District 97 board, union agree on teacher evaluation plan

The Oak Park Elementary District 97 and the Oak Park Teachers Association have reached agreement on a teacher performance pilot program.

The School Board was to take up a memorandum of understanding on the program Tuesday in time for the opening of school Aug. 25.

The board and OPTA have been negotiating since February, and other elements of the contract remain unsettled.

“The Board of Education, district administration and Oak Park Teachers’ Association have made positive progress toward the creation of the new teacher contract. This progress is highlighted by the tentative agreements we have reached on a number of key issues,” the D97 board and OPTA said in a joint statement Aug. 12.

Neither Board President Robert Spatz nor OPTA officials could be reached for comment. Both parties typically do not comment in advance of agreements that have not yet been approved by the D97 board.

The statement said negotiations to finalize a contract resume Monday.

“With that said, we will not compromise the long-term success of this critical endeavor for the sake of expediency,” the joint statement said. “Our primary goal remains the creation of an agreement that will benefit everyone involved and help build a better tomorrow for our community and the children we serve.”

The memorandum includes an agreement to establish a Performance Evaluation Reform Act joint committee between the district and the union for the 2014-15 school year as required by state law. The committee will develop a pilot program and discuss how student performance data will be factored into teacher evaluations.

“The model will have no consequence on any OPTA members’ summative evaluation rating for the 2015-2016 school year, unless otherwise required by law or the District 97 Evaluation Plan,” the memo said.

The teachers contract expired June 30. If no full contract is reached before the start of school, teachers will begin work under the provisions of the previous contract with the exception of changes made under the memorandum if it is approved by the board.

However, Spatz did confirm earlier this year at least part of any new contract likely would include renegotiation of compensation.

D97 and OPTA collaborated last year on a compensation study that concluded changes to the current compensation model would need to be sustainable, predictable and manageable. The study included a national literature review and examination of compensation models from several districts within the state.

Spatz said last February information from the study likely would be used as background but the parties were under no obligation to use any of its findings as a basis for a new contract.

0 Comments


Read about Ernest Hemingway and his ties to Oak Park by clicking here.

Modal