Thursday, December 16, 2010
Teachers’ Tenure Challenged In New Plan
Statewide school reform appears to be the New Year's resolution for some in Springfield.
Stakeholders will gather today in Aurora to discuss substantial changes to how schools in Illinois operate. One of those according to a draft plan obtained by Illinois Statehouse News shows that seniority in the education system could lose a lot of its clout.
Tenured teachers and principals would lose any state-granted certifications if they got poor grades on performance evaluations three years in a row during a 10-year period, according to the draft. Teachers and principals would be allowed to plead their case before the State Teacher Certification Board before revocation of their certification. The change would pre-empt any previous collective bargaining agreement that protected tenured teachers and principals, according to the draft.
The current proposal is a follow-up to the Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 that the General Assembly passed in the spring session. The act links teacher evaluations with students' performances on standardized tests. The push for linking the two came out of a plan to win federal "Race to the Top" money which didn't happen.
"The fact is that all students can, and do, learn, and they learn more when paired with effective teachers. … If we care about closing our achievement gap, we have to care about developing and retaining effective teachers," said Amy Ballinger-Cole from reform group Advance Illinois.
The other sweeping change included in the plan would be a three-member fact-finding board to help with collective bargaining discussions that come to a standstill.
You can read Andrew's full report at: http://illinois.statehousenewsonline.com/4715/teachers-tenure-being-challenged/