exCELLence Newsletter
April 2014
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Indiana's Teacher Evaluation Needs Fix

Commentary from our Executive Director, David Dresslar 
Follow him on twitter @ddresslar

Indiana has become the Lake Wobegon of teacher evaluation, you know, where all teachers are above average!

The recent release of teacher evaluation ratings by the Indiana Department of Education caused a flurry of reactions in response to data that showed 97.3 percent of evaluated teachers were rated “effective” or “highly effective” while only 2.7 percent were rated “ineffective” or “improvement necessary.”

Those reactions varied from accusations of rating inflation to assumptions that virtually all teachers are doing a great job. The fact is that most Indiana teachers are quite competent but it is also true that most systems for teacher evaluation are not working.

Of the many problems with teacher evaluation, the main failing is that evaluations are not really a rating as they are a single choice made by the principal — good or bad, raise or no raise, in or out. That’s because the law specifies that the top two categories allow for teachers to get a raise and can lead to tenure while the bottom two categories mean no raise and the possibility of being fired. Because of this, principals are faced with an almost impossible situation.

Originally posted April 13 via IndyStar. 


Register now for June PBL Events!


2014 Northern Indiana Project-Based Learning Summer Workshop

June 16-17, 2014
Plymouth High School, Plymouth, IN
The Northern Indiana PBL Summer Workshop offers differentiated learning about Project-Based Learning, meeting the needs of a diverse audience.  Over two days, participants have the opportunity to:
1.  Learn the basics in a PBL 101 session
2.  Connect with other PBL practitioners
3.  Experience protocols and strategies to implement in their own classroom
4.  Attend need-based workshops around different PBL topics
2014 Project-Based Learning Institute

June 23-26, 2014
Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center, Indianapolis, IN 
The PBL Institute immerses educators in a PBL experience by challenging them to create a rigorous and relevant PBL unit to implement in the upcoming school year. In content-specific rooms, PBL practitioners will work to facilitate teacher growth and understanding of PBL planning and implementation. Over four days, participants will:
1. Plan their own PBL unit with the support of facilitators and colleagues who teach similar content 2. and/ or grade levels*
3. Discuss of how PBL can make educators more effective and how that could be reflected in teacher evaluation
4. Network with PBL practitioners
5. Hear from students and administrators about PBL experiences
6. Learn about the process of becoming PBL certified in the State of Indiana

In April's edition of The Innovation Connection EWIN presents early survey results to better understand education and workforce partnerships across the state, news regarding two successful Youth Career Connect grant applications, a new report from Gallup about America's schools, and news and resources from around the web about education and workforce issues. 

Click here to read more. 

Early College Booming in Indiana

CELL's Indiana Early College High School network has gained traction throughout the state as more and more schools look for unique opportunities to leverage students' potential. CELL has hosted a number of meetings and workshops detailing the Early College model and the benefits of a concurrent enrollment. 

Learn more about Early College in Indiana...
ECHS New Schools Workshop
April 30 - May 1

More Information

Northern Indiana PBL Workshop
June 16-17
More Information

PBL Institute
June 23-26
More Information


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