Take a stand for inclusivity! Support ISBE new culturally-responsive standards for teacher education

The IL State Board of Education has proposed a rule change which would include more culturally responsive teaching and learning standards in teacher prep programs, the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. Unfortunately, some IL legislators want to block the passage of these rules. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will be taking a vote on it in the JCAR committee on February 16th. 

ILFPS firmly supports these standards which recognize that teachers and schools must make meaningful connections with students’ lived experience and be rooted in the cultural experience of the school community. This is common sense and an evidence-based best practice

This is not a curriculum or doctrine, as some of these legislators have stated publicly. It is a set of standards asking those preparing to become teachers to recognize cultural diversity and the potential for implicit bias in the classroom. The legislators opposing this change specifically take umbrage with the idea that there is more than one “right” point of view and that there are multiple lived experiences, and claim that this very idea is politically divisive. How can we teach children to be critical thinkers if we’re unable to recognize an understanding as basic as the fact that we don’t all see the same events in the same way due to our experience?

The Illinois Federation of Teachers and the  Illinois Education Association both support these inclusive standards. You can sign their petition here. And the IFT put out the below summary of what the rule change will do:

The rule changes will positively impact students across the state:

  • By ensuring those who are preparing to become educators have a better understanding of diverse cultural background, which will mean our teachers will be able to provide a better education to all students;
  • By allowing current teachers to access more professional development to provide an equitable education to all students no matter their religion, sexual orientation or their race;
  • By enhancing how teachers interact with students;
  • By moving the state of Illinois closer to providing an equitable education to all our students. 

We have submitted this testimony to JCAR for their 2/16 meeting, and if you would like to, you can email your comment to [email protected] before 2/16.

You can read the standards here.

Here's the list of JCAR members and their contact information if you’d like to contact them to ask them to vote to approve the rules. JCAR is a 50-50 split between Rs and Ds in the House and Senate.



[Graphic used via Creative Commons]