REACH Summative Ratings were released in RLS last week. Step 1 to appeal is due THIS FRIDAY.

Every year, CTU members log in anxiously to see what their REACH scores say about their future. It’s not supposed to be this way.

Evaluation systems should be about collegial feedback for improving outcomes, where teachers and evaluators are on the same side – the side of professionals concerned with support for our students.

REACH is the product of the time when the billionaires and business interests drove school policy to see collegiality as the enemy and test scores as the ultimate arbiter of quality. When REACH was developed more than ten years ago, people like the discredited Michelle Rhee and “Stand for Children” were bragging about their union-busting influence. They maintained that school segregation, poverty, and decades of inequitable under-funding had nothing to do with our students’ struggles. They levied these arguments in a dishonest and unprincipled manner to marginalize the dignity and labor rights of education workers which, in turn, has destabilized neighborhood public schools. They created an environment where Black and brown teachers receive lower REACH scores, on average, in part because they are more likely to work at schools robbed of valuable and necessary resources and put no mechanism in place to ameliorate evaluator bias. REACH has to change.

We are determined to transform a system of checklists and gotchas into a cooperative process, focused on identifying strengths, providing opportunities for improvement and furnishing the resources to support that growth.

In the meantime, members have the protections that our union fought for and won in our evaluation system. Below we have outlined the steps to make an appeal on your evaluations and/or file a grievance if necessary.

We are facing a teacher shortage- CPS is struggling to staff positions and members deserve more district support. Now is the perfect time for CPS to consider how to better support educators to do their best work and stay committed to their schools, not threaten educators with high stakes, punitive evaluation practices.

Do you think your REACH rating is wrong and contains procedural violations?

Educators who received a final summative rating may be able to file a grievance based on procedural violations and/or an appeal based on your eligibility.

To prepare for filing a grievance, educators should compile all related evidence and documentation, create a timeline of their relevant evaluation experience and contact their CTU Field Representative. Please refer to the updated CTU Grievance Checklist on the Teacher Evaluation page to identify whether evaluation procedures were followed during your evaluation plan. You will also need to complete a Grievance Authorization Form and return to your field representative by Friday, December 1, 2023.

Which REACH-evaluated educators are eligible to file an appeal of their SY 22-23 final summative rating?

The appeals process is available to:

  • Educators (probationary/untenured and tenured) who received a SY 22-23 final summative Unsatisfactory REACH rating (a score of 209 or below).

  • Tenured educators who received a REACH summative rating in the lower half of Developing (an emerging Developing score between 210-250).

Additionally and separately:

  • Educators who are laid off out of seniority order may appeal at the time of layoff whose rating is Unsatisfactory (209 or below) or Developing (score between 210-284).

Details about the Appeals process can be found in Article 39-9 of the contract.

How does the REACH final summative rating appeal process work?

All appeals are completed through the Reflect and Learn System (RLS). Educators eligible to appeal should be able to access the “Appeals Process” tab in RLS now.

There are two parts of the appeals process and each has a specific deadline:

  1. Educators have 10 calendar days to file an Intent to Appeal on the RLS website, and

  2. Educators have 30 calendar days to upload Evidence for the Appeal including all relevant documentation to the RLS website to complete the appeal.

Both parts of the process must be completed in order for the appeal to proceed and be reviewed.

Educators intending to complete an appeal should go on RLS and complete the Intent to Appeal immediately. The deadline for completing this simple step in the RLS system is Friday, October 6, 2023. Your appeals evidence and supporting documents must be completed by Thursday, October 26, 2023. We encourage all eligible educators to complete this step so they have the option of completing an appeal.

How can eligible educators get help to start their appeal process?

For those members eligible to appeal their Unsatisfactory or low-Developing ratings, the CTU will be conducting a REACH Rating Appeals Workshop on Wednesday, October 11 at 4:30 p.m. In addition, there will be in-person drop-in sessions from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at CTU Center on Monday, October 16 and Tuesday, October 17. If you have any questions about this process, please contact your field rep.