Updated 12.9.12. On Dec. 3, the District 65 School Board decided it would vote on the new Teacher Appraisal System at its Dec. 17 meeting. We think the Board should defer implantation of the new Teacher Appraisal System until the 2013-14 school year and use the balance of this year to ensure that the new system implemented next year is a fair, rigorous, statistically sound system.

We also think the Board should retain expert consultants to advise the District on the statistical validity of the appraisal system and to work with the District and the District Educators Council in addressing any concerns. This is a complex area. Many states and school districts throughout the country are using consultants to assist them in developing teacher appraisal systems.

Retaining expert consultants would be nothing new for District 65. It has retained consultants to advise it on bond issuances, financial projections, prioritizing roof and masonry work, implementing the Inclusion Program, designing professional development for differentiated instruction, administering stakeholder surveys, training school leadership teams, and in other areas. It should do so here.