The Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) recently received a $75,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to support communication and engagement efforts to assist school districts across the state with the continued implementation of the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC).
The 18-month grant will support ongoing communication efforts to assist the than 860 school districts move forward productively with the new performance evaluation system. This grant is a continuation of support provided by the Joyce Foundation that resulted in many successful communication efforts including the creation of the Virtual PERA Coach Newsletter that was sent electronically to more than 15,000 educators in Illinois. As part of a survey that was sent to subscribers about the newsletter, the most common response was to continue sending the information on a regular basis because of its usefulness.
This new funding will allow the Virtual PERA Coach Newsletter to continue to be sent and provide educators with updates from the PEAC, which will have limited resources, if any, to communicate the results of its work. Communication will be crucial to maintain the progress made and provide information on professional development. This is extremely important since approximately 10,000 teacher evaluators’ certificates will expire within the next five years and they will need to engage in professional development activities focused on PERA requirements to renew their licenses.
“This generous grant from the Joyce Foundation will allow us to deliver important information to evaluators and highlight high-quality work of school districts related to PERA implementation,” says CEC Co-Executive Director Mary Jane Morris. “For many districts, this information is vitally important for them to be able to stay informed about the complexities of PERA.”
The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation focuses on policy reforms that promise to improve the quality of life, promote community vitality, and strive for a fair society. The foundation’s Education Program works to ensure that all students – especially children of color and those who grow up in poverty – arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed and have high-quality educators. The foundation has spent decades working in the teaching quality space, funding research on the importance of excellent teachers and on policy reforms in teacher training, evaluation and development. For more information, visit the Joyce Foundation website at www.joycefdn.org