* The Chicago Teachers Union believes that mass layoffs are coming to the school system, so they agreed to no cost of living raises in contract negotiations, but stuck firm on their evaluation demands. The Tribune has a very good story about what’s going on…
CPS teachers are evaluated by classroom observers, and are ultimately ranked on a four-tier scale: distinguished, proficient, basic and unsatisfactory.
The union said it wants to strike the possibility of teachers receiving an overall rating of “unsatisfactory” if their classroom observation scores land exclusively at the “basic” level. […]
The union said it has suggested lowering the threshold needed for teachers to reach that scale’s “proficient” rating, in order to “address an inconsistency” in evaluations that the union says could lower the scores of solid educators.
“The current evaluation system has a flaw in it, in that the ‘proficient’ band is too narrow,” Sharkey said.
The union says that creates a situation where good teachers who consistently receive good evaluation scores — but an occasional low mark — risk getting downgraded to a “developing” rating.
And, in the context of potential mass layoffs, that downgrade could mean lots of teachers lose their jobs.