Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

April 16, 2014

Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week. Of 50,000 public school teachers graded by their principals, less than one-half of 1 percent were deemed “ineffective.” Almost everyone else – 97 percent – was considered good or good enough. “Clearly the system failed,” said board member Gordon Hendry, before calling for a new way to get more accurate results. Much of the criticism focused on the law that mandated a new evaluation system. It was meant to tie teacher pay to performance rather than tenure – a sweeping change for Indiana. But, as in the past, the law let local school districts pick their own rating models. As a result, weight given to student test scores or the observations of principals ranged wildly. Some districts gave most teachers the highest mark of “highly effective.” Almost two dozen districts couldn’t find a single teacher who fit into that category. Joe Gramelspacher isn’t an education policy maker but a teacher who’s given evaluation systems a lot of thought. An Indianapolis native, he started his career in a Colorado district that helped pioneer the idea of performance pay. Missing from Indiana’s metrics and most models, he argues, are the opinions of students. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

1
Text Only
Commentary
  • Teach children to contribute as well as receive I receive a lot of emails and phone calls from parents facing difficulty in their parenting. Often parents ask, “What do I need to give my child? What do I need to do for my child?” While there are many moments we as parents need to give or do something, sometimes the answer lies in expecting from our children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

Order Times Sentinel photos


Photos from July 2014

Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide