Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Five Indiana Schools Give Majority Of Teachers Poor Performance Ratings

This week, the department of education released data on teacher evaluation rankings in the state for the 2014-2015 school year, the most up to date data. (ArmyStrongPA/Flickr)

This week, the department of education released data on teacher evaluation rankings in the state for the 2014-2015 school year, the most up to date data. (ArmyStrongPA/Flickr)” credit=”

Five Indiana schools rate a majority of their teachers as ineffective or needing improvement.

This week, the department of education released data on teacher evaluation rankings in the state for the 2014-2015 school year, the most up to date data. The data included all public and charter schools.

Five schools reported more than 50 percent of their teachers received ineffective or needs improvement rating, the lowest categories.

They are Tindley Renaissance Academy in Indianapolis, Charter School of the Dunes in Gary, IN Math & Science Academy South in Indianapolis, Joseph Block Middle School in East Chicago and Andrew J. Brown Academy in Indianapolis. Four of the five are charter schools.

Despite the low rankings in these five schools, the overall number of teachers receiving lower evaluations continued to decrease for the third year in a row since major changes to toughen up state’s teacher evaluation system in 2011.

Currently, less than 2 percent of teachers statewide received these low rankings.

Douglas Harris, a professor at Tulane University, researches teacher evaluation systems around the country. He said this is a national trend for charter schools.

“Charter schools often but not always tend to be more outcome-driven and are more likely to be aggressive and rate teachers low and to dismiss low performing teachers,” Harris said.

He said traditional public teachers have comparatively higher ratings, nationwide.

Indiana does not have a standard statewide teacher evaluation, instead school districts determine evaluation standards and processes.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Joseph Block Middle School as a charter school. It is a public middle school in the School City of East Chicago.



  • Tracy Yarbrough

    Block is not a charter school. It is part of the School City of East Chicago Public Schools.

    • Peter Balonon-Rosen

      Hi Tracy, thank you for catching our error. We’ve updated the post accordingly.

      Peter Balonon-Rosen, StateImpact Indiana reporter

  • MaryAnn Schlegel Ruegger

    Peter, have you looked at the data on the makeup of the teaching staff at some of these five schools to see if it differs from the teaching staff at schools generally throughout Indiana? For instance, are these schools staffed with a high number of teachers with little or no prior years of experience or from short term teacher training programs, such as Teach for America? That would be interesting to consider.

    • MomE

      Who says the traditional teachers are any better? Look at many IPS schools that don’t have an abundance of TFA teachers. Look at the Indy Project School. They were failing hideously at teaching kids, only two/three TFA ers. What was their excuse?

      • MaryAnn Schlegel Ruegger

        Actually, the Project School didn’t produce passing test scores among students who were there one or two years. Most of the teachers have gone on to schools where their classes have high passing rates. My question is only partly about large numbers of TFA presence in a school. It is more about years of experience in the classroom. I checked on IDOE Compass on one of the charter schools listed. Roughly 75% of the teachers in the last year for which the teacher roster was listed had either 0 or 1 year of experience. The principal and assistant principals were counted in the remaining roughly 25%. That points to either high teacher turnover or overreliance on TFA type programs, with few experienced teachers to provide day to day mentoring. It’s no surprise in that situation that teacher ratings might be lower than the typical school statewide. That’s a different cause from the cause quoted in the article about charter schools expecting more in evaluations.

  • strongmind

    The American education system has fallen to 26th on the world scene. Everyone gets to share in the failure, teachers, students. administrators, and …… parents.

  • Apples2Apples

    Charter schools ARE public schools. In this article and throughout this website, there is confusion about the distinction between traditional and charter schools. Both traditional schools and charter schools are public schools. If you want to compare the alternate settings, it is appropriate to differentiate them with the labels of traditional public and public charter schools. We need to stop perpetuating incorrect definitions as it confuses the reader and misrepresents the content of well-written articles.

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