Proposed Amendments to Part 51 (Dismissal of Tenured Teachers under Article 24 and Dismissal of Tenured Teachers and Principals under Article 34 of the School Code)
Section 24-16.5 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/24-16.5] provides for the dismissal of teachers by a school board under an optional alternative evaluative dismissal (OAED) process. The OAED process may be used when a tenured teacher has failed to complete a remediation plan with a performance evaluation rating of "proficient" or higher and the teacher received the "unsatisfactory" rating that necessitated the remediation plan through a performance evaluation that incorporated data and indicators of student growth (referred to as "PERA evaluations"), as authorized under Article 24A of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/Art. 24A]. Section 24-16.5 further provides that before a school board member can vote to dismiss a teacher using the OAED process, he or she first must have "completed a training program on PERA evaluations either administered or approved by the State Board of Education".
When Part 51 was amended in 2012 to address changes in dismissal procedures, agency staff relied on the application process for leadership training for school board members set forth in Section 1.210 of rules governing Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision as the procedures to be used for approval of providers of PERA evaluation training. School Board leadership training is required under Section 10-16a of the School [105 ILCS 5/10-16a] and that statute addresses particular areas of training that are specific to the general duties of school board members. Additionally, Section 10-16a of the School Code also authorizes the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) as an approved provider. Since Section 1.210 reiterates both the content of the leadership training and the need for the State Board to consult with IASB when approving providers, its provisions, when applied to approval of PERA trainers, were confusing for both agency staff implementing the application process and entities applying for approval.
For these reasons, it is proposed that the cross-reference to Section 1.210's application process that is now stated in Section 51.290 of the dismissal rules be removed, and new Section 51.235 (Approval of Providers of PERA Training) articulate the process entities would use to seek approval to become PERA trainers for school board members. While proposed Section 51.235 relies heavily on the application process set forth in Section 1.210, it differs in several respects. Namely, it ties the course content to PERA evaluations and removes any references to IASB since that organization is not statutorily authorized to provide PERA training or participate in the approval of other PERA trainers.
Initial Review by State Board of Education: June 2014