On February 16th, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) will consider a rule drafted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) entitled: “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards”. If adopted, these standards will burden our teaching programs with additional mandates just at the time when Illinois is suffering from a shortage of teachers. At the start of the 2020 school year, there were 2,000 teacher vacancies reported in Illinois schools. With these new requirements, we risk increasing the teacher shortage and losing quality, new teachers. But what we’re really seeing here is not so much an attempt to expand our teacher rolls as it is a means by which those who set education policy are cementing social activism into our schools.
ISBE’s stated aim is to increase the number of minority teachers in Illinois, especially bilingual and special ed teachers. I fail to see how these standards will do this. Instead, these standards are directly aimed at increasing social activism within the teaching profession.
Last May I received over 10,000 emails when the Governor tried to turn struggling business owners into criminals through the rulemaking process. That pressure forced him to pull the rule before JCAR considered it. A similar effort is needed to keep this rule from being adopted here in Illinois.
If you believe that this type of social activism doesn’t belong in our schools, I’m asking you to contact ISBE by clicking this link and using your social media network to ask others to do the same. You can also call ISBE in Chicago at (312) 814-2220 or in Springfield at (217) 782-4321.
There’s a lot at stake, and your input will help determine the outcome of this rule.