For Immediate Release
November 18, 2011
ISBE Proposes New Rules Including Student Growth to Evaluate Teachers/Principals
Draft rules result of months of extensive professional advice and public feedback
SPRINGFIELD —The Illinois State Board of Education today proposed new rules that will help transform teacher and principal evaluations in Illinois. The proposed rules will detail the ways in which districts must incorporate into their performance evaluations student growth and a research based instructional framework for reviewing effective instruction and leadership. The rules proposed by the Board will now undergo a 45-day public comment period before being finalized early next year.
“Illinois educators deserve more objective reviews, better feedback, and greater support aligned to their students’ needs,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “These evaluation tools will provide teachers and principals a clearer understanding of how teachers and principals are impacting student learning and what’s happening in their classrooms and schools, while improving opportunities for student growth.”
The rules come in response to the Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 (PERA) and its subsequent amendments in 2011 by Senate Bill 7, which together require new evaluations to address both professional practice and, for the first time, student achievement growth, and tie the results of performance evaluations to employment decisions such as tenure acquisition and reductions-in-force/layoffs.
As noted above, districts will be required to incorporate a research based professional framework to evaluate teachers for effective instruction. A recent study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research showed a direct connection between teachers who scored highest in these frameworks and student growth, and that students in the study with the lowest growth were in classrooms led by teachers who scored lower on the frameworks. The Consortium study focused on the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching, which is the framework recommended by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, a statutory body comprised of educators from across the State charged with advising the State Board of Education on the development and implementation of these new evaluation systems.
Today’s proposed rules benefitted from the PEAC’s extensive advice. PEAC held eight forums throughout Illinois in October and November, and gathered online input from the public. In all, more than 2,300 educators offered their views, which, among other things, helped convince the state board to propose a phase in of the minimum 30 percent student growth requirement over the next two years. Comments at the forums also led ISBE to propose that performance evaluations of school service personnel such as social workers, nurses and counselors need not include a student growth component.
“We were committed to having the voices of practitioners at the table in a meaningful way at the front end,” said PEAC co-chair Laurence Stanton. “The rules will be much stronger and implementation will be much smoother since educators have some real ownership in the recommendations.”
Highlights of the proposed rules include:
- Student growth must count for at least 25 percent of the evaluation for the 2012-13 and 2013-14, then at least 30 percent starting in September 2014.
- Starting September 2012, all teachers and principals/assistant principals must be rated as Excellent, Proficient, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory
- Starting September 2012, all principals will be evaluated with the new system.
- New teacher evaluations will be phased in, starting with at least 300 schools in Chicago beginning September 1, 2012. The remaining Chicago schools must use the new teacher evaluations by 2013-14. All schools in the state must use them by September 2016.
- Tenured teachers will be evaluated at least every other year, however, tenured teachers evaluated as “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory” must be evaluated the following year.
- Starting in 2012-13, all evaluators must be pre-qualified and then retrained every five years.
In addition to these general rules, ISBE will develop a state model for teacher and principal/assistant principal evaluations, which districts may choose to adopt in whole or in part. PERA requires that student growth comprise at least 50 percent of the total evaluation in the state models. The Board will consider recommendations for the state evaluation models in December.
If local Joint Committees of teachers and administrators cannot agree on student growth provisions for teacher evaluations, they must default to the relevant growth section(s) of the state model. The default requirement does not apply to principal/assistant principal evaluations or to teacher evaluations in Chicago, where PERA stipulates that CPS can implement “its last best proposal.”
Complete text of the proposed rules (Part 50 Evaluation of Certified Employees) may be accessed and the public may provide public comment at http://www.isbe.net/rules/proposed/default.htm .