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K-12 education resources


The following resources focus on the educational climate and betterment of those serving the K–12 educational community.

Funding Gaps 2018  One of Advance Illinois’ major priorities is ensuring equitable and adequate funding for all public schools. In The Education Trust’s recent report, Funding Gaps 2018, Illinois was rated the worst out of all 50 states for the level of funding given to its most vulnerable schools. Last year, the Funding Illinois’ Future coalition helped to fix the inequitable formula, but the work isn’t over. The coalition is now advocating for adequate funding. Here is a message from one of our coalition members, retired superintendent Ralph Grimm, on our  #FixedItNowFundIt effort.

Executive Function  A recent Brookings article discusses learning and executive function in an age of technology. Specifically, the authors–Claire Cameron, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Helyn Kim–discuss learning a breadth of skills, which would likely result in school enrichment. They cite teaching skills such as collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence as critical thinking areas which reflect models of workplace needs and discussions about cradle to career growth.

The Illinois Report Card is a great source for information about public schools across Illinois. This online school report card goes beyond test scores to present a complete view of schools and school districts.

Rethinking Universal Suspension for Severe Student Behavior  Driven by a combination of concern for historically high suspension rates and substantial disproportionalities in suspension use, a recent wave of education reforms encourages schools to reduce their use of suspensions for student behavior management. This paper provides evidence that reductions in suspensions for severe infractions may produce positive impacts without harming school safety. (Stanford University)

Illinois State Board of Education State Template for the Consolidated State Plan Under the Every Student Succeeds Act  This template contains six sections: Long-Term Goals; Consultation and Performance Management; Academic Assessments; Accountability, Support, and Improvement for Schools; Supporting Excellent Educators; and Supporting All Students.

Three Ways the Every Student Succeeds Act Looks to Get Families More Engaged in Schools  This video describes three ways the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) looks to assign resources to getting families more engaged in their child’s school. (The 74)

Existing Programs and Practices in State and Federal Efforts to Maintain School Safety  The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has brought a renewed focus on federal, state, and local policies pertaining to school safety. Crisis events in schools understandably increase scrutiny on existing policies. According to the author of this brief, states have considerable tools at their disposal, such as a wide network of State School Safety Centers and existing federal funding to supplement state and local spending for strengthening school safety protocols. Re-examining how school safety initiatives are implemented in states suggests the need for increased collaboration among states and new flexibility for states when it comes to the use of existing federal funds. These two achievable steps could provide a promising path forward to enhancing the safety of all students in public schools across the country. (Heritage Foundation)

Exploring Civic Engagement in the Classroom  Bringing up social justice and history topics is not always easy, notes Tavares, who has worked with the Brookline, MA-based non-profit for the past 11 years. (Education Dive)

Teaching Kids Not to Be Scared of Math Might Help Them Achieve  Before kids learn math skills, they need to learn how to relax. (Hechinger Report)

Six Districts Joining Competency-Based Education Pilot State Superintendent of Education, Tony Smith, Ph.D.,  announced six school districts joining the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program in the pilot’s second cohort. (ISBE)

ISBE and Learning Technology Centers of Illinois Holding Data Symposium in April  Learning Technology Centers, in partnership with ISBE, are facilitating a free, one-day conference on April 19 (Springfield) and April 20 (Willowbrook). Participants will be able to identify current legal requirements for data security, discuss K-12 privacy and data security concerns and best practices, and hear updates regarding ISBE’s Education Data Systems. Data systems include Ed360, SIS, MyIRC, and the Illinois Report Card. Administrators, teacher leaders, data experts, and technology staff in school districts who are responsible for collecting, maintaining, reporting, or certifying student data are invited to attend.