SPRINGFIELD- Both chambers of the Illinois General have now given their approval to a plan filed byState Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) to reform teacher licensing requirements and provide some relief from the statewide teacher shortage. Bennett’s legislation addresses the heavily criticized edTPA requirement.

“We keep hearing from teachers, from superintendents, and from education experts that the edTPA system is broken, it’s outdated, and it is stopping good teachers from ever getting to the classroom,” said Bennett. “This legislation will waive the requirement while helping us to get to a better, more effective method for evaluating prospective teachers.”

College students who are studying to become teachers are required to pass the heavily criticized edTPA standard. The edTPA requirement is routinely cited by those in the education community as a major roadblock for prospective teachers. The requirement is expensive and it takes significant time away from in-classroom training. Worse yet, it is often criticized as being ineffective at actually gauging the potential of prospective teachers, which is the purpose of the standard. edTPA has also been blamed by some for keeping diverse teachers out of classrooms.

Senate Bill 1488, filed by Bennett, waives the edTPA requirement for prospective teachers through August 31, 2025. The legislation also creates the Teacher Performance Assessment Task Force, which will be tasked with studying various teacher evaluation systems and developing a new system to be implemented for Illinois teachers. The task force would be required to present its findings no later than August 1, 2024.

The legislation has now passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and awaits a signature from the Governor to become law.

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