How to Avoid a Godzilla vs. King Kong Battle Over New Teacher Evaluation Plans

Bensenville Elementary School District 2 is one of the only districts in Illinois where the teacher-developed assessments will be used for performance evaluation. The evaluation plan represents a strong collaboration between teachers and administration to improve student performance.

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'These new assessments are just another great indicator on the progress of my class,' said 2nd grade teacher Patty Vlangos.

Bensenville, IL (PRWEB) December 22, 2013

King Kong vs. Godzilla. The classic battle of Japanese sci-fi monsters was the image that first came to mind for Dr. Kay Dugan, assistant superintendent for learning, when she was thinking how difficult developing a teacher evaluation plan under Illinois’ new Performance Evaluation Reform Act might be.

Under PERA, all districts must implement a new teacher evaluation model by 2015-16 that includes professional skills and measures of student growth. That may be a contentious battle for some districts where administration and teachers are often at odds, but in District 2 it couldn’t be further from reality.

Bensenville District 2 is one of just two districts in DuPage County, and 34 in Illinois, participating in the state’s Race to the Top program. As part of the state program, the district is required to pilot a PERA teacher evaluation plan this year.

Work began last year, when a Joint Committee of school administrators and teachers’ association leaders developed a plan according to the rules of PERA.

Instead of an epic battle, the work of the Joint Committee has brought about more collaboration and improved professional practice.

“Everyone in District 2 has been working tirelessly to improve the education we provide our students,” Superintendent Dr. James Stelter said. “You will find that our dedicated teachers truly believe in the changes we are making and that it will improve the success of our students.”

District 2 is the only district in the state using teacher-developed student growth assessments instead of standardized assessments as part of the teacher evaluation plan.

Evaluating those assessments give our teachers keen insights to individual student progress as well as providing class progress for evaluations. Teachers are finding the new assessments valuable to their students and their practice.

“These new assessments are just another great indicator on the progress of my class,” said 2nd grade teacher Patty Vlangos. “They direct my next steps to take with each individual student as well as a class collectively. Wherever I see struggles, I get together with my team, and we get a plan in action to ensure we are doing everything we can to help students be successful.”

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