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D65 adopts new ratings for teachers

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will use a new evaluation system for its teachers starting in the fall.


Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will use a new evaluation system for its teachers starting in the fall.

The system, presented at Monday’s school board meeting, rates teachers in part based on whether they’ve increased the number of students performing at or above grade level over the course of the year.

By contrast, Superintendent Hardy Murphy said, most schools evaluate teachers based on how many students meet the standards set for their grade — without accounting for changes in student performance over time.

The new system aims to increase the percentage of students who meet or exceed standards as the class grows older, Murphy said.

“It should have a snowballing effect over time,” he said.

On average four to six students in each District 65 classroom perform below the standards for their grade, according to a presentation explaining the new evaluation system.

The district tracks each student’s performance with state-standardized tests.

The evaluation model the district will use is based on one developed by education consultant Charlotte Danielson, adapted to meet Illinois state standards that teachers be graded on a three point scale of “excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory” rather than the four-point scale — “distinguished, proficient, basic or unsatisfactory” — Danielson recommends.

The new evaluation system, which also sets different performance expectations for tenured and non-tenured teachers, was developed by a joint committee of teachers, administrators and union representatives.

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