Proposed Amendments to Part 50 (Evaluation of Certified Employees under Article s24A and 34 of the School Code)

P.A. 98-972, effective August 15, 2015, revamped the State assessment system, replacing the requirements found at Section 2-3.64 of the School Code with new Section 2-3.64a-5, thereby necessitating a revision to the statutory citation used in Sections 50.110 and 50.310. 

A similar change also is proposed for Section 50.20(e).  Section 50.20 responds to Section 24A-2.5 of the School Code, which sets forth the timeline for school districts to implement teacher and principal performance evaluations systems that incorporate data and indicators of student growth.  The law lays out a phased-in approach to implementation, with all school districts required to conduct performance evaluations beginning in the 2016-17 school year.  Starting in the 2015-16 school year, school districts that have not yet implemented performance evaluation systems and whose student performance ranks in the lowest 20 percent among all districts statewide will be required to begin using these systems, and Section 50.20(e) of the rules states the basis upon which the determination of "lowest performing" will be made.

When calculating the districts that are the lowest performing, Section 50.20(e) uses test results from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 test administrations of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE), the tests authorized under Section 2-3.64 of the School Code.  Despite the repeal of Section 2-3.64, however, the rule must continue to rely on results from the assessments that were authorized under that law.  For this reason, a cross-reference to the law will be replaced with specific mention of the ISAT and PSAE even though they are no longer the State assessments.  This proposed change will make the rule's intent clear.

Staff also propose amending Section 50.310 to address the use of the school climate survey authorized under Section 2-3.153 of the School Code (i.e., the 5Essentials Survey) when evaluating principals and assistant principals.  The survey results help to inform school improvement efforts, school and individual principal's growth goals, and the school community's discussion about the climate of their school.  In this way, the information gleaned from the survey may be valuable in helping a principal or assistant principal identify areas of improvement and other goals that will be used in the evaluation process.  Given the survey's broad parameters, however, staff are proposing that results not be used as a separate, weighted outcome measure for purposes of determining a principal's or assistant principal's final performance evaluation rating.  The proposed rule also limits any information relative to school climate that is used as part of an evaluation to be only from a survey instrument authorized under Section 2-3.153 of the School Code.

Initial Review by State Board of Education: March 2015

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