INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Members of the Indiana State Board of Education said a new performance
evaluation system failed parents, students and teachers when results
released earlier this week found only 2 percent of educators are in need
During a meeting
Wednesday, some board members - including Superintendent of Public
Instruction Glenda Ritz - echoed similar concerns as lawmakers and education
policy experts who criticized the evaluations reported Monday as too good to
"I find it hard to
believe that a system of evaluation where only a handful of people are said
to need improvement is accurate or effective,” at-large board member Gordon
in 2011 mandated that each district conduct an annual review of educators.
Each district has the freedom to choose a method of assessment, although the
2011 law requires standardized tests to play a significant role.
Last year was the
first year the evaluations were used in Indiana. Almost 88 percent of
teachers were rated effective or highly effective and only about 2 percent
reported needing improvement. Less than a half of a percent were deemed
ineffective, the lowest grade.
About 10 percent of
educators were exempt, some because their districts have not reopened
teacher contracts since the law was passed and others because they did not
complete the school year.
Some schools with
failing grades reported only a few or no educators as needing improvement or
being ineffective. Several districts rated every teacher and administrator
as “effective,” and didn’t place any in the lower two categories or as
Only teachers in
the higher two brackets - effective or highly effective - are eligible for
performance evaluations to pay, some board members said, might have
discouraged more honest answers from districts.
that haven’t raised salaries in years could have felt pressure to rate
teachers higher to make sure they were eligible for an increase this year,
board member Cari Whicker said.
“We have a system
set up where it’s punitive,” she said. “There’s a feeling of, we have to
give everyone a good score so that people finally get a cost of living
inaccurate data defeats the ultimate goal of the assessments: both to
recognize the state’s best educators and provide resources to those who
“This isn’t fair to
our kids and parents,” Hendry said, “and most of all it isn’t fair to our