• Teacher Evaluations: Do Classroom Observations and Evaluator Training Really Matter?

      Pies, Sarah J. (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if the minimum number of observations stated in a district’s teacher evaluation plan, observation characteristics described in a district’s evaluation plan, and the characteristic of those evaluating teachers had an impact on whether a school would receive a bonus or penalty point for Indiana’s A-F accountability model. This study analyzed both math and English/language arts bonus and penalty points for all schools whose district has been implementing the new mandated teacher evaluation plan since the 2012-2013 school year. This included 3,997 schools within 215 districts in Indiana. Overall, when predicting whether a school will receive a bonus or penalty point, the findings for math were stronger than the findings for English/language arts. When considering whether a school will receive a bonus point for math, the minimum number of observations stated in the district’s evaluation plan was a significant predictor of a bonus point by itself but has a negative relationship associated with a reduction of the probability of getting a bonus point for math. Observation characteristics also had predictors in each model, both centered on the number of required observations in the plan (the actual number or just their presence in the plan). In the models using only the number of observations as a variable, the predictors were associated with an increased likelihood in a penalty and a decreased likelihood in a bonus. For the models with evaluator characteristics data, significant factors found a negative relationship with the likelihood of a school receiving a bonus point for math. When considering whether a school will receive a bonus point for English/language arts, evaluator characteristics did not serve as significant predictors nor does v the minimum number of observations stated in the district’s evaluation plan. One significant relationship was determined in that a district stating in its evaluation plan that both pre- and post-conferences are required, including goal setting, had a positive impact on the likelihood of getting a bonus point for English/language arts versus getting no bonus or penalty.