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After getting its new annual professional performance review approved by both district teachers and the state last year, Cleveland Hill school administrators explained the program to the Board of Education during its regular meeting Wednesday night.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Pauly said the state will measure “the growth to proficiency.”

“Within four years of when they take their first state test, they should be proficient,” Pauly said of the new system. “If an average student can make growth each year, they should be proficient. If the student doesn’t make that much growth, that’s when you know they’re not on track.”

Now faculty will be evaluated by how well a student improves in testing, with 25 points devoted to comparisons across the state and 15 points set for comparisons with other students in the district. Up to 60 points will be based on observing the instructor’s teaching methods. One visit will be planned with the teacher in advance, but another observation will be unannounced.

Board member Julie Walkowiak questioned the fairness of basing more than half of the teacher’s evaluation on classroom observation.

“Most of it is based on someone’s opinion of you as a teacher,” she said. “It has nothing to do with test grades.”

“I don’t think it’s based on an opinion,” Pauly responded. “It’s based on evidence.”

When students are evaluated, they are compared with other students that are in their same social economic demographic group. The new evaluations were forced on districts by the state in order to receive a portion of their funding for budgets.

There’s also an instructional system for teachers and principals who are rated as developing or ineffective. The system is designed to support improvement among faculty members.