What does it mean?
On September 23rd the Illinois State Board of Education informed me that Creve Coeur School District No. 76 was placed in the bottom twenty percent (20%) of most of the school districts in Illinois. My initial reaction was anger, then frustration, then defeat, then righteous indignation. How dare the State Board classify CC76 as being in the bottom 20% of Illinois schools in student achievement. We have made our AYP goals for two years in a row. But, because of the "New State Board Calculations" those years do not matter and we are now considered to be a bottom 20% school district. Now, my reaction is dogged determination.
What does it mean to be labeled in the bottom 20% of Illinois schools? Not much!
It means that we, as a school district, are required to implement a new system of teacher evaluation that includes student achievement. This is a requirement that ALL schools must follow by the 2016-2017 school year. Because we were placed in the bottom 20%, we are required to implement this requirement for the 2015-2016 school year. So, because the State Board labeled us, we have to rush around and develop a way to determine student growth for teacher evaluations.
Now, I believe that student growth measures can be a good factor for teacher evaluations. But, I do not believe the State Board should make the least performing school (as identified by the State Board) hastily develop measures of student growth for teacher evaluation. It seems more logical to me that the least performing schools should get MORE time to analyze and understand how to measure student growth for teacher evaluation purposes. Since that is not the case, we shall turn our attention to meeting the new requirement with dogged determination.
But, no matter what the State Board might label us, we KNOW our students can and do succeed and achieve, so to me that is all that REALLY matters.
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