Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


This Program Evaluation paper is the first in a three-part dissertation on the effect of new Illinois laws on teacher evaluation in suburban Chicago elementary districts. The Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) of 2010 (Public Act 96-861), as modified by Senate Bill 7, was signed into law in June 2011 and contains provisions that take effect over several years. During the 2012-2013 school year, Illinois districts were required to move to a four-rating performance evaluation system and begin to use these ratings, instead of relying on seniority, to make job-related decisions. Pub. Act 97-008 (2011), § 5, adding 105 ILCS 5/24-12(b). I collected data in fall 2011 from three suburban school districts on practices and perceptions of their pre-PERA teacher evaluation systems, as well as awareness of and expectations relating to the changes that PERA and Senate Bill 7 would bring. The data from the program evaluation year of my project provided a baseline from which, in the third part of my dissertation, I would compare data obtained in the fall of 2013, the year after districts were required to adopt four-rating systems and use those ratings in making job-related decisions. In all three districts studied, most of the participants were comfortable with their current teacher evaluation systems. They viewed the systems as fair, and they believed they received (or gave, in the case of administrators) some useful feedback. But the current systems did not provide any real differentiation among teachers, and both administrators and teachers knew this. Teachers and administrators varied greatly in their awareness of coming change to the system. Key recommendations arising from the data included pro-active communication about upcoming change, adding more informal walk-throughs to the evaluation system, and increasing the number of evaluators.




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