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Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC)

"" Overview

   (Updated September 30, 2011)

"" Supporting Illinois Educators with New Evaluation Systems

Helping teachers and principals help their students

Illinois students deserve an excellent education. And Illinois educators deserve more objective reviews, better feedback, and greater support aligned to their students’ needs. That’s why Illinois educators are creating more effective evaluation tools, which will provide teachers and principals a clearer picture of what’s happening in their classrooms and schools, while expanding opportunities for professional growth. These new evaluation models are part of the state’s long-term commitment to outstanding public schools.

"" Clear and Consistent Standards, More Constructive Feedback, Stronger Professional Development

In 2010, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Performance Evaluation Reform Act, which changes how teachers’ and principals’ performance is measured.

Research has shown that some current evaluation systems don’t accurately or objectively measure how educators are doing, or identify their strengths and areas for growth. Moreover, most current evaluations do not formally connect student growth measures with educator performance.

The new evaluation systems will combine multiple measures of student growth and professional practice. The new evaluation systems will also provide clear descriptions of professional excellence so everyone understands what great teaching and school leadership mean. The evaluations will be based on standards of effective teaching, with evaluators trained and pre-qualified to conduct observations, collect evidence, and provide helpful feedback in a timely way.

Hand in hand with new evaluations, school systems will be expected to strengthen their professional development offerings so that educators get the support they need to help their students improve.

"" Statewide Education Reform, Driven by Local School Districts

Phasing in the new system will be a multi-year process. Chicago and select schools in eight other school districts will begin using their new systems in the 2012-13 school year; implementation will be phased in for remaining school districts, with all districts using the new system by 2016.

Districts will have options for evaluating their teachers and principals. For teacher evaluations, a Joint Committee of district officials and teachers or, where applicable, the teachers’ exclusive bargaining representatives, have the ability to create their own evaluation system that meets minimum state rules. In addition, the Joint Committee has 180 days to agree on how to incorporate data and indicators of student growth into its own evaluation system. If the committee does not reach agreement on its own plan, the district must then implement all or parts of the state model regarding the use of data and indicators of student growth.

The process for creating teacher evaluations is somewhat different in Chicago Public Schools. There, if the Joint Committee does not reach agreement on a new evaluation system in 90 days, it will not be required to implement any aspect of the state model system. Instead, it may implement its last, best proposal.

For principals, local school administrators can develop their own system or choose to use the state model. The intent is to ensure that locally developed systems are not a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach dictated by the state.

A special advisory group, the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC), will make recommendations to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) later this year in two major areas: the minimum components for districts developing their own teacher and principal evaluation systems; and the state models for each. The PEAC includes more than 30 state, district, and union leaders, teachers, higher education professionals, and others.

Based on PEAC’s recommendations, the state board will propose administrative rules later this fall; the rules are expected to be finalized by spring 2012.

"" Educators’ Voices Will Count

Teachers and administrators will have multiple chances to share their views. First, the public is welcome to attend PEAC’s monthly meetings as recommendations are crafted this summer and fall. Meeting dates and more information can be found at www.isbe.net/PEAC.

Second, the PEAC will be seeking input from teachers, administrators, parents, and the public through a series of meetings across the state this fall, as well as through online surveys.

Third, interested parties can submit public comment regarding the proposed rules, which the state board is expected to release later this fall.

Please visit www.isbe.net/PEAC to learn more about how you can help transform education in Illinois.