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Education

Survey: Teachers More Skeptical Of Evaluations Than Administrators

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Indiana’s school principals changed the way they evaluate their teachers two years ago – and it’s been no secret that not everyone likes the modified evaluation system.

But a new study shows teachers tend to be a bit more skeptical about the system than the administrators in their buildings.

Teachers are now evaluated annually, and much of the process is left up to each individual school district.

According to a study by the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University, the people at the head of the district – superintendents and principals – display more positive attitudes toward different elements of the system than teachers.

Eighty-six percent of superintendents say they feel changes in the evaluation law back in 2011 improved teacher evaluation in their district. 65-percent of principals say they feel the same, as opposed to only 19-percent of teachers.

One area they tended to agree was that linking evaluations to teacher pay – another new element of the law – was inadvisable.

It’s these commonalities that researcher Hardy Murphy says represent an opportunity to build trust as the system continues to develop.

"It’s easy to look at it as the glass half empty, we’re choosing to look at it as the glass is half full, as an opportunity through education…to create more support about these systems, which ultimately have to be about improving instruction, so that we improve student learning outcomes," Murphy says.

About 2,000 educators responded to the survey.