Upcoming PERA Deadline of November 1, 2015


Upcoming PERA Deadline of November 1, 2015

Aug 4, 2015

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For most school districts in Illinois, the 2015-2016 school year marks the beginning of the process for incorporating the use of data and indicators on student growth into teacher evaluations.  As the first deadline for this process, November 1, 2015, is rapidly approaching, it is helpful to review and be mindful of the PERA implementation process as you start school this fall. 

Under PERA, school districts are to use joint committees composed of equal representation selected by the district and its teachers to incorporate the use of data and indicators of student growth as a significant factor in rating teacher performance.  These joint committees must meet no later than November 1 of the year preceding a district’s PERA implementation date.  This means that for most districts (those with a September 1, 2016 PERA implementation date), PERA joint committees must meet by November 1, 2015. 

After their first meeting, PERA joint committees have 180 calendar days to reach agreement on how to incorporate data and indicators on student growth into teacher evaluations.  Pursuant to ISBE’s rules, the matters on which joint committees must reach agreement include the following:

  1. Specific Type I or Type II assessment (i.e., instrument that measures a student’s acquisition of specific knowledge and skill) to be used for each category of teacher;
  2. Identification of a measurement model for each type of assessment that employs multiple data points;
  3. How certain student characteristics (e.g., special education placement, English language learners, low-income populations) shall be used for each measurement model chosen;
  4. The percentage of student growth that shall comprise the performance evaluation rating assigned; and
  5. The rating scale to be used to determine the student growth rating to be assigned.

If committees do not reach an agreement on the incorporation of data and indicators on student growth within 180 calendar days, the district must implement the specific aspects of the State’s model teacher evaluation plan about which they disagreed.  While the State has not created a model teacher evaluation plan to be used for this purpose, it has published requirements that must be followed when PERA joint committees are unable to come to an agreement on portions of the teacher evaluation plan.  These requirements are published in Title 23 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Part 50.210 and can be found here – http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/023/023000500C02100R.html

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of the firm’s Labor and Employment attorneys.