Christopher A. Koch


Dr. Christopher A. Koch was appointed as President of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) October 2015.  He served as Illinois State Superintendent of Education from December of 2006 until May of 2015 and served in a variety of administrative capacities at the Illinois Education agency, including Director of Special Education and the states’ Chief Education Officer since 1994.

As State Superintendent, Dr. Koch led efforts to bring coherence between state standards, curriculum, assessments and college entry requirements in Illinois. He has been a strong proponent of using data to inform policy and established a P-20 longitudinal data system. He supports the establishment of nationally and internationally benchmarked standards, as well as assessments common to all states so that fair and accurate comparisons about student performance between states and countries can be made.

Dr. Koch served on the Board of the Council for Chief State School (CCSSO) for a number of years and served as President from 2010-11. In addition, he was selected by the Council to serve on the Presidential transition team in 2008. 

He also served on the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting, a national commission that developed more rigorous performance standards for accreditation of educator preparation programs. The findings of the Commission were used to guide the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation in its work to evaluate the current accreditation system and create new standards that will better serve new teachers and their students.

Dr. Koch has experience as a special educator having taught in four states in various settings including an Outward Bound program, a college preparatory school, a youth detention center, and a psychiatric hospital. He served at the federal level, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education where he administered programs in correctional education and School-to-Work transition.

Dr. Koch is an Illinois native, graduating from Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in Educational Policy and Leadership from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.