Proposed Amendments to Part 27 (Standards for Endorsements in Specific Teaching Fields)

Part 27 is one of eight sets of the agency’s administrative rules that establish the framework for the following:

Further, the rules define the overall knowledge and skills that teachers must have in their professional roles to ensure that Illinois students meet or exceed the expectations defined by the Illinois Learning Standards.

This rulemaking incorporates standards to which bilingual education and ESL programs must align and candidates in these teaching fields must meet in order to receive the applicable endorsement.  The standards were developed by the Illinois Advisory Committee on Preservice Standards for Teachers of English as a Second Language, Bilingual and General Education.  The committee, formed in 2013, worked in collaboration with the Midwest Comprehensive Center to review three sets of national standards, one of which (i.e., the standards of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)) eventually became the framework for the committee's work on revising the standards set forth in Section 27.420, English as a New Language.  In December 2014, the committee submitted its report to the State Board of Education.

The standards proposed in new Section 27.425 address both the knowledge and skills for ESL and bilingual education teachers.  The standards are divided into five domains:  language and literacy, culture, instruction, assessment and professionalism.  The development and review of the proposed standards was guided by the intention of providing an emphasis on the instructional needs of ELs and reducing redundancy, balancing standards across domains, avoiding prescription of a specific theory or approach, and being clear and understandable.

The standards are presented in two subsections.  Subsection (a) applies to both ESL and bilingual education teachers, while subsection (b) addresses those additional skills needed to provide bilingual instruction (i.e., in the student's primary language), including knowledge about and competency in both the EL's primary language and English.  The proposed rulemaking does not address general education, however, since the committee, due to time constraints and lack of consensus, chose not to present recommendations for content-area teachers or professional development.

The rulemaking was discussed with the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board on February 5, 2016.  Any concerns or issues raised at that meeting will be shared with the State Board of Education.  Additionally, the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education (IACBE), as well as English Language Advisory Council on Higher Education (ELACHE), reviewed and provided feedback to the original draft of standards on its meeting held on September 15, 2015.

Initial Review by State Board of Education: February 2016

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