February 12, 2021

Dear Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules:
 
On the behalf of over 50 organizations and over 600 individuals representing communities, current and future educators, universities, affinity groups, parents, and students across Illinois, we urge the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to readily accept the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. 

The Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading (CRTL) Standards outline positive steps for the education community to better support students of all backgrounds. Students learn best in spaces where they feel and believe they belong -- spaces that acknowledge, reflect, and respect their unique identities. These standards will help future educators provide such spaces, so that they can help all students achieve the academic standards we uphold.

Despite what you may have heard, CRTL Standards are not requirements for students or for in-service educators. Instead, these are standards that will be implemented by colleges and universities that train teachers and will be offered as optional professional development courses for current teachers. These standards are grounded in research, effective practices, and performance indicators. The CRTL standards acknowledge that teachers are most effective when they engage in self-reflection; develop positive, meaningful relationships with each student; validate differences; and seek to support the whole child. These strategies support academics. They lay the foundation for an environment that enables and enhances student learning. The standards offer greater clarity and a stronger research base for these best practices that great teachers are already using. They offer more support for these best practices, so that our future educators are fully prepared to teach their students more effectively on day one and do not have to resort to figuring out these best practices through trial and error on their own.

The standards do not ask that teachers set aside their personal convictions. On the contrary, the standards invite teachers to examine how their personal convictions and their own backgrounds influence their teaching practice. The standards outline strategies for how educators can ensure students from all backgrounds, identities, and upbringings feel welcome and affirmed in their classrooms, which is critical for students to be able to learn.

CRTL standards will be essential in teacher preparation programs for future educators to focus on asset-based mindsets in all learners. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted some students and communities more profoundly than others, these standards are a resource for adults to continually respond to growing needs of students.

As individuals, organizations, associations, and professional groups that support all of our teachers and education, we are in support of the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards as a critical resource and tool to facilitate belonging, leverage belonging, and center humanity for all. We share the goal that all children and families are accepted and included. The Standards support future educators in preparing students to be successful, contributing members of a diverse world. We rally behind all students.

Vote to accept the IL Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. 

In support of the IL CRTL Standards
Organizations, Associations, and Professional Group
 
360 Youth Services
AAUW (American Association of University Women)
Accelerate Institute
Advance Equity Consulting
Advance Illinois
Ana Gil Garcia
BELT (Belonging and Equity at LT and
Chicago State University
CommUNITY Diversity Group of La Grange
Community Consolidated School District 46 and D46 Equity and Inclusion Committee
D219 Brown and Black Parents
Democratic Women of Kendall County
Dolton Education Association District 148
Dominican University
DuPage County NAACP Education Committee
ELACHE
Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Effectiveness St. Augustine College
Evanston/North Shore NAACP
Executive Leadership Coaching and Consulting
Fairmont Community Partnership Group
Fox Valley Presbyterian Church
Free Street Theater
Harvey Brooks Foundation
Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children
Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendent
Illinois Coalition of Educational Equity Leaders
Illinois Education Association
Illinois Latino Coalition of Education Leaders (ILCEL)
Indivisible West Suburban Action League
Indivisible Western Springs and surrounding communities
Leading Educators
Learning Anti-Racism Together
Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois
Lewis University Educational Leadership Programs
Madrigal Consulting and Counseling, LLP
National Education Association
National Louis University
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Partners in Pride Wellness Center
Pipeline Research, Inc.
Polyphony Lit
Purple Path
Read, Ask, Chat, Ltd.
Relay Graduate School of Education--Chicago
Restoring Community LLC
Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League (ROYAL)
Roosevelt University
SUFEO Chicago!
Second Baptist Church of Evanston
Skokie United
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Spanish Community Center
Stand for Children - Illinois
Surviving the Mic
T.E.A.M.S - To Empower All Minority Students
Teach For America Chicago NWI
Teach Plus
UIC - College of Education BA Urban ED
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Special Education
University of Illinois at Chicago Urban Education
West Chicago SD33
Youth Alliance Yoga
Youth Outlook