Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

April 8, 2014

State: 9 of 10 local teachers effective or highly effective

More than 9 in 10 teachers at Greensburg Community Schools were rated effective or highly effective in the first Indiana teacher evaluations released Monday.

Greensburg teachers fared better than the state average — though slightly worse than many nearby school corporations, according to data released by the Indiana Department of Education.

Only 15 percent of Decatur County Community Schools were rated as effective or highly effective, and 79 percent of teachers were not evaluated, according to the DOE. However, Assistant Superintendent Michael Langevin said that the state’s data conflict with what the school corporation sent. He said he had contacted the DOE to determine why there is a discrepancy, but he had not received a response by Monday afternoon.

The teacher evaluations were mandated by state law in 2011. The evaluations cover three primary categories — planning, instruction and leadership — and 19 subcategories, including setting ambitious and measureable goals, creating a classroom culture of respect and collaboration and engaging families in student learning. For the first time, teacher pay also is tied to performance. Greensburg teachers who are not rated at least effective cannot receive a raise.

Greensburg administrators said the evaluations have improved instruction because teachers and administrators look at more data to determine in which areas students need help and how they can be helped most effectively.

Two local teachers said they prefer the new evaluations over prior ones, but a local teachers association official raised some concerns about teacher morale and placing too great of an emphasis on standardized testing.

Greensburg Superintendent Tom Hunter said the results confirm that local teachers are performing well and that the schools are doing a good job in hiring effective teachers and not retaining those who are ineffective.

The corporation’s goal is that every teacher is effective, Hunter said.

Two teachers, or 1.2 percent, were rated as “improvement necessary.” Statewide 5 percent of teachers were rated as needing improvement, according to the DOE. No Greensburg teachers were rated as ineffective, compared to less than 0.4 percent statewide.

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