GUEST COMMENTARY: School superintendents welcome call for accountability

2012-12-02T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: School superintendents welcome call for accountabilityBy the Northwest Indiana Public School Study Council
December 02, 2012 12:00 am  • 

It is the age of accountability. The superintendents of the Northwest Indiana Public School Study Council welcome the call to be accountable.

Student assessment data, research based instructional strategies and professional development for teachers are some of the initiatives used for continued academic growth and increased achievement for all students.

The evaluation process is yet another opportunity to improve student learning through opportunities of professional growth.

The Indiana teacher evaluation process is an outcome of the 2012 education agenda voted into law by the Indiana Legislature. Public Law 90 stipulates that all certified employees receive a performance evaluation each year: teachers, principals, superintendents, school counselors, etc. Each school district has the option of using the state-created RISE evaluation model or adopting another research-based model such as TAP, MCREL or Marzano. Regardless of the model chosen, all must contain the following elements:

  • Student growth data.
  • Rating categories.
  • Annual evaluation.

The RISE evaluation model contains a teacher effectiveness rubric, consisting of three domains and 19 competencies. The domains are broad categories, and the competencies are elements that make up each domain.

The first domain is planning. Within this domain, a teacher must demonstrate competency in creating objective-driven lesson plans, setting measurable and ambitious goals, and tracking student data and progress.

The second domain is instruction. Examples of competencies include engaging students, modifying instruction as needed, setting high expectations for academic success, and maximizing instructional time. In the third domain, leadership, a teacher must show competency in collaborating with peers, seeking professional knowledge and engaging families in learning.

Alternative teacher models, as well as principal and superintendent evaluation models, may be comprised of different domains and competencies, but each is based on the same premise as the RISE teacher evaluation model – improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children, using student growth and achievement data as a means to identify student needs, informing classroom instruction and assessing supervisory practices.

Implicit within all of the evaluation models is continuous improvement of teaching and supervision skills through professional development.

As educators we use all of the tools available to us to answer the call of accountability. Research-based evaluation tools provide instructive feedback to teachers and administrators. The evaluation process provides a time of reflection and professional growth which helps educators achieve their primary objective which is to provide the best educational opportunities for children to be successful.

Teachers and administrators continuously develop individual student learning objectives, use assessment data to inform instructional strategies, and analyze their outcomes within the context of student achievement and growth.

The heart of every educator is to be accountable for the children they serve by helping them achieve and become productive citizens.

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