State Rep’s Comments Upset Valley Superintendent

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI)- Comments from a state representative questioning the results of public school teacher evaluations have many in education very upset.

The results show most teachers are effective, but Representative Robert Behning said that’s unrealistic.

South Vermillion High School Biology class students are under the careful watch of Mrs. Terry. She and 95 percent of her South Vermillion colleagues rated effective by principal like Levi Yowell.

The numbers don’t surprise Superintendent David Chapman.  “I think we’ve got a great group of teachers.”

South Vermillion’s numbers nearly mirror statewide evaluation results.  97 percent of the Indiana’s public school teachers were rated as either effective or highly effective.

State Representative Robert Behning is the chair of the House Education Committee.  He’s also instrumental in passing a more stringent teacher evaluation system.

“It’s good to think that everyone would be in those two categories.  I think it’s probably not realistic,” said Behning.

The comments upset Chapman, to say the least.  “Again, it’s the whole issue of public education getting a slap in the face.  We keep getting told or asked to do more and more, and as we do that we keep getting slapped more and more.”

Chapman stated South Vermillion teachers support evaluations.  In fact, he credits the process with helping teachers become more effective and giving them goals to achieve in the classroom.

And his message to lawmakers, like Behning, who questions these results?  Come out of the statehouse and come to class.

“You’re going to see things going on that, ‘yeah, that’s what we want.  That’s what we expect.’  It’s not a dog and pony show.  It’s reality,” said Chapman.

Evaluation results are based, in part, on student test performance.  How much test results played a role in a teacher’s evaluation is up to each school district.  Behning wants to see some of that local control taken away.

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