On Jan. 31, the Indiana Department of Education will release the final draft of the RISE teacher effectiveness rubric. According to the RISE website, every teacher will be evaluated based on four domains: purposeful planning, effective instruction, leadership and core professionalism.
A formula will then determine whether the teachers are highly effective, effective, needs improvement or ineffective.
According to Principal John Williams, the administration has created a committee that consists of the department chairs and a teacher from each department to discuss the best way to carry out these evaluations. The committee is divided into four subgroups to address the first three domains in further detail.
Williams said the evaluation is primarily goal-oriented.
He said, “At the beginning of the year, the teacher will establish goals. Then mid-year, we will meet and look where they’re at, with this rubric in mind. Maybe the teachers will put together some sort of presentation. Show us how you’ve planned. Show us how you’ve used instruction. Show us how you’ve shown leadership.”
But Williams said he acknowledges that differences in class difficulty will present a bit of a challenge.
“Part of it is growth,” he said. “Where are your kids now, and where were they at the beginning of the year? Just because your kids all do well, maybe they all would have done well when they walked in the door.”
English teacher Michele Satchwell said she is concerned about the objectivity of the evaluations.
Satchwell said, “What I do is very different from what a P.E. teacher does or what a FCS teacher does. The way I teach and the things that I do are different from theirs. Not less valuable, just different. So one standard for evaluating everyone seems uncertain.”
Despite these new standards, Satchwell said she has no plans to alter her approach in the classroom.
Williams said he believes most of the teachers at this school are already effective or highly effective.
He said, “It’s really about coming up with a structure to provide evidence of it and a process that’s fair. It’s a challenge. It makes people nervous. It makes me nervous. It’s a huge responsibility to fairly evaluate a lot of folks.”