Christopher A. Koch


Dr. Christopher A. Koch was appointed as CAEP president in October 2015.  During his tenure CAEP has achieved recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and more than 420 providers have been accredited. Dr. Koch was part of the team that developed the CAEP Standards, the Gold Standard for educator preparation; the only preparation standards that maintain a connection between PreK-12 learning and the educators who prepare them.

Koch previously served 8 years as Illinois State Superintendent of Education where he worked with the higher education community to negotiate and implement standards for the preparation of teachers and administrators.  He led efforts to disrupt chronically low achieving Pre-12 Illinois school districts including North Chicago and East St. Louis.   Prior to serving as State Superintendent, Koch served as State Director of Special Education where he fought to ensure elementary and high school students with disabilities received access to core curriculum through co-teaching and inclusive practices.  He oversaw the successful implementation of the settlement agreement resulting from the federal lawsuit Corey H. v. Board of Education [of Chicago].  He has been a strong proponent of using data to inform policy and is working to establish a P-20 longitudinal data system where pre-K to 12 student achievement data can be linked to postsecondary education and careers.

Dr. Koch served as President of the Council for Chief State School Officers in 2010-11. In addition, he was selected by the Council to serve on the Presidential transition team in 2008, to co-chair the Elementary and Secondary Reauthorization Committee.

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 to support the education of youth and adult detainees in jails and prisons. 

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.