ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: Teach Illinois: Strong Teachers, Strong Classroom
Illinois State Board of Education issued the following announcement on Sept. 7.
Experience, research and intuition tell us that teachers are the cornerstone of a successful education, and in turn a thriving economy and healthy civic community. Unfortunately, Illinois, like many states, is struggling to ensure the state has a highly effective, diverse teaching corps to fill its P12 classrooms. Far too many bilingual, special education, rural and high-poverty classrooms lack a trained educator. If Illinois is to deliver on its commitment to equity and its promise to ensure all students are college-and-career ready, it must ensure every student has access to effective teachers.
Over the last four years, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has addressed teacher shortage issues through legislative and regulatory changes. Still, some school districts continue to struggle to staff classrooms. In September 2017—hearing from district and school leaders that the situation was critical—ISBE launched Teach Illinois to better understand staffing challenges and craft a holistic set of policy solutions to address them. The yearlong effort aimed to build off the work already underway across Illinois.
Teach Illinois, a partnership between ISBE and the Joyce Foundation, began with a “year of study,” which gave state board officials a chance to conduct over 40 focus group sessions and hear from more than 400 teachers, parents, students, principals, superintendents, college of education deans and other partners. ISBE staff heard challenges, such as the dilemmas rural and high-poverty urban districts face in recruiting teachers. ISBE officials also heard promising practices and thoughtful policy ideas about licensure, teacher leadership and teacher diversity.
ISBE will work with partners across Illinois to:
- Coordinate a statewide campaign to elevate the teaching profession and inspire young people, especially those of color, to join the profession.
- Incentivize and create opportunities for P12 and postsecondary institutions to work together to create streamlined pathways into the teaching profession.
- Support partnerships between school districts and teacher preparation programs in order to closely align teacher supply and demand.
- Develop innovative, results-based approaches to educator preparation.
- Develop and adopt a research-based bar for licensure that leads to a highly effective and diverse workforce.
- Promote teacher leadership and career pathways with differentiated responsibilities and appropriate incentives.
- Develop robust teacher mentorship and induction programs.
Original source can be found here.