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CPS Pilot Program Could Hold Answers to Overhauling Teacher Evaluations

Schools across the country are struggling to find a better way to evaluate teachers. A Chicago Public Schools pilot program may have hit upon a situation. That's according to a report released on Tuesday by the Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Few CPS teachers ever receive an unsatisfactory rating. But in the pilot program, which began in 44 schools, a new framework led to 8 percent of teachers getting at least one unsatisfactory rating.

Lauren Sartain is one of the authors of the report. She says the pilot program helps principals do a better job of rating teachers because it clearly defines an unsatisfactory rating as "doing harm to students." She says that's not the case with the system CPS has been using for the last 30 years.

SARTAIN: There wasn't a rubric. There wasn't a definition. Principals just kind of ticked without any guidance about what it really means to be 'unsatisfactory.'

Sartain says the district plans to expand the pilot program to more than to 30 high schools and 200 elementary schools next year.

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