As the Illinois legislature wrapped up its session recently, it passed some bills intended to help the state alleviate its teacher shortage. The education news magazine Chalkbeat asked National Louis University’s National College of Education for its take on the legislature’s actions.
In the magazine’s article, “A good start: There could be some changes coming for Illinois teachers,” Chalkbeat reporter Yana Kunichoff quoted Pamela Jessee, director of accreditation for NCE and NLU. Jessee felt that while legislators made positive steps, they would not be enough to attract more people into the teaching field. She was particularly concerned about the lack of respect teachers receive.
Legislators passed a bill that would eliminate the basic skills test, which critics have said forms a barrier to entry into teaching for many potential teachers of color. However, Gov. J.B. Pritzker would need to sign the bill in order for it to become law.
They also removed a measure that prohibits school districts from paying student teachers, although they did not require districts to pay student teachers.