The measure, which Gov. Jim Edgar is expected to sign, would give the School Reform Board power “to impose academic, educational, examination and experience requirements and criteria” for the selection, continued employment and contract renewal of a principal. Current law requires only that principals be certified by the state and allows local school councils to establish additional qualifications.
The merit-pay bill pending in Springfield would require the School Reform Board and the Chicago Teachers Union to convert “step” and “lane” pay increases into merit pay tied to one or more of the following six areas of performance or professional advancement.
Weber, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a key player in last year’s debate, is pushing legislation that would force Chicago teachers to accept a merit-pay program in their next contract. Pay raises currently based on seniority and college credits would give way to raises based on student test scores, acquisition of specific skills, or extra work, such as involvement in curriculum development, school management and community outreach programs.