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A task force was initiated, which subsequently met several times over the next year, to propose improvements and revisions in the principal preparation programs across the state. There are currently thirty-two public and private institutions of higher education which operate principal preparation programs in Illinois. Many of these institutions were represented at the inaugural meeting of the task force which was held on May 29 and May 30, 2008 in Bloomington, Illinois. Other participants included teachers and public school administrators, Regional Superintendents of Education, representatives of the two major Illinois teachers unions, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), and representatives of the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), which represents superintendents in Illinois. Before addressing the work of this Illinois process, it was first instructive to address efforts in other states which had transpired prior to the work in Illinois.

Illinois redesign efforts

The “Working to Prepare Illinois School Leaders” task force initially met in May 2008 in Bloomington, Illinois and out of that initial meeting came a core group of individuals who volunteered to continue working on suggestions for the redesign of principal preparation programs in Illinois. The working group which evolved consisted of university personnel involved in principal preparation, practicing school administrators, teachers, representatives of the two major teacher unions (IEA and IFT) in Illinois, as well as representatives of the two major school administrators’ groups (IPA and IASA). There were also staff members from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The university representatives were almost exclusively members of the Illinois Council of Professors of Educational Administration (ICPEA). The ICPEA represents the 32 private and public institutions of higher education in Illinois which provide principal preparation programs. This working task force group met approximately another half-dozen times over the ensuing summer and throughout the following school year.

The decision was made early in the process to divide the task force into five working groups to better facilitate the redesign efforts. Each of the five subcommittees was co-chaired by a public university and a private university representative. All ten co-chairs were members of ICPEA. The five subcommittees were as follows:

  1. New Structures for Leadership Certification&Endorsements.
  2. School/University Partnerships&Selection Process.
  3. School Leadership Standards.
  4. Residencies&Internships.
  5. Assessments of Candidates&Graduates.

The five subcommittees also included non-ICPEA members. As previously mentioned, the teachers unions and administrative groups were involved. Other participants included two Regional Superintendents of Schools, the director of the Illinois Education Research Council, and members of the Illinois State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP), funding by the Wallace Foundation.

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Source:  OpenStax, Education leadership review special issue: portland conference, volume 12, number 3 (october 2011). OpenStax CNX. Oct 17, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11362/1.5
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