The Illinois Senate Education Committee voted unanimously to advance legislation from State Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) that would remove one of the biggest issues stopping prospective teachers from making it to the classroom. His legislation would suspend the current edTPA requirement, a much-criticized evaluation program that has regularly been cited as a major factor in the worsening teacher shortage.
“We continually hear that the current edTPA requirement is one of the biggest roadblocks for prospective teachers in education programs,” said Bennett. “This legislation will waive the requirement for two years, helping to get more teachers into classrooms while we develop a better system.”
Under current law, prospective teachers are required to pass the edTPA requirement to complete their education program. The edTPA standard has been criticized for being difficult, inaccurate in predicting future performance, expensive for education students, and for taking too much time away from in-classroom training. The requirement has also been blamed for keeping diverse teachers out of classrooms.
Senate Bill 1488, filed by Bennett, would waive the edTPA requirement through August 31, 2025. The legislation would also create the Teacher Performance Assessment Task Force, which would be tasked with developing a new evaluation system for teaching students. The task force would be required to present its findings no later than August 1, 2024.
The legislation passed the Senate Education Committee on March 22nd.