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Teacher Evaluations Tested In Bloomfield As Part Of Indiana Pilot Program

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TEACHER EVALUATIONS
AP

BLOOMFIELD -- While most school districts are just starting to implement new teacher evaluation models, teachers at Bloomfield School District have already received a glimpse of how they would rate in the state-mandated teacher evaluation system.

And according to recent results, a majority of Bloomfield teachers fall into the two highest ratings. But 18 percent were in the lowest.

"I think every teacher's goal is to be highly effective," said Bloomfield Superintendent Dan Sichting. "If they are effective, they are pretty good. If you look at our grades, look at our achievement last year and achievement growth, I would argue that our teachers were pretty effective for the most part."

Last year, Bloomfield served as one of six school corporations to pilot the state's RISE Performance Evaluation model or an alternative model.

The RISE model divides teachers into three groups depending on how much of the classes they teach have growth model data -- the change in state test scores from year to year.

For the first year, Bloomfield put all teachers into group three, which does not include growth model data but gives percentages based on the teacher effectiveness rubric, student learning objectives, and school-wide learning measure.

The district evaluated 53 teachers, but did not include counselors or librarians.

The district's evaluation totals resulted in 10 teachers, or 18 percent, being categorized as highly effective; 33 teachers, or 62 percent, as effective; and 10 teachers, or 18 percent, as ineffective. No teachers fell into the needs improvement category.

Sichting said the results were not surprising.

He attributes some of the "ineffective" results to new teachers and some to room for improvement the district was already aware of.

"We were evaluating before this," Sichting said. "Some of the things we were seeing before this in the previous year, some of those teachers who were ineffective, had heard some of those things before. We knew we were going to have some teachers we would rate as ineffective because we already communicated with them there were some issues."

Sichting said he was also not surprised at the number of teachers who were rated effective or highly effective, pointing out the district's overall student learning achievement in the past year.

Although the evaluation totals were not complete until the state released the final A-F schools grades -- they are expected to be released to the public this week -- Sichting said the final scores were not a surprise to the teachers.

The district conducted mid-year reports as part of the evaluation process.

Once the district receives growth model data for individual teachers, Sichting said, the district will show teachers what their evaluations would have looked like with that information added.

"Our goal is to make everyone effective or highly effective, that's part of the process," Sichting said. "We have to identify areas of concerns with each teacher, we have to give them professional development to improve and give feedback to how they are improving. That's what our goal is and that's the goal of the evaluation system."

Bloomfield is fully implementing the RISE model this year. The pilot year results, Sichting said, will not be included in a teacher's overall record.

"This was kind of a practice for teachers," Sichting said. "It was beneficial to us. We are light years ahead of most schools in terms of evaluations . We feel fortunate we were able to participate in the pilot because of that."

Schools are required to send teacher evaluation results to the IDOE. According to Stephanie Sample, director of communications at the IDOE, the state has not received results from any of the pilot schools at this time but expects to receive them in the next couple of months.

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(c)2012 Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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