SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- This is the first school year that 34 Illinois school districts will begin grading teachers on whether their students' test scores are improving, but the state's slow method of implementing a new teacher evaluation system is creating problems.
The evaluation timeline is the reason Illinois was rejected in its request to obtain a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
School officials involved with the changes say there's little state support available for districts that don't have a large administrative staff or can't afford to hire outside help.
By 2016, Illinois law says 70 percent of a teacher's evaluation will have to be based on performance in the classroom in all 866 public school districts. The other 30 percent will be based on students' improvement on test scores.