Analysis of teacher effectiveness has come to the forefront of educational reform to minimize inequity and close the achievement gap (Rutkowski & Wild, 2015). Student achievement has become an increasingly significant indicator of teacher performance and school accountability. In Indiana, teachers are evaluated through the use of theRISE system. However, schools have the flexibility to use evaluative rubrics of their choice as long as they meet the performance criteria. The RISE system of evaluation is used to give ratings based on performance indicators that can lead to probationary periods, mandatory growth plans, and loss of professional status( Rutkowski & Wild).
This author’s opinion is a combination of necessity and compromise. Systems run better with structured framework built from a common mission and intentional practices. This process should also include what amounts to a system of checks and balances. Schools, teachers, and students should all be held accountable for their performance, but in a way that meets the needs of diverse communities and learners. Evaluation should come from a variety of resources that culminate into a standard of success. Growth is only possible through accentuating strengths and identifying and refining weaknesses.
Presently, most states tie student achievement requirements to teacher evaluations. State standardized assessments were not originally designed to be reflective of school and teacher performance. However, as the need to continue to refine educational best practices and enhance student outcomes has increased, so has the importance of achievement on teacher effectiveness (Rutkowski & Wild, 2015). While research shows associated trends between student assessment data and future academic success, there is also evidence to suggest that students’ lack of awareness of the test’s consequences can have a negative impact on teacher retention. There is a lack of consistent and cohesive frameworks associated with state standardized testing that make emphasis on the relationship between student performance and teacher effectiveness unpredictable. Further evidence is needed to support using student assessment data for teacher evaluations and predictors of future success.
Rutkowski, D., Wild, J. (2015) Stakes matter: Student motivation and the validity of student
assessments for teacher evaluation. Educational Assessment, 10, 165-179.