"ISBE has been enjoined from publishing in the
Illinois Register proposed rules relating to certificate renewal and, consequently, the
rulemaking process is 'on hold.' ISBE will accept no public comment regarding the draft
rules until proposed rules have been printed in the Illinois Register."
State Board of Ed seeks public
on historic teacher development rules
Springfield Rules spelling out the kind of
continuing education teachers must complete to earn their licenses were released today for
comment following Illinois State Board of Education review
The public and teachers are invited to comment on
the new rules at any of 10 public hearings scheduled in the next 45 days.
The State Board will publish the suggested rules on its website (www.isbe.net)
and in the Illinois Register. The board is expected to vote on the proposed
rules in May.
are by far the most important link in the education chain because they touch
students first and foremost, said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee. Through the Illinois Learning Standards we
are asking much more of our students than ever before, so it only makes sense that our
teachers should be held to equally high standards, McGee said.
people wrongly downplay the essential nature of teachers and criticize their
professionalism, McGee said. We
believe that these new rules will not only help teachers be the best educators they can
be, but also bolster their image with the public as the professionals we know they
The new certification system requires teachers to engage in
rigorous professional development activities that will directly impact or contribute to
improving student achievement.
The State Board, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the
Illinois Educators Association, and the State Teacher Certification Board worked for about
six months to create the proposed rules governing the certification system.
In addition, a special, statutory task force representing the State
Board and the two teachers unions assigned point values to the long list of professional
development activities that teachers will be able to perform.
McGee complimented the
Certification Board for its valuable efforts in this joint venture. He agreed with
virtually all of the Certification Boards recommendations. He differed in only a few
instances and chose to forward the Task Forces recommendations to the State Board.
The Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance comprising about
20 organizations representing school administrators, school boards, regional
superintendents, the business community and teacher education and training institutions
reviewed and commented on an initial draft of the plan.
business community also supports challenging professional development requirements.
High quality teaching is the key ingredient to improving student achievement,
said Jeff Mays, Illinois already has high standards for student learning. Our
expectations for the quality of teaching in our schools must be equally high. Mays
encourage the State Board to keep the continuing professional development process rigorous
and focused on enhancing teacher knowledge and skills that directly improve student
learning, Mays said.
teacher contracts require ongoing professional development as part of their pay structure.
But these proposed rules, the result of the 1997 Education Reform Act, are the first
state-level initiative to link teacher professional development and teacher certification.
Teachers now must create a professional development plan and
complete activities to renew their certificates on either five or 10-year cycles. The
rules incorporate the point values for those activities as recommended by the Task Force.
will coordinate their plans through local and regional professional development review
top-ranking education community officials support the programs intent.
Illinois teachers deserve a system of continuing education and training that
heightens their professionalism, said Cheryl Gray, executive director of the
Illinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (IASCD).
activities and coursework for which they receive credit should be worthy of their valuable
time and attention, and should clearly translate into stronger teacher performance and
higher student performance, Gray said.
McGees recommendations to his board go
directly to the heart of those issues. I commend him for his diligence and commitment to
certainly want our students to be the best, and our students can be their best only if
they have teachers who are at their best, said Dave Turner, speaking for the
professional development requirements will ensure that for all students, Turner
said. We applaud the State Board for standing up for rigorous continuing education
requirements, and we look forward to adding specific comments during the upcoming public
Many of the
statutory professional development activities are already a part of teachers regular
professional routines and may be counted toward their professional development
three-tiered certification system became effective February 15, but realistically teachers
will not be able to exchange their certificates until July 1.