Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Illinois does not require that objective evidence of student learning be the preponderant criterion of its teacher evaluations.
The state requires that the use of data and indicators of student growth be "significant" factors in teacher evaluations.
Classroom observations are required, and by September 1, 2012, teachers must be rated as excellent, proficient, needs improvement or unsatisfactory.
Performance Evaluation Reform Act http://www.isbe.state.il.us/PEAC/pdf/PA096-0861_SB315.pdf S.B. 7 105 ILCS 5/24A-7
Require instructional effectiveness to be the preponderant criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Illinois's requirement of student growth is a step in the right direction, it falls short by failing to require that evidence of student learning be the most significant criterion. The state should either require a common evaluation instrument in which evidence of student learning is the most significant criterion, or it should specifically require that student learning be the preponderant criterion in local evaluation processes. This can be accomplished by requiring objective evidence to count for at least half of the evaluation score or through other scoring mechanisms, such as a matrix, that ensure that nothing affects the overall score more. Whether state or locally developed, a teacher should not be able to receive a satisfactory rating if found ineffective in the classroom.
Ensure that evaluations also include classroom observations that specifically focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction.
Although Illinois commendably requires classroom observations as part of teacher evaluations, the state should articulate guidelines that focus classroom observations on the quality of instruction, as measured by student time on task, student grasp or mastery of the lesson objective and efficient use of class time.
Illinois recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.