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JCAR allows ISBE to move forward with teacher training revisions

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021

* Capitol News Illinois

A legislative panel on Wednesday allowed the Illinois State Board of Education to move forward with new rules that call on colleges and universities in the state to change the way prospective teachers and administrators are trained in order to make them more accommodating to diverse students.

On a party-line vote, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR, declined to block the new “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” from going into effect, despite objections by Republicans who argued the rules would ultimately require licensed teachers and administrators to adhere to a particular political ideology. […]

“So I do believe that what you’re doing is you’re taking teachers who may object to some of the things that are in this rule, and thus are saying that their inability or unwillingness to abide by this (is) making them, in effect, incompetent,” [Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock] said.

But Amanda Elliott, executive director of legislative affairs for the state board, said the new rules do not change the way licensed teachers or administrators are evaluated, only the way they are trained in schools of education.

* The inimitable Dave Dahl

Opponents made this out to be some kind of thought police by which teachers would have to admit bias. State Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago) asked the state school board’s Amanda Elliott, “Are these rules designed to in any way affect potential internal biases in terms of developing their craft?”

“It is meant for teachers to recognize those biases and how they may affect their teaching practices,” said Elliott, the Illinois State Board of Education’s executive director of legislative affairs. “We want to make sure they are accepting all students and making sure the students feel welcome in their classroom.”

Elliott said the hope is to recruit minority teachers into what’s become a high-turnover profession.

* Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford)

Cultural responsiveness means recognizing and incorporating all that a student brings into the classroom, so you can bring the curriculum to life in a way that is relevant to their lived experience. As a person of faith, I understand that examining and reflecting upon the way you view the world can be uncomfortable and difficult. But self-reflection gives us the opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow, which is ultimately what education is all about. All educators must be prepared to teach and serve children whose cultural backgrounds and identities are different than their own. These standards will support classrooms that embrace multiple viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives; promote inclusiveness; and encourage critical thinking. This will ultimately foster classroom and school environments that are more, not less, inclusive of all students, regardless of race, upbringings, potential language barriers, or any other aspect of one’s identity. As the data shows, creating environments that provide students with a sense of belonging is one that will nurture engagement, which will lead to academic success — something I believe we all want for Illinois’ students.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    It’s sad that the Republicans see this as an issue to oppose. Teachers need to understand the diverse experiences of their students in order to be effective educators. That includes recognizing how the teachers’ experiences and values may differ from those of their students. How is this a bad idea?


  2. - Blake - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    “Ensure text selections reflect students’ classroom, community and family culture”
    The clearest example I remember from school where the school did not do that occurred when the culture believed in creationism.


  3. - Fly like an eagle - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    What makes this partisan? Shouldn’t all working people try to understand their clients/students/customers?


  4. - H-W - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    Perhaps the Republicans should consider participating in writing the curriculum, rather than rejecting it for political gains. Surely, Republicans can find common ground with regard to the need for respect and dignity toward all citizens and immigrants.


  5. - don the legend - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==Surely, Republicans can find common ground with regard to the need for respect and dignity toward all citizens and immigrants.==

    You forgot to label this: /S


  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:01 pm:

    Most colleges of education are already doing this, the rules are just catching up.


  7. - DuPage - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    Elliott said the hope is to recruit minority teachers into what’s become a high-turnover profession.

    Tier 2 pensions = high turnover.


  8. - LoyalVirus - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    I appreciate how thoughtful a legislator Rep West is.


  9. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:27 pm:

    ==encourage critical thinking==
    We need much more of this encouraged in schools. Too many people just accept what they are told or what they read on social media.


  10. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:04 pm:

    - Steve Polite - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 4:27 pm:

    They did that before social media.


  11. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:20 pm:

    = consider participating in writing the curriculum=

    They do not write curriculum, they set goals and standards. Not the same thing.

    Good teachers and good schools make all kids welcome and have been doing this for a long time as 47th Ward stated.

    ===encourage critical thinking==
    We need much more of this encouraged in schools.=

    Schools can only go so far. This has to be taught at home. Parents are still responsible for raising their kids, and raising them right. Schools cannot do it alone, we are good for about 25% or we get called “thought police” or accused of indoctrination, or whatever someone wants to blame us for that they actually are responsible for doing.

    We will help them learn how to learn, expand on critical thinking. But it ALL starts at home.

    With respect.


  12. - Last reasonable person - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:26 pm:

    I’m not a Republican and I vehemently disagree with this. Obviously we need to create safe inclusive environments for all of the children. But make no mistake, that is NOT what this is all about. Wake up.


  13. - Travel Guy - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:36 pm:

    ==But make no mistake, that is NOT what this is all about. Wake up.==

    Do you have any proof of that, or are you just repeating the party line? This sounds like a conspiracy theory on its face.


  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:47 pm:

    ===Wake up===

    When people say something like that, I usually figure they’re prolly into some weird conspiracy theories. And if they don’t explain their command, I’m pretty much sure of it.


  15. - Eric Larned - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 6:18 pm:

    What they need to do is remove all politics from education. Let the schools decide how and what they teach. It’s easier for community to hold them accountable locally and enact the change they want. Law makers don’t care at all. It’s just a chess game for ALL of them. They are useless when charged with solving problems.


  16. - jcmchs - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 6:29 pm:

    The saddest part about this is that anyone believes that empathy/inclusivity needs to be mandated at all-it should just be what all people do


  17. - Elliott Ness - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 7:05 pm:

    For all the bluster, this will change nothing, absolutely nothing.


  18. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 7:22 pm:

    =Let the schools decide how and what they teach=

    Absolutely not. Standards are set by the state, content is a local decision. But this issue, from the post, is about colleges training teachers not what schools teach.

    If local districts made the decision we would have fundamentalist christian theocracies pop up everywhere among other things. Lots of them- Eastern bloc is only the tip of the crazy.


  19. - Southwest Sider - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 7:44 pm:

    There is fear from one side that this promotes critical race theory, 1619 Project, etc.. Chicago, where I live, has a public school system that is certainly diverse. I’ll be watching this closely.


  20. - Narc - Friday, Feb 19, 21 @ 7:48 am:

    === But make no mistake, that is NOT what this is all about. Wake up. ===

    OK, so what is it about, really? Please, be specific.


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