Performance Counts Act in Illinois Assembly
Mon, 24 Jan 2011 16:41:21 GMT — UPDATED: May 13 at 10:52 a.m. Jeff Mays tells KHQA, "It's [the Performance Counts Act] gonna be something that our schools will benefit by. Maybe we're a little bit ahead of the game. Maybe I was a little too pushy, I can do that sometimes. But bottom line, it was the right thing to do and I think ultimately the legislature saw that as the right thing to do to." You'll remember at last weeks Quincy school board meeting, board member Jeff Mays said he supported legislation that releases teachers who do not perform well in the classroom. We'll continue to follow this story as it progresses, so check back and be sure to watch KHQA's News at Five, KHQA's Evening News at 6 p.m. and KHQA's Late News at 10 p.m. ------ UPDATE: May 12 at 3:25 p.m. The Illinois House is embracing education reform that significantly changes school focus on teacher performance. The House voted 112-1 Thursday to send the bill to Gov. Pat Quinn after Senate approval last month. The measure would make it more difficult for teachers to go on strike and easier for them to be fired for poor performance. It was negotiated in secret for months among lawmakers, education reformers and administrators, and business groups. The Chicago Teachers Union initially agreed to the proposal but now says it opposes language that addresses current litigation and specifics about Chicago teacher strikes. Democratic Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago says the groups began negotiating changes Wednesday and could have an agreement that would follow in later legislation. The bill is SB7. ------ Illinois lawmakers have heard from two groups regarding the Performance Counts Act. The bill would overhaul teacher tenure and limit teacher's rights to strike. It is proposing a bill to lawmakers that would hold teachers more accountable for tenure. It ties a teachers job security to performance and how much their students learn. But that proposal is not going over well with the Illinois Education Association and other Illinois teacher groups. They say the proposal was drawn up without any teacher input. They unveiled a proposal called Accountability for All. It would require school board members to get training in education and labor law and financial oversight, and it emphasizes districts TM responsibility to provide teacher training, but it also steps back some from tenets teachers unions have long held dear, such as seniority. At last weeks Quincy school board meeting, board member Jeff Mays said he supported legislation that releases teachers who do not perform well in the class room. Mays told KHQA, "When it comes to laying off or RIF'ing (reductions in force), you have laws and union contracts that force the board to follow seniority." He says measure will not change the evaluation process. "It makes student performance a part of the teacher evaluation. This is about improving education. We are doing this to serve the kids. They need the best teachers in the classroom," he added.