BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana teachers have increasingly favorable views of state-required educator evaluations, according to results of a survey by an Indiana University research center. School superintendents, on the other hand, have grown less favorable in their views, the survey found.
The survey, conducted in 2016, examined how attitudes toward evaluations changed from a previous survey two years earlier. Results are detailed in a report by the Indiana Teacher Appraisal and Support System, or INTASS. The report also includes recommendations for improving teacher evaluations.
"Educators Perceptions of Indiana's Teacher Evaluation Law: A Follow-Up to INTASS 2014 Survey" was submitted and presented to the Indiana State Board of Education this month by INTASS, a project of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community.
A 2011 state law, Senate Enrolled Act 1, requires that all teachers be evaluated annually, that evaluations be "significantly" informed by objective measures such as test scores, and that teachers be placed in one of four categories: highly effective, effective, improvement necessary and ineffective.
Teachers, principals and superintendents were asked in the 2014 survey to document their perception and beliefs on the newly implemented evaluation law. Superintendents viewed the systems more favorably and had greater confidence in them than did principals and teachers. Principals viewed the evaluations more favorably than did teachers; and principals were more confident of their ability to conduct effective evaluations and their technical knowledge of the system than the teachers they were evaluating.
Outcomes of the 2016 survey were a result of INTASS' continued work of improving teacher evaluation across the state and meeting the requirements of the law. The 2016 survey was conducted to determine whether educator beliefs about teacher evaluation, confidence in the processes and perceptions of its impact upon district, school and instructional improvement changed since 2014.
The survey was distributed through the Indiana State Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers Indiana, Indiana Principals Association, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the Indiana Department of Education Learning Connections.
Results of the 2016 survey include:
- Overall, the number of teachers regarding teacher evaluations favorably increased from 2014.
- Principals' attitudes remained essentially unchanged.
- The number of superintendents regarding the evaluations favorably decreased so much that principals are now the group with the most favorable view of the educator evaluation requirements.
The authors address standards, procedures, resources and strategies to inform the development of legislation and policy and to further research on the effective implementation of teacher evaluation. They also make the following recommendations, several of which were included in the 2014 report:
- Ensure a continuous improvement process that supports the implementation of teacher evaluation plans with fidelity and provide resources to districts to make necessary improvements.
- Continue research into educator perceptions of teacher evaluation in Indiana.
- Continue to recognize plan quality through INTASS, the Indiana Department of Education and a State Board of Education recognition system.
- Require and support the annual training of teachers and administrators in the evaluation process.
- Review and revise how teacher evaluations are linked to compensation.
- Clearly express the role and significance of a supportive teacher evaluation process in educator effectiveness and school improvement.
- Reframe the message of teacher evaluation so that teachers and evaluators see it as a tool for ensuring the success of teachers and students in teaching and learning.
About the Indiana Institute
The Center on Education and Lifelong Learning is one of six centers at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. The institute works to put good ideas into everyday practice in schools and community settings to improve choices and quality of life for people with disabilities and their families through research, education and service.