FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tiffany S. Erickson, Director of Communications
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (202) 753-1637

WASHINGTON, DC – (October 13, 2015) On Monday, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Board unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Christopher A. Koch as the organization’s president. He will oversee the national effort to implement an evidence-based accreditation system that aims to improve teacher quality and strengthen P-12 learning.

Koch had been serving as interim president since May 2015, when he replaced James G. Cibulka, CAEP’s founding president. A national search was conducted, and the 11-member CAEP President Search committee unanimously recommended Dr. Koch. While interim president, Koch worked to ensure the accreditation process is viewed with integrity and value, increased internal and external communications, brought staff together toward a common purpose, and built a positive culture of teamwork, trust, and effective problem solving.

Mary Brabeck, CAEP Board chair, Dean Emerita and Professor at New York University Steinhardt School, said, “Dr. Koch brings to this position deep knowledge of CAEP and rich experience in working with CAEP's diverse stakeholders—universities and educator providers, P-12 educators, chiefs and state boards of education, government, the education research and advocacy organizations, the public, and parents.”

Rick Ginsberg, Dean at University of Kansas, chaired the search Committee. “We conducted an extensive national search, and had some very impressive candidates,” Dean Ginsberg said. “But, in the end, we felt that Chris has the combination of strengths necessary to lead CAEP. Chris will fulfill CAEP’s promise to make accreditation a system that works for all - most importantly, for the P-12 students.”

Professor Lee Shulman, President Emeritus, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University, a member of the search Committee, said, “Chris Koch is a superb appointment. Although he has been serving as interim president, let no one be misled to think that this is a vote for the status quo. Chris is committed to leading the necessary changes in CAEP in a spirit of inquiry and innovation.”

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 accreditation requires programs to provide evidence that they are meeting their commitment to prepare high quality teachers, and that they use that evidence and inquiry to continuously improve teacher preparation.

Koch was Illinois State Superintendent of Education for more than eight years. While serving as State Superintendent he raised standards for teachers and worked to reduce the achievement gap. Koch worked for the Illinois State Board of Education since 1994, holding a number of positions, including Chief Education Officer and Director of Special Education. He has been a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and was President of CCSSO in 2010-11. He was also a member of the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting and served as CAEP Vice Chair from its inception until May 2015. Prior to his work in Illinois, Koch co-managed the national correctional education office at the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. He began his career as a special education teacher in the metro DC area. 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.

Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), said Koch’s appointment is excellent news for teacher educators. "Chris is an ideal leader for CAEP—he has experience partnering with teacher educators to meet the educational needs of diverse student
populations, his dedication to service and the teaching profession is deep and profound, and his commitment to collaboration is evident.” said Robinson.

Koch said he appreciates the support from educator preparation stakeholders and the broader community. Both will be crucial in future efforts to promote accreditation as a lever for continuously improving quality teacher preparation.

“CAEP has distinguished itself with its rigorous high standards.” Koch said, “We believe that education preparation providers who implement the CAEP standards will use data to improve their programs, and that will, over time, elevate the teaching profession. I have been a teacher; I know what it means to be prepared. I have licensed teachers and understand the consequences for P-12 learners who have inadequate teachers and principals. I have partnered with higher education to improve teacher and principal training. My focus is rooted in my belief: Every teacher deserves to be well prepared to meet the demands of the teaching profession and every child deserves an effective teacher.”


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.