News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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August 26, 2012

RISE places teachers in 3 groups

TERRE HAUTE — Based on Public Law 90, and for the first time this year in Indiana, a teacher’s evaluation score will be based on both professional practice and measures of student learning, said Karen Goeller, Vigo County School Corp. deputy superintendent.

A “teacher effectiveness” rating system will assess a teacher’s instructional knowledge and skills, while three measures of student learning will determine a teacher’s contribution to student academic progress.  

For evaluation purposes, the RISE model places teachers in three groups, depending on a teacher’s mix of classes and the availability of growth data (growth on ISTEP+ data).

 Group 1 consists of those teachers who spend at least half their time teaching  ISTEP+ subjects.

Group 2 consists of teachers who teach some (less than half) ISTEP+ subjects, while Group 3 consists of those who don’t teach ISTEP+ classes.

All teachers in grades 4 and 5 and middle-school teachers who teach language arts and math at least half the time are in Group 1, while all teachers in grades K-3 and high school are in Group 3.

For all three groups, the teacher effectiveness component — similar to what Vigo County uses now through principal observations — “is still the most important piece percentage-wise,” Goeller said.

 For Group 1, the teacher-effectiveness component counts for 50 percent; Group 2, 60 percent; and Group 3, 75 percent.

What’s new is that the evaluation must include student learning measures.

The student learning component includes Individual Growth Model data (from ISTEP+), Student Learning Objectives and a School-wide Learning Measure.  

For Group 1 teachers, Individual Growth Model data based on ISTEP+ data accounts for 35 percent of their evaluation. That data will come from the state.

Group 3 or non-ISTEP+ teachers have no Individual Growth Model data. Student growth in their evaluations will not include data from state assessments.  

Unlike Group 1 teachers, Group 3 teachers will not receive a score from the state, calculating the growth of their students from one year to the next. Instead, their student learning data will be determined from the growth of their students as measured by locally developed assessments.  

 New this year as part of RISE, all teachers will set two types of Student Learning Objectives: a class objective and a targeted objective.  

A class objective is based on students’ starting points for a class of students covering all of the Indiana content standards for the course. A targeted objective might cover all or a portion of the standards and focuses on students beginning the class at a low level of preparedness, Goeller said.

The teacher and principal will discuss and agree on those learning objectives.

For example, a high school world history teacher might set the following class objective: At least 28 of 31 students will achieve an 85/100 or better on the end-of-course World History assessment.

To set the class objective, the teacher must determine students’ starting points.  Whether a teacher earns a Highly Effective, Effective, Improvement Necessary, or Ineffective rating depends on the extent to which he or she moves students from their starting points to achieve content mastery.

This summer, district curriculum coordinators working with groups of teachers have been developing assessments for every grade and content area to measure the student learning objectives.

The same assessment would be used district wide.

Even teachers who teach ISTEP+ subjects will be evaluated on student learning objectives, which account for 10 percent of the evaluation. For non ISTEP+ teachers, student learning objectives count for 20 percent of the evaluation.

Also, for all teachers, 5 percent of the evaluation will be the School-wide Learning Measure, which is based on the school’s grade in the A-F accountability system. All teachers in a school will receive the same rating for this measure, contributing to their total evaluation score.

Teachers in schools earning an A will earn a 4 on this measure, while teachers who work in either a D or F school earn a 1 on the measure, Goeller said.

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