Just ahead of the deadline, the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 teachers union has given its approval for the district to apply for a state grant for a teacher evaluation program.

The Race to the Top program offers participating districts a share of $21.4 million in state funds to implement new state-mandated teacher evaluations a year earlier than otherwise required by the state law.

The board of education voted last week to seek the grant, and with the union’s approval the application was submitted on Monday.

The next step in the program will be to submit a work plan by April 1 outlining how the district plans to carry out the program if the grant is awarded.

Superintendent Hardy Murphy says District 65 “is well positioned for this project” because its one of only a handful of districts statewide that have developed “a professional appraisal system that includes
student growth as a component for professional evaluations.”

The size of the grant award will be calculated based on the total number of participating districts and
their relative share of federal funding for low income studetns funding. Final figures are expected to be released by April 1.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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