The last day of school included staff development covering the evaluation system that will be used next year. The evaluation system was changed as a direct result of the 2010 Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) signed by Governor Pat Quinn. As a result of this legislation, teacher evaluations must include data and indicators of student growth as a significant factor.
The question of “student growth” is one that can raise concerns among teachers. Other states have chosen to use standardized tests, like PAARC for their evaluation systems, a decision that has sparked major controversy in states like New Jersey.
Granite City School District has developed a model for measuring student growth and evaluating staff, which was created by a team of union members and administration. Our last day of school, Denise Albrecht held a staff development meeting where the evaluation system was outlined. All of the files are available at the staff website, and we received a manual that day.
The main points of this new system are as follows:
1. We will NOT be using PAARC scores as part of teacher evaluations.
2. Teachers will track student growth using pre-tests and post-tests, designed around units or chapters (Type 3 Assessments). During the first year, these assessments will be the only ones used as a measure of growth.
3. Starting the 2016-2017 school year, Type 2 Assessments will also be used. These will be developed by schools or departments and be common for grades or subjects.
4. Students can be excluded from assessments for reasons such as low attendance or catastrophic events in their life. Documentation will be needed for the exclusions.
5. Pre and Post Assessments will be recorded/submitted using an excel template developed by the team.
6. Teachers will also be evaluated by an administration team using the Danielson Framework. This will include at least 1 formal and 1 informal evaluation. These evaluations will have written documentation.