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The Illinois Professional Development Framework
In 1995 the Illinois State Board of Education convened a "Future Search Conference" to rethink the state system of support for professional development of teachers and administrators. This work was begun, in part, due to concurrent work to write the Illinois Academic Learning Standards for students. Several committees and a task force worked for about two years to look at best practices in the field of professional development and to define a Framework for Professional Development in Illinois.
This Framework was adopted as policy by the ISBE in late 1996. The Framework incorporates the INTASC beginning teacher standards, the NBPTS standards for veteran teachers, and NCATE standards for university and college teacher education programs. All three sets of standards correlate to a proposed system with three levels of certification.
In November 1997 the Illinois General Assembly passed HB 452 which implemented one aspect of the Framework, the restructuring of the state certification system. As of January 1, 1999 there are three levels of certification, An "Initial Certificate" which is good for four years, a "Standard Certificate" requiring renewal every five years, and a "Master Teaching Cetificate", the highest level of certification in Illinois. As of this writing (August 1998) there are numerous state groups at work to deine the standards and assessments necessary to implement this system. Among these groups is the Teacher Induction Advisory Group which is going to offer recommendations for rules and regulations to implement mentoring and an induction period that coincides with the "Initial Certificate". Those recommendations went to the ISBE in October 1998.
That work will implement some other components of the Professional Development Framework. All the other components remain under study and development.
In March 1998 the Illinois State Board of Education restructured its offices to better support the reforms related to the Framework. The new office is called the Division of "Professional Development Redesign" and Mike Long is the Administrator. He can be reached at 217-782-2805.
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