New law eliminates basic skills test for Illinois teachers

Published: Aug. 8, 2019 at 1:35 PM CDT
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Illinois teachers are no longer required to pass a test of basic skills to receive a Professional Educator License.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed

​ on Wednesday in response to a statewide teacher shortage.

The new law aims eliminates one requirement for a Professional Educator License in an effort to remove costs and practical barriers associated with the basic skills test.

The Illinois State Board of Education says 246 currently pending license applications will be updated to either receive a license or move forward with other remaining requirements.

More than 1,400 teaching positions were unfilled in Illinois classrooms at the start of last year, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

“The State Board of Education supports high standards for the professionals in our classrooms," says State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "However, the test of basic skills did not advance teacher effectiveness. It created a financial and practical barrier that prevented highly skilled and passionate potential teachers from beginning their careers in Illinois.”

Supporters say the test had required all teacher candidates to demonstrate complex skills that often were unrelated to the grade or subject the candidate intended to teach.