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Policy brief examines superintendents' views of teacher evaluation

  • May 18, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – School superintendents in Indiana remain generally positive but have important reservations about recent changes to teacher evaluation, according to a policy brief by the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University Bloomington.

The policy brief is based on survey responses between 2012 and 2014, the first three years in which new teacher evaluations were implemented. Superintendents were asked to respond to questions concerning teacher evaluation; Senate Enrolled Act 1, the 2011 legislation mandating changes to the evaluation process; and the local district-level impact of changes to the teacher evaluation process.

Surveys showed levels of satisfaction decreased between 2012 and 2014 in the positive response options, suggesting that there is less agreement with and confidence in the required changes after three years of implementation in most districts. Further, the areas of concern identified in the 2014 survey were similar to areas of concern identified in 2012, before most districts had implemented the required changes.

Authors of the policy brief are Hardy Murphy, clinical faculty member and director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association; Sandi Cole, director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning; and Jim Ansaldo and James Robinson, both research associates at the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning.

"The survey results show persisting concerns from those having district-level leadership responsibility for implementing legislated requirements in the evaluation of teachers," Murphy said. "These concerns should be addressed in order for the goal of improved teaching and learning in Indiana's classrooms to be realized. The insights of superintendents will be very important in ensuring that the evaluation process supports teachers in their continued efforts to meet the rigorous standards of highly effective instruction."

Cole added that the 2012 survey indicated that superintendents in Indiana had generally favorable attitudes and beliefs regarding the Indiana Teacher Evaluation Law. At that time, the implementation of the law was in its infancy.

"Our follow-up survey in 2014 indicates that implementation at the district level has highlighted a slight shift in attitudes and beliefs and has affirmed some of the original concerns that superintendents had in 2012," Cole said. "Their concerns reflect the basic principles of the INTASS plan development and implementation process."

INTASS is the Indiana Teacher Appraisal and Support System, a flexible and collaborative teacher evaluation system developed by the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning.

The authors collaborated with the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the Indiana Department of Education Learning Connections to administer the survey.

About the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the Indiana Institute

The Center on Education and Lifelong Learning is a division of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana's University Center for Excellence, which works to increase community capacity through academic instruction, research, dissemination and training, and technical assistance.

About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research

The mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is to work with individuals, teams, centers, institutes and schools to foster excellence in research and creative activities and to offer support to faculty to successfully compete for external funding. OVPR provides consultation, proposal development services, competitive internal funding programs and research infrastructure for a wide range of research, scholarly and creative activities.

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Joel Fosha

  • Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
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