Category Archives: Education

Without a Passed Bill This Week, Chicago Must Announce School Closings by Saturday

No matter where you live in Illinois, your legislators will hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week. Emanuel’s Chicago Public Schools desperately wants a change in state law so it will have until March to decide which of up to 120 schools it will close as it struggles to balance its budget. If lawmakers don’t pass a bill this week, the district will have to announce all closure plans by Saturday

His Name is Squeezy and He’s Here to Take Away Your Kids’ Education

His name is Squeezy and he has come to take away your education, kids. That’s the message in Gov. Pat Quinn’s new campaign to educate the public, even children, on the dangers of the current pension system. Squeezy the Python is also squeezing money away from road building, public safety and other essential government functions as the state shovels more and more money into its ever-growing pension system.

Squeezy the Snake Reboot Illinois Pension reform



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The Educational State We’re In Isn’t a Good One

Only a third of Illinois students are proficient in reading after fourth grade. Only a third enter high school academically prepared. More than a quarter of Illinois students who enter high school won’t graduate. Those are among the facts noted in education reform group Advance Illinois’ new study, “The State We’re In,” which says education reform is moving at a glacial pace.


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What Not To Do?: Follow The CPS Example

All Illinois school districts should study Chicago Public Schools as an example of what not to do. It needs to close more than 100 schools, but its CEO acknowledges it first needs to gain “trust, respect and transparency” among parents. Bad policy over the years has created a toxic relationship between the school system and those it is supposed to serve.



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Does Spending Equate to Better School Results?

Despite a struggling economy, education spending in Illinois continues to go up. A former state education official notes that there’s no evidence that more spending equates to better results in the classroom. 

New Illinois Plan to have Harder Test More Often

As Illinois received news that its schools did not meet No Child Left Behind student progress standards, it prepared for new student testing and teacher evaluation systems. The tests will be harder and administered more often. “We’re no longer going to be looking at just a bubble multiple choice test. We’re going to be expecting those students to demonstrate the application of knowledge. And that requires a different type of teaching,” said State Superintendent Christopher Koch.

Per Pupil Spending in Illinois is at $11,000

Fact of the Day comes from the Illinois State Board of Education 2012 State Report Card.

Check How Your School Did on the Illinois School Report Card

How did your kids’ schools score on the most recent Illinois School Report Card? Search for results at the Illinois Interactive Report Card site.

Illinois “Deficient” by No Child Left Behind Standards: But What Does That Mean?

Education dominates the reform news today with the Illinois Board of Education on Tuesday releasing Illinois elementary and high school standardized test score results. The numbers label the state deficient by federal No Child Left Behind standards, though interpreting what that means is no easy task. Expect education reform to stay in the news cycle as the state today releases its State Report Card for Illinois schools.

Tribune on School Closings: “This Will be Painful”

Last month the Chicago Teachers Union strike became a national symbol of the clash between government and teacher unions in how to implement education reform. Expect more national attention as Chicago prepares to close more than 100 schools as it faces a budget gap of $1 billion. “Make no mistake: This will be painful. But scores of schools must be closed,” says the Chicago Tribune.

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