NEWS

State Board of Education lays
foundation for teacher prep report card

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2000

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(217) 782-4648

 

Chicago – The Illinois State Board of Education, Governor George H. Ryan and the state’s Board of Higher Education and Community Colleges Board are working together on a new accountability measure for Illinois’ approved teacher preparation institutions.  

The State Board today reviewed a report outlining a plan to create a “Teacher Preparation Report Card” system. The Board is expected to approve several recommendations and direct staff to continue working closely with the state’s public and private teacher preparation institutions to produce a high-quality report on teacher preparation in Illinois. 

“This project is another component of our mutual efforts to continuously improve public education,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee. “This particular element is intended to ensure our colleges and universities are doing all they can to prepare teachers for the classroom.” 

Title II of the 1998 Amendments to the federal Higher Education Act requires a three-tiered reporting system detailing the quality of teacher preparation nationwide. The federal mandate coincides with the State Board’s High Quality Educator Initiative to produce, attract, support and retain excellent teachers in Illinois classrooms. 

This initiative is also linked to the state’s own accreditation process for teacher preparation institutions, which are based on National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) 2000 Standards. 

“This is an important opportunity to collaborate with those colleges, universities and schools responsible for training educators to make sure we are giving all of our students an education that is Second to None,” McGee said.

Through this accountability measure, teacher preparation institutions will demonstrate continuous improvement and report their results to the public.

Title II calls for every institution that prepares teachers to submit specific information about its programs and program results to the state and the public. The first such report is due in April 2001.  

Each state then must convey to the U.S. Department of Education and the public the aggregate results of those reports by October 2001. The Secretary of Education will use the state reports to develop a report to Congress on the state of teacher preparation nationwide. 

Work began on this project more than a year ago.  

The State Board; Governor Ryan’s office; the Joint Education Committee comprising representatives of the State Board, Board of Higher Education; the Community College Board; an ad hoc task force including institutional and state agency staff; and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Teacher Quality have worked together on the initial planning of the process that will eventually produce a “report card” on teacher preparation.

One of the most important jobs already completed was to set definitions for “low performing” and “at risk” teacher preparation facilities.  

An institution will be considered “at risk” if the State Board places it on probation, in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board and the Board of Higher Education, using NCATE 2000 Standards. 

NCATE assesses teacher preparation institutions on such items as the knowledge, skills and dispositions of their teacher candidates; the school’s assessment system and unit evaluations; the field experiences and clinical practice the school provides teacher candidates; the institution’s diversity, faculty qualifications, performance and development; and its own governance and resources. 

Similarly, an institution will be considered “low performing” if it has been declared “at risk” for three years without showing any signs of improvement of stated weaknesses, as defined by the annual report that is required by the NCATE 2000-aligned approval process. 

The State Board and the Teacher Certification Board will assign “decertification notice” to any “low performing” institutions not showing improvement of stated weaknesses after two years. 

Schools given such notice will immediately freeze recruitment and admissions of teacher candidates; and pay another certified institution that is in good standing to finish teaching the program for currently enrolled students. 

Finally “decertified” institutions will also be required to stop all teacher preparation programs.