FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tiffany S. Erickson, Director of Communications
Thursday, May 7, 2015 Phone: 202.753.1637

CAEP Board Names Chris Koch Interim President

Koch: “We Must Ensure All Teacher Education Programs Are Held to the Highest Standards”

WASHINGTON, DC (May 7, 2015)—The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Dr. Christopher Koch, former Illinois State Superintendent of Education and Vice-Chair of the CAEP Board, as the organization’s Interim President.

“The work of CAEP and its member organizations to strengthen teacher education is vitally important,” said Mary Brabeck, CAEP Board Chair, Professor and Dean Emerita of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. “In just a short period of time, we have developed rigorous new CAEP standards that will long stand as a defining moment in the history of teacher education and our shared commitment to greater accountability. As we now begin the hard work of moving these standards into practice, Chris Koch is the leader we need to ensure success.” A national search will be launched immediately.

Koch joins CAEP after serving as Illinois State Superintendent of Education for more than eight years. He has worked for the Illinois State Board of Education since 1994, holding a number of positions, including Chief Education Officer and Director of Special Education. Koch has been a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), serving as President in 2010-11. The current Vice-Chair of CAEP, he was also a member of the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting. After earning his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University, Dr. Koch obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in Educational Policy and Leadership from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

“The future success of our nation demands strong schools led by excellent educators,” Koch said. “That future can only be achieved if those programs tasked with preparing prospective teachers are held to the highest standards and expect the best from all involved. Under CAEP’s continued leadership, we will be able to ensure that an education degree has real meaning and that this new era of accreditation sets the highest standards possible for teacher preparation. As CAEP’s interim president, I am committed to continuing this important work and ensuring that CAEP standards serve as the gold standard in higher education accreditation.”

Koch replaces James G. Cibulka, who served as CAEP’s founding president.

“The work of CAEP and its member organizations is incredibly important,” Koch said. “After decades of criticism about the quality of teacher education and the absence of true accountability, in just a few short years CAEP has been able to refocus our field, placing it on a path of true accountability, through our CAEP standards. This path represents true success for both our institutions and the students they serve.”

Founded in 2013, CAEP was created out of the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP created a model unified accreditation system, one focused on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. The CAEP standards that comprise this system were unanimously adopted by the CAEP board, which consisted of the various stakeholders and representatives of both NCATE and TEAC.

CAEP is committed to six clear goals:

  • To raise the bar in education preparation, by having clear, high standards that rely on evidence-based measures of performance and continuous improvement to make accurate judgments about education preparation provider (EPP) quality;
  • To promote continuous improvement, by supporting EPPs in using the accreditation process to demonstrate quality and facilitate continuous improvement;
  • To advance research and innovation, by developing and implementing an agenda for research and innovation to foster continuous improvement in educator preparation;
  • To increase accreditation’s value, by broadening awareness of quality EPPs and the value of accreditation based on peer review of relevant, actionable measures of quality so that more providers will participate and more states and districts will rely on accreditation for program approval, licensing, and hiring;
  • To be a model accrediting body, by modeling excellence and offering multiple pathways to accreditation; and
  • To be a model learning organization, by modeling the self-study and continuous improvement practices it advocates for providers.

About CAEP

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ( advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.