COD Revamps Teacher Preparation Program

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

COD Revamps Teacher Preparation Program


Byline: COD News Bureau

Beginning in 2015, courses in the Teacher Preparation program at College of DuPage will be aligned directly with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) and student progress will be reported using these standards. One important component of the transition includes the use of standards-based grading (SBG) in many of its classes.

"College of DuPage prides itself on being a leader among community colleges in Illinois and throughout the nation," said COD Board Chairman Erin Birt. "With the Teacher Preparation program's adoption of the IPTS, we are pleased to be leading the way in this national trend focused on student learning and successful learning outcomes. More significantly, we are thrilled with the opportunity to better prepare our students for success not only in their education, but also in their careers and most importantly, as stewards of the education and future of our children."

Adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the IPTS define the knowledge and skills that K-12 teachers must demonstrate to help ensure their students meet or exceed the expectations described by the Illinois Learning Standards. The IPTS requires teacher evaluation based on a broad range of factors, including the use of appropriate summative student assessment, collaboration, communication, content area and pedagogical knowledge, instructional planning and delivery, positive learning environments and sensitivity to student diversity, as well as advocacy, leadership and professionalism.

Assistant Professor of Education Shannon Brown said one of the biggest differences between SBG and traditional grading is the climate and atmosphere of the classroom.

"With the SBG model, the students have the opportunity to turn in assignments, gain feedback from the instructor and revise their work until they reach mastery of the subject," Brown said. "This alleviates the frustration that stems from missing assignments, tests that need to be curved or students picking and choosing assignments based on point value."

Student and teacher performance has been a hot-button topic in recent years with calls for reform in educational methods and assessment procedures. Over the last several years, the ISBE has set in motion numerous initiatives aimed at student success including the application of internationally benchmarked learning standards, a new assessment system aligned with college and career readiness standards, and program and policy changes intended to improve teacher and school leader effectiveness. In 2010, despite opposition from teachers unions and educators, Illinois legislators passed an amendment to the Illinois School Code known as the Performance Evaluation Review Act. This legislation requires that student performance and academic growth count for a significant portion, up to forty percent, of a teacher's total professional evaluation. …

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