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Evaluations Could Lead To Teacher Raises Or Layoffs

The Indiana Senate has given final approval to a bill to put teeth in teacher evaluations. Governor Daniels is expected to sign the bill creating a four-step rating system, from "highly effective" to "ineffective." Senate Education Chairman Dennis Kruse acknowledged teachers and school boards have complained it‘s unclear just how the ratings will be applied, but noted the law doesn‘t take effect until next summer.

“You continue to get incremental increases for experience, graduate hours and a masters degree and that will be one third of that money, and two thirds of that pot of money then will be used for those people who do well on the evaluations,” Kruse said.

He said that gives school districts more than a year to prepare, and gives principals time to get training in how to conduct the evaluations. Two "ineffective" ratings in a row puts a teacher on probation, and first in line to be fired if there are layoffs. Teachers rated ineffective for three straight years can be fired outright. Top-performing teachers can collect merit bonuses.

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