Statement from IU School of Education dean on statewide teacher evaluation data

Monday, April 7, 2014

Editor’s note: The Indiana Department of Education released the state’s first statewide teacher evaluation results today. The data is for teachers in their first three years of classroom teaching. The first collection of data, conducted during the 2012-13 school year, provides baseline aggregate results for ongoing annual evaluations. The data reports on the performance of teachers by school, school corporation and the teacher preparation institution where the teachers earned certification.

According to the results, 97 percent of 281 Indiana University Bloomington teacher alumni who were evaluated rated as effective or highly effective; and 97 percent of 237 teachers graduating from the IU School of Education at IUPUI were rated as highly effective or effective. Below, IU School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez provides his comments on the results:

“These results clearly show that new teachers and university-based teacher preparation programs in the state are performing exceeding well. They also confirm our own internal studies about the preparation and effectiveness of Indiana University School of Education graduates.

"The statewide data provide further evidence that we do not need to lower standards of preparation to attract effective teachers to the profession. Our teacher education graduates are very well prepared to perform effectively in the classroom. Of 2,522 teachers statewide who have been teaching in Indiana for one, two or three years and for whom evaluation results are available, 96 percent were rated as effective or highly effective. 

"Put simply, these data do not align with critics of teacher preparation who have been saying that the system is broken. We need to celebrate these results and stop creating a crisis that’s discouraging young, bright students like these teachers in Indiana from choosing teaching as a profession.

"The statewide teacher evaluation data also showed a correlation between teacher effectiveness and experience. The group of teachers with three years of experience had a larger proportion of highly effective teachers than the group of teachers with two years of experience, which had a larger proportion than the group with one year of experience. These data should be examined carefully to see whether recent teacher evaluation policies that discourage giving credit for experience in salary consideration should be revised. 

"We should build on the broad picture of successful teacher preparation and effective teachers these data present by creating policies that both encourage high-performing Hoosier teachers to stay in teaching and help recruit more students to the education programs that prepare them.”