The Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) mandated that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) implement a student-outcome, performance-based evaluation system for both teachers and principals, with teacher evaluation required by fall 2012. Beginning in 2010, Fund staff and directors worked closely with CPS leaders to discuss major issues related to teacher evaluation in Chicago. Best practices from other districts were identified and options were considered in the Chicago context. A final recommendation was presented to then-CEO Jean-Claude Brizard in summer 2011, which also identified further opportunities for Fund support. The Fund continues to engage with CPS leadership to ensure the successful implementation of teacher evaluation (REACH) and principal evaluation.
Additionally, The Fund made a significant investment to implement a stakeholder engagement strategy with CPS around this evaluation work. The engagement strategy ensured that more than 2,000 teacher and principal voices were heard in the evaluation design and implementation process. It also helped The Fund and CPS gain a deep understanding of teacher beliefs and opinions, informing evaluation design.
The first phase of the engagement strategy leveraged Fund leaders and targeted CPS teachers recognized for teaching excellence, including National Board Certification (NBC) Teachers and Golden Apple award winners. In the second phase, meetings were held for teachers at hundreds of schools throughout CPS.
- Engaged more than 2,300 teachers in 200 schools in evaluation design.
- REACH recognizes the critically important role that educators play in preparing Chicago students for success in college and career. REACH further empowers teachers by providing them with the tools and supports they need to improve their practice and boost student learning. More detail on REACH is available here.