Warren Twp. High supports statewide push for better teachers, administrators

  • Mary Perry Bates

    Mary Perry Bates

Posted2/5/2015 5:30 AM

Warren Township High School officials are endorsing a statewide initiative that would include a push to attract better teachers and administrators.

Mary Perry Bates, superintendent of Gurnee-based Warren District 121, led a presentation of what's called Illinois Vision 20/20 at a recent school board meeting. She said Vision 20/20 is supported by the Illinois Association of School Administrators and other education organizations.


District 121 board members voted to adopt the Vision 20/20 plan, which has four pillars. It calls for 21st century learning, highly effective educators, shared accountability between school officials and state legislators, and creation of equitable funding.

Bates told board members the idea of seeking better teachers and administrators "might seem like, 'Well, duh?'" However, she added, the current state licensing rules do not always allow for quality educators to land jobs in Illinois, which is why change is needed.

"Right now, in the state of Illinois, the licensing procedure is such that anyone who has attended and graduated from a university or college with a teaching degree, not in Illinois, will not be hired at Warren or any other public school because they will need to take at least nine more hours of course work," Bates said.

Bates said 21st century learning is considered to be more than reading and mathematics. She said Warren's robotics program is an example of providing what's needed in today's world.

School board members, superintendents, principals and others in the education industry across Illinois collaborated on Vision 20/20. Among its backers is the Illinois PTO.

"Education reform policies have created a divisive relationship between educators and policymakers," according to an Illinois 20/20 Vision statement. "Blaming teachers and education leaders is not a solution to the challenges that education faces in our state."

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