Content Area Standards for Educators

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In fulfillment of its goal to provide quality education that is Second to None for all Illinois children, the State Board of Education has adopted a standards-led approach to teaching and learning.

The development of the Illinois professional education standards for teachers, school service providers, and administrators is the result of more than four years of collaborative work by hundreds of educators and citizens throughout Illinois. The State Board gratefully acknowledges the important contribution of all who gave their time, effort, and expertise to this project.

The Illinois professional education standards establish the

This document includes the Content-Area Standards for Educators that define the knowledge and skills teachers, school service personnel, and administrators must demonstrate in their specific subject areas and professional roles to ensure that Illinois students meet or exceed the expectations defined by the Illinois Learning Standards. In addition to the content-area standards, all teachers are expected to meet the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the core Technology Standards, and the core Language Arts Standards; and administrators are expected to meet the expectations defined in the Illinois Professional School Leader Standards.

The standards are effective as rules of the State Board of Education and are recorded in the administrative rules. The only exceptions are the special education standards for special education teachers, which are in effect due to a federal court order. The standards for the preparation of special education teachers are effective July 31, 2002. By July 1, 2003, all other college and university professional preparation programs for teachers and administrators must be redesigned to address the Illinois standards. Programs preparing school service personnel, including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers, must be redesigned by July 1, 2004.

A new state test, Assessment of Professional Teaching, was implemented in October 2003 to assess teacher certification applicants’ knowledge of the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the core Technology Standards, and the core Language Arts Standards. The new state tests for special education professionals will also be implemented in 2003. The teacher and administrator certification tests based on the Content-Area Standards for Educators will begin in July 2004. The standards-based tests for school service personnel will begin in July 2005. Current information on the Illinois certification tests can be found at