education released educator effectiveness data for the 2012-13 school year.

The release marks the first time this type of data has been gathered or released in Indiana history. The data show that over 87% of public school educators (teachers and administrators combined) were rated as either effective or highly effective; while only 3% were rated as either needs improvement or ineffective. The remaining 10% did not receive a final evaluation due to circumstances such as resignation or retirement.

While these numbers stand for some schools, Rush County Schools did better than the average.

“We have 170 teachers, 98% (167) were rated effective or highly effective using the state RISE evaluation system while 2% (3) received a rating of improvement necessary or ineffective,” RCS Superintendent Dr. Williams explained. “Each teacher works hard to be the best teacher possible. When we identify a staff member who needs assistance, an improvement plan is developed and implemented. Our teaching staff is dedicated to always seeking new and improved ways to help our young people meet the challenges our curriculum presents. Our community should be very proud of the quality of the teachers we have working with our young people on a daily basis.”

School districts could pick their own teacher evaluation models, which makes district by district comparisons quite tricky.

The State of Indiana does have a teacher evaluation model called RISE, but school districts are not required to use it. Only 115 districts used the RISE model. Sixty used a modified version of RISE. Sixty-two created their own evaluation models and 39 others used some other established teacher-evaluation model. Twenty districts did not report what model they used.

“I am encouraged by these numbers,” Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction, said in the press release. “For the most part, they confirm what we already knew, public schools throughout Indiana are filled with effective and highly effective teachers. Research shows that highly effective educators are exactly the type of leaders that can turn schools around and increase school performance.

“However, they also show us where we can improve. For example, when comparing the data by school performance grades A to F, there is an increase in the percentage of educators who fall within the improvement necessary and ineffective categories and the percentage that do not receive a final rating, indicating a retention concern in our lower performing schools.”

Contact Kate Thurston at 765-932-2222 ext. 105.