Chicago Teachers Express Concern Over Evaluation

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As Chicago Public Schools officials begin heated negotiations over teacher evaluations, a study that will be released by the district shows teachers strongly oppose tying student achievement to their own performance.

Part of a sweeping education reform package signed into law last year, Illinois' Performance Evaluation Reform Act requires that the new evaluation system include student growth as a "significant factor" in the rating of a teacher. But a CPS-funded study shows teachers are worried about what they see as a precursor to merit pay.

"Even though teachers agree that their primary role as a teacher is to advance their students, the prospect of incorporating a measure of student growth into teacher's evaluations is met with strong opposition," the report reads.

Adding student performance to a teacher's evaluation is a major departure from how annual reviews have long been conducted across the country. Many states, including Illinois, are grappling with how to rate teachers based on their students' achievements.

To gather teacher input as they design a new evaluation system, CPS and the Chicago Public Education Fund sponsored a study that pulled together nearly 2,300 teachers from March through June. In the study, conducted by Loran Marketing Group at 200 school-based meetings, teachers expressed concerns about being measured against factors they cannot control, such as when a student's home life affects academic performance.

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