NEWS

Illinois teacher prep institutions
 release “pass rates” today

New information part of an increased accountability process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2001

FOR INFORMATION, CALL
(217) 782-4648

 

Springfield – Illinois’ public and private universities and colleges today will begin to release their average pass rates on Illinois Teacher Certification Tests.

The scores are being released as a result of a new federal law designed to insure accountability in education. Title II of the 1998 Amendments to the federal Higher Education Act requires a three-tiered reporting system detailing the quality of teacher preparation nationwide.

That system encompasses an institutional report to the state; a state report to the U.S. Secretary of Education, and a third report from the Secretary to Congress and the public.

The federal law is consistent with and supports the State Board’s High Quality Educator Initiative to attract, produce, support and retain excellent teachers in Illinois classrooms.

This initiative also supports Illinois’ own accreditation process for teacher preparation institutions. The Illinois accreditation process for teacher preparation is based upon the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards and linked to the State Board of Education’s High Quality Educator Initiative.

That process, which includes an intensive on-site review of the institution, measures the teacher preparation program against high standards regarding candidate performance.

“The release of these data and the report that will come later this year are important parts of the State Board of Education’s expanded accountability process,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee.

“These data will give us a good picture of how our institutions are doing in preparing the people who will help give our students the tools they need for future success,” McGee said. “However, the public should not use the pass rate reporting system as a sole means of determining an institution’s quality or to create an artificial ranking system,” McGee cautioned. 

Institutions may release a wide variety of information today about their teacher preparation programs including their institutional pass rates.

The pass rates being reported today reflect one or several of three figures, including the percent of students passing the state’s basic skills test. Passage of the basic skills test may be required for entry into a collegiate teacher preparation program, and is required for state certification. The pass rates may also reflect the percent of students passing academic content area tests, or a summary of both figures.

The pass rates were generated from all the required tests taken by candidates who completed the requirements of their teacher preparation study between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000.

Federal law requires all public and private teacher preparation institutions to share their pass rates and additional supplemental data with the public by April 9. The information must also be included in all future marketing and recruitment materials.

The State Board of Education will compile a statewide report that will include the pass rates and other program data from each state teacher preparation institution as well as the State’s certification requirements and descriptions of the State teacher standards. The State report will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by early October.

Anyone interested in test scores and pass rates for individual institutions should contact those institutions directly.