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November 30, 2001

Governor Ryan Hails Increase in Nationally Certified Teachers
Presents Education Summit Recommendations

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that 163 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification this year, nearly doubling the participation of the previous year.

Increasing National Board Certification has been a goal of the Ryan Administration and was again highlighted as one of the recommendations stemming from the Education Summit on November 19, 2001. A list of the initial recommendations may be accessed at www.isbe.net/summit.

"Through the rigorous process of achieving National Board Certification, participants become even better teachers, while receiving public acknowledgement for their demonstrated skills,” Governor Ryan said. “This translates into increased opportunities for their students.

“Because of the effort of all our partners in education who participated in the Education Summit, we are creating a strategy to get at the heart of the issues facing our teachers, schools and administrators today – all for the good of the children they serve.”

Also today, delegates to the Education Summit were invited to reconvene on January 28, 2002 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield to reach a consensus on the recommendations and develop a legislative strategy.

A total of 352 Illinois teachers have achieved certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Teachers in Illinois first participated in the certification process in 1994 when only 3 teachers achieved certification. Last year, 98 Illinois teachers received certification, nearly doubling the 1999 level of 53 newly certified by NBPTS.

The new NBPTS certified teachers will be invited to attend a reception at the Executive Mansion in Springfield this winter.

Teachers in Illinois get a one-time stipend of $3,000 from the state when they achieve NBPTS certification. They may receive an additional $1,000 if they agree to mentor other teachers or $3,000 if they mentor teachers in a high-poverty district. Nationally certified teachers are awarded an Illinois' Master Certificate that is valid for ten years, rather than the five years for a Standard Certificate. Completing the NBPTS certification requirements fulfills the five-year professional development requirements that must be completed to renew Standard Certificates.

A list of Illinois' teachers who achieved NBPTS certification is available on the NBPTS website.

Governor’s Education Summit

Initial Recommendations

On November 19, 2001, Governor George H. Ryan hosted an Education Summit in Springfield to highlight the dual concerns of educator supply and quality in the state’s schools.

“We can talk all we want about putting more money into the classrooms, but a classroom full of eager children will not succeed without a good teacher.”
George H. Ryan

Over 100 delegates collaboratively developed an initial set of recommendations on how our state should address these critical education issues. Their discussions covered a full range of educator supply and quality issues, including recruitment, preparation, retention and professional development. As background for the delegates’ work, they reviewed a white paper prepared by the Joint Education Committee in response to House Resolution 250, passed in the spring of 2001. This paper explored a variety of options for ensuring that each and every Illinois student is taught by a qualified teacher and attends a school led by a highly competent administrator.

The keynote speaker was Kati Haycock, Executive Director of the Education Trust. As one of the nation’s most respected researchers in the field of educational equity, she presented the Governor, Summit delegates and media representatives with compelling data showing that effective teaching is one of the most powerful factors in student success. She also showed that projected shortages and our current inequitable staffing patterns for qualified teachers pose serious threats to our students’ learning potential, especially those who are economically disadvantaged.

Delegates divided into thirteen groups. Each group discussed the four categories (recruitment, preparation, retention and professional development) and submitted their collective recommendations. These have been compiled in this report.

After gathering public feedback, the Summit delegates will reconvene in Springfield on January 28, 2002, to develop the initial draft recommendations into a legislative and budget agenda for consideration during the spring 2002 session of the General Assembly.

These recommendations are also posted on the Internet, along with additional Summit background. The Summit website address is www.isbe.net/summit/, or you can access the site at www.state.il.us.gov.



  • Recruitment efforts should concentrate on identified shortage areas by subject and/or certification, hard-to-staff schools, and selected regions of the state that experience chronic staffing shortages and turnover.

  • Recruitment efforts should seek the “best and brightest” candidates. We should seek these candidates from among middle and high school and college students and from among those interested in changing careers. Recruitment should also place special emphasis on seeking candidates from a diverse range of racial, ethnic and age groups, as well as diverse locales.


  • Preparation programs should help candidates fully meet the new standards and should counsel students toward appropriate career choices through a range of flexible program options.

  • Preparation programs must fully implement the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE 2000) program standards, continuing to improve their quality as measured by candidates’ successful completion, certification and employment.

  • Standards for certification and certificate renewal should apply to all educators.

  • Illinois teachers should have demonstrable content knowledge in the subjects they teach; elementary and middle school teachers should have at least a content minor and high school teachers a content major in the subject(s) they teach.


  • A consistent, quality support system should be available to all new teachers and administrators, including a range of opportunities for assistance. The system should encompass induction, mentoring, support networks, on-line assistance and professional learning opportunities.

  • Long-term solutions should focus on improving pay structures and working conditions, which constitute some of the main reasons teachers leave the profession.

Professional Development

  • Professional development for Illinois educators should be research-based, conform to national staff development standards, help participants teach to the Illinois Learning Standards, and be prioritized in areas of need as documented by student performance measures.

  • Professional development opportunities should be accessible through a variety of flexible delivery options, including on-line, community college and four-year college campuses, through Regional Offices of Education and within the schools themselves.

  • Professional development opportunities especially designed for the lowest achieving schools must be a priority.

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of groups recommending this action.

