Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IL reform bill passes 59-0

Big news from Illinois – here an email from Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman:

Stand Supporters and Friends:

Incredibly, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 7 unanimously on Friday.  The vote was 59-0. 

The Illinois House is on recess this week.  While House legislators are taking a very close look at the legislation, as they well should, we hope and expect based on the strength of the legislation and its overwhelming level of support that the House will vote strongly in favor of Senate Bill 7 next Tuesday when they reconvene.

To give you a sense of the wonderful balance that has been struck in Illinois between boldness and bridge-building, I wanted you to see just a few (below) of the many recent statements, columns, and articles about this path-breaking education legislation, which was initiated by Stand for Children and our incredible partner Advance Illinois and agreed upon by Advance IL, Stand, teachers' unions, and school management groups after three months of productive negotiations facilitated by State Senator Kimberly LightfordThe strong support by Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, key input and backing by Senator Matt Murphy, Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia, Roger Eddy, and Karen Yarbrough, and the strong public support of Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel were all key to the breakthrough.

While the waste of children's potential by the current system is so overwhelming, and the challenge of transforming that system so enormous, the events of the past week have created new hope.  There is a new sense of possibility in Illinois and Chicago in particular that adults can come together to help many more students get an education that enables them to graduate from high school ready for post-secondary options and, as a result, escape the cycle of poverty in which they'd otherwise be trapped. 

Thank you again for all you do,



Statement of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on

Chicago's New Education Team and Proposed Reforms in Illinois


"I want to commend Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel for choosing a diverse and outstanding team to lead the Chicago Public Schools and take education reform forward.  Like many schools districts, Chicago faces considerable educational and budgetary challenges, but the people announced today bring tremendous experience, knowledge and commitment to the job.  I look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead to improve student outcomes and keep reform on track.


I am equally enthusiastic about the groundbreaking reforms under consideration by the Illinois legislature.  While states all across America are wrestling with difficult and complex educational issues from teacher evaluation and staffing to compensation and tenure, Illinois has steadily and effectively built consensus for real and meaningful change among all of the key stakeholders and set a national example of constructive collaboration for other states to follow.  By getting everyone involved, from state and local officials to teacher unions and advocacy groups, Illinois offers its parents and taxpayers the very real promise of better student outcomes and I am very hopeful that these proposals become law."

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