2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Illinois could do more to connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state requires a four-year probationary period, after which a teacher is eligible for nonprobationary status, or contractual continued service. To qualify for nonprobationary status, teachers must receive four consecutive overall evaluation ratings consisting of at least "proficient" in the last term (school year) and at least "proficient" in either the second or third term. If at the end of four years, the teacher does not qualify for nonprobationary status, then he or she is dismissed.
Teachers in Illinois may also qualify for "accelerated" contractual continued service with three consecutive terms in which the teacher receives overall evaluation ratings of "excellent."
Because Illinois's teacher evaluation ratings are not centered primarily on evidence of student learning (see Goal 3-B), basing tenure decisions on these evaluation ratings ensures that classroom effectiveness is considered, but does not ensure it is the preponderant criterion.
S.B. 7, amending Illinois Compiled Statutes 105:5/24-11 S.B. 7, amending Illinois Compiled Statutes 105:5/34-84
Ensure evidence of effectiveness is the preponderant criterion in tenure decisions.
Illinois should make evidence of effectiveness, rather than the number of years in the classroom, the most significant factor when determining this leap in professional standing.
Ensure the probationary period is adequate.
Illinois should make certain its probationary period allows for a collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Illinois recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.