Initial Recommendations



  • Improve teacher salaries, establishing pay scales sensitive to market demands for specific teaching specialties and credentials (7)

  • Correlate high quality to increased salaries; examples could include merit bonuses, providing benefits and incentives for improving performance (2)


  • Provide and advertise college scholarships, college loans and college loan repayment opportunities (3)

  • Provide recruitment incentives to hire teachers for hard-to-staff schools (2)

  • Remove barriers and disincentives to entering teaching (2)

  • Establish incentive programs to prepare teachers in identified shortage areas (1)


  • Enhance the image of the teaching profession (7)

  • Improve working conditions and support for teachers, creating a professional environment that includes quality administration (4)

Alternative Routes to Certification

  • Create more and better alternative routes to attain teaching certificates; make them performance-based (as opposed to counting “seat time”) and actively recruit for them (5)

  • Remove the statutory participation limits for alternative routes to certification (currently limited to 260 candidates annually) (1)

Strategic Recruitment

  • Use college teacher preparation programs to recruit candidates, and hold the colleges responsible for recruiting the “best and brightest” candidates (2)

  • Allow retired teachers to return to the classroom, especially in hard-to-staff schools and in disciplines with shortages, without incurring retirement benefit penalties (2)

  • Increase standards for entry into teacher preparation to enhance prestige and entice the “best and brightest” candidates (1)

  • Establish Future Teachers of America chapters and other career exploration programs, accessible to every school district (1)

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of groups recommending this action.

Initial Recommendations


High Standards

  • Require all community college and 4-year institution teacher preparation programs to meet standards set by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE 2000 Standards) within 5 years in order to retain their program approval status. This would include those preparation programs conducted on community college campuses (4)

  • Require colleges to benchmark their teacher preparation curricula to the standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS); increase the emphasis on content knowledge and skills (4)


  • Require the Basic Skills Test prior to the junior year or after the completion of 60 hours of coursework, prior to admitting candidates to teacher education programs and prior to candidates transferring from 2-year to 4-year colleges

  • Require candidate to pass both basic skills and content exams prior to student teaching (5)

  • Require passage of all relevant tests as criteria for both certification and graduation; limit the number of times one can take content and basic skills tests; tighten testing procedures (5)

  • Include preparation for skills other than in content areas; these include communications skills (especially with parents), organizational skills and interpersonal skills (1)


  • Have higher education be responsible for their graduates; this would include providing a post-graduation support, a 3-year follow-up study on graduates, and a “warranty” of graduates satisfactory knowledge and skills (5)

  • Create an accountability and assessment system for higher education that includes state incentives and sanctions; use state assessments and NCATE standards to rank college teacher preparation programs (2)

  • Establish accountability and resource allocation policies for higher education institutions that tie funding of higher education to performance in producing high quality teachers (2)

  • Hold college academic departments accountable for teacher candidates’ content mastery (2)

Teaching Skills

  • Start education courses and clinical experiences during the first two years of the teacher preparation program, providing time for teacher candidates to work in classrooms and with diverse student populations (3)

  • Improve the balance and quality of teaching skills and content knowledge instruction in teacher preparation programs; increase content in elementary preparation, increase teaching skills in secondary preparation (1)

  • Develop apprenticeship opportunities for alternative route candidates (1)

  • Provide prospective teachers with specific preparation on how to measure student progress (1)

  • Conduct research on the components on effective teaching practices that can then be built into teacher preparation curricula (2)

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of groups recommending this action.

Initial Recommendations



  • Build strong school leadership programs that equip administrators to create a supportive work environment and learning community for teachers; include shared decision-making with teachers (5)

  • Improve working conditions for teachers (class size, discipline, sufficient materials and supplies; help with special needs students; adequate mentoring, flexibility, safety and facilities) (2)

  • Foster collaborative climates at the local and state levels (e.g., consistency in state and local policies, opportunities for interaction) (1)

  • Work with higher education institutions to establish quality leadership development programs; focus on high need districts (1)


  • Provide financial incentives and compensation packages, especially in high need specialties and hard-to-staff schools (higher salaries; loan repayment; merit-based pay [not based exclusively on student performance]; college credits, free graduate tuition, discounted mortgage rates, 401K, health benefits, etc.) (5)

  • Provide career ladders for both teachers and administrators, including a salary increase for national board (NBPTS) certification (4)

  • Identify incentives such as on-site day care and job sharing (1)

  • Reward and recognize early teaching successes (1st four years of teaching) (1)

Fostering/Nurturing Teachers

  • Provide multi-year induction and mentoring programs, adaptable to local conditions, to avoid isolation and early “burn-out” (8)

  • Eliminate early retirement incentives (2)

  • Train administrators to recognize and foster good teaching and to provide nurturing environments for new teachers (e.g., reasonable scheduling, consistent feedback, coaching, etc.) (3)


    • Conduct ongoing research as to why teachers leave the profession (1)

    Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of groups recommending this action.

    Initial Recommendations


    National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

    • Encourage NBPTS (Master Teacher) certification; increase financial support for teachers pursuing this certification tied to master’s degree programs (4)


    • Define effective professional development as that which increases student learning, has a research base, relates to the learning standards and content areas, and is applicable and meaningful (7)

    • Set up a state professional development framework based on research; allow local flexibility for customization (4)

    • Focus professional development on areas of high need as defined by student demographic and performance data (1)


    • Develop a way to quantify and measure the effectiveness of professional development; tie these measures to student achievement and require providers to use them (4)

    • Coordinate professional development delivery through local and regional entities (2)

    • Use state funds for only approved providers, published on an annual state list; tie continuing approval to data on effectiveness (1)

    Time and Resources

    • Restructure teaching schedules to build in time for continuous meaningful school-based professional development and assess the results: expand the school year and devote more time to staff development; redirect institute days; and increase funding and flexibility (5).

    • Use union programs and resources (1)

    • Price undergraduate tuition to include pre-payment for post-baccalaureate continuing education (i.e. mentoring, content specialties, advanced skills) (1)

    • Create an on-line library of resources of best practices tied to recertification (1)

    • Identify professional development needs across districts and resources to address them (1)

  • ###

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