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School is back in session and Indiana educators are anxiously awaiting scores from last year’s state testing ISTEP+ that drew national attention for the testing disruptions.

Across the nation administrators will be examining standardized test scores along with growth data and assigning a teacher rating on data including state testing, local assessments, and other canned testing platforms. This score will be part of an overall rating that will determine if a teacher is effective. This effectiveness will impact the growth plan, pay increase, or possible retention in many states and districts.

Many states are going through this process and unfortunately the real outcome of this changed process won’t show up in teacher effectiveness scores in years 1 or 2. They won’t even show up in student achievement scores immediately. The outcome that is evident in every school with which we have worked ( and that is going through this process is the fact that “conversations have changed.” Administrators and teachers are talking about instructional strategies, procedures, student learning styles, classroom management, and most importantly student data to drive instruction.

Unfortunately many in the political environment and media are too caught up in the process, salaries, or what rubric to use to realize there is a positive transformation happening in the teaching profession.

Regardless of political party or framework used schools will continue to stay focused on monitoring instructional practice, reflecting, revising, and implementing to help students be successful.


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