Welcome to the 2016 edition of The Statewide Standard.
No matter what role an educator serves in the field, reflection is paramount to the growth of professional educators and the students who are impacted by their decision-making. As the largest preparer of teachers in the state, and one of the largest in the U.S., Illinois State is responsible for producing educators who are invested in, and capable of, evaluating and renewing their practice through reflection. To remain attentive to the needs of the profession, we are constantly examining our own preparation programs and seeking feedback from alumni and school partners.
The evaluation process that determines a candidate’s preparedness to teach in Illinois received a comprehensive update during the most recent academic year. After four years of development and piloting the edTPA, a candidate’s performance on the assessment became directly tied to licensure in September. The assessment replaces an outdated measure of readiness, the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT). Above all, the edTPA emphasizes reflection, and a candidate’s abilities and potential to teach P–12 students. Illinois State’s work with school partners and teacher candidates is highlighted in the main feature of this issue.
You will also read about the way the College of Education has developed a creative multidisciplinary program in response to Illinois’ new teacher leader endorsement. The formalizing of roles for teachers who already are—or should be serving—as leaders in their schools is long overdue.
This issue also introduces you to a teacher leader and alum who was recognized as Illinois’ 2016 Teacher of the Year. Math teacher Kim Thomas ’93 is sharing her infectious passion for serving students with educators across the state and nation this year.
The Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline’s efforts to transform districts in Central Illinois is underway in Decatur. The development holds promise for the future of the model, which continues to attract interest across the U.S.
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the efforts of Illinois State alum Keith Jepsen ’67, M.S. ’68, who shares the College of Education’s passion for providing diverse international experiences for new teachers. The “Jepsen Challenge” is designed to engage the Illinois State community in matching the alum’s dedication.
We welcome you to engage us regarding the topics in this issue on social media by using #StatewideStandard. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding The Statewide Standard, please contact me at pschoon@IllinoisState.edu or (309) 438-2453.