2017 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Impact of Student Growth: Illinois requires student growth to be "significant," which is defined as 30 percent of a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Joint committees formed by school districts must agree on the student growth criteria within 180 days, or a district must default to the state model, which requires student growth to comprise 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation.
For each category of teacher, districts must include the use of at least one Type I (statewide or beyond) or Type II (districtwide) assessment and at least one Type III (aligned with course curriculum) assessment, along with a measurement model to assess student growth on these assessments. Student learning objectives (SLOs) are one option districts can choose as a measurement model. Teachers without Type I or Type II assessments must use two Type III assessments. Examples include teacher-created assessments and student work samples or portfolios.
Illinois does not require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion to earn an overall rating of effective. The state only defines rating requirements for districts that cannot agree on an evaluation system and therefore must adopt the state model, which requires student growth to comprise 50 percent of a teacher's overall rating. Teachers can be rated overall proficient if 1) their student growth rating is unsatisfactory and their professional practice is excellent, or 2) their student growth rating is needs improvement and their professional practice is excellent. A teacher may also be rated overall proficient if their student growth is needs improvement and their professional practice is proficient. If this scenario can occur when student growth counts for 50 percent, it is implicitly allowed when student growth counts for only 30 percent of the total score.
State's Role in Evaluation System: Illinois districts develop evaluation systems based on criteria set forth by the state, or they can choose to use all or a portion of the state's model, the Model Teacher Evaluation System.
23 IAC 50.110, -.200
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Illinois requires that objective evidence of student growth be included in a teacher's evaluation rating, it does not play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Illinois should ensure that a teacher is not able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is rated less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
Illinois recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
7A: Measures of Student Growth
Many factors should be considered in formally evaluating a teacher; however, nothing is more important than effectiveness in the classroom. Value-added models are an important tool for measuring student achievement and school effectiveness. These models have the ability to measure individual students' learning gains, controlling for students' previous knowledge and background characteristics. While some research suggests value-added models are subject to bias and statistical limitations, rich data and strong controls can eliminate error and bias. In the area of teacher quality, examining student growth offers a fairer and potentially more meaningful way to evaluate a teacher's effectiveness than other methods schools use.
Unfortunately, districts have used many evaluation instruments, including some mandated by states, which are structured so that teachers can earn a satisfactory rating without any evidence that they are sufficiently advancing student learning in the classroom. Teacher evaluation instruments should include factors that combine both human judgment and objective measures of student learning.