The Indiana Chamber opposes SB 35, which provides that a school corporation may use objective measures of student achievement as part of a teacher evaluation plan. (Current law provides that the use of an objective measure of student achievement is required as part of a teacher evaluation plan.)
While there are potentially some issues with teacher evaluations and those issues should be addressed at a more comprehensive level, it is a longstanding Chamber policy that teacher evaluations are extremely important and that student objective measures should be included in the evaluation process.
Note that last year, HEA 1395 (which did decouple the test results from the evaluations for one year) passed with the Chamber’s qualified support. This is because we felt that the administration of the ISTEP test – not the exam itself – was flawed. There is already local control when determining how much student objective measures will be attributed toward teacher evaluations and what objectives should be included in addition to the statewide assessment.
In addition, while many complain about including student objective measures in evaluations, it does not seem to have a negative impact in effectiveness ratings for teachers (98% were rated effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations).
The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee last Wednesday and held until this week for amendment and vote.