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New law creates advanced certification system for Illinois principals

(July 2006) Public Act 094-1039 (formerly SB 860), signed into law on July 20, 2006, contains provisions brought forth by the Illinois State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP), a project of the Wallace Foundation and Illinois State University. It requires all first year principals to go through a mandatory one-year mentoring program, if State funding is available. The bill also requires the Superintendent or Board of Education to evaluate each principal by February 1st of the final year of the principal’s contract. If a principal is not evaluated by February 1st, the principal’s contract is automatically extended for one year. Other provisions include requiring the State Superintendent to convene a group of interested parties to examine principal recertification; requiring principals in their first five years to take an Administrator Academy in each of the six Illinois Professional School Leader Standard areas; creating the “master principal endorsement” through a statewide “group serving principals;” developing a quicker route for National Board Certified Teachers to become certified principals; and creating a new teacher leader endorsement.

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