The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

April 7, 2014

State report: Most Alexandria, Elwood teachers effective

3 Madison County school districts did not report results to state

ANDERSON, Ind. — Most teachers in Elwood and Alexandria community schools have been evaluated as being highly effective or effective, according to data released Monday by the Indiana Department of Education.

Administrators in those school districts expressed satisfaction with those evaluations.

But the picture of teacher effectiveness in Madison County as a whole is incomplete because three of the county’s largest districts — Anderson, South Madison and Frankton-Lapel community schools — didn’t report teacher evaluations.

The data released by the Department of Education was mandated by a 2011 law requiring school districts to evaluate licensed staff including teachers, aides, counselors and principals annually, and the information to determine compensation.

The law took effect in the 2012-13 school year with the goal of replacing teacher pay based on years of service with a merit system based on student achievement.

Anderson and South Madison community schools were not required to use the new evaluation procedures because they adopted collective bargaining agreements in 2010 before the new law took effect. And the Anderson teacher contract doesn’t expire until 2018, said Tim Edsell, interim superintendent.

The South Madison teacher contract expires in August, said Superintendent Joe Buck. “We will have a new evaluation instrument as a part of our contract that will meet new state guidelines.”

It was not immediately clear on Monday why Frankton-Lapel Community Schools didn't report teacher evaluations. The school district is on spring break this week and Superintendent Bobby Fields could not be reached for comment.

Of 106 teachers evaluated in Alexandria, 97 were rated highly effective or effective, two needed improvement and evaluations did not apply to seven employees, according to the state data.

In Elwood, 119 teachers were evaluated of which 99 were rated highly effective or effective, two needed improvement, seven were rated ineffective, and evaluations did not apply to 11 employees.

“It sounds like we did very well,” said Elwood Superintendent Tim Smith. Like many school systems throughout the state, though, Elwood modified its evaluation methods based on district-specific conditions making it difficult to make comparisons between school districts.

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