education

Illinois ranks tenth among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., for the quality of its public school systems, according to a new study.

The state ranked first in the percentage of high school graduates who completed the ACT and second in the average SAT score, personal-finance website WalletHub reported. It also ranked above average – in 23rd place – in the dropout rate.

Illinois was just below average in bullying incidents, placing 26th, and in school safety, ranked at 27th. The statewide pupil-teacher ratio earned a ranking of 30th.

A plan that would limit the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions is moving through the Illinois legislature. 

The measure would end zero-tolerance policies and the practice of charging fees for minor infractions and emphasize in-house measures over expulsions.

A Chicago youth group pushed the changes for the past two years. Along the way, they dropped a component that sought to limit offenses warranting arrests on campus.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

A measure pending in the Illinois legislature would help high school students know what kind of college credit to expect for their advanced placement test scores.

High school students taking AP exams know they have to score at least a three on a five-point scale to pass, but they don't know which Illinois universities will give them credit for that score.

A score of three on a Biology test might earn college credit at Western Illinois University, for example, but not at Illinois State. Same goes for all 34 AP tests across all Illinois universities.  

DeKalb School District Gets A Security Upgrade

Feb 4, 2015
DeKalb.org

DeKalb School District 428 has gone high-tech to help prevent potential security threats. Superintendent Douglas Moeller is confident the new security measure, known as the Raptor System, will be effective to address security risks rapidly.

“It obviously is much more convenient for our families who we do want to be involved in their children’s school experience,” Moeller said. “The old process was time-consuming; and a lot of parents, I think, felt that we were trying to keep them out of schools rather than welcoming them into our schools.”

Arlington Heights’ John Hersey High School, Prospect High School and Naperville Central High School are among the top 20 high schools in Illinois. That’s according to the website CityDescribed.com.

The list was based on criteria such as extracurricular activities, ACT scores and AP test pass rates. 

Flickr user / Lee Ruk "2013 Dec.19, Pre-School 3" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois won an $80 million federal grant to increase access to early childhood education. 

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the award Wednesday. The state will receive a maximum of $20 million per year for four years.

The program is intended to help four-year-olds from low-income families attend preschool. 

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

New statistics released by the Illinois State Board of Education show that more than half of Illinois' public school students are low-income.

facebook.com/GovernorQuinn & facebook.com/BruceRauner

Both major party candidates for governor say Illinois should put more money into education. But neither is ready to embrace a controversial plan that would change how state money is distributed to schools.

A proposal passed by the state senate is meant to even out how much money schools have to operate. Schools where poverty is high and property values are low would get more state funding by cutting money for wealthier districts.

Supporters say the change is fair. Gov. Pat Quinn isn't on board.

State of Illinois

State education leaders urge Illinoisans to weigh in on their priorities for education as the state develops the 2016 K-12 budget.

The State Board of Education will hold public hearings to gather opinions and ideas about resources and funding. This year the hearings will also offer attendees an opportunity to give feedback on Senate Bill 16, which would distribute state dollars more equitably among public school districts. 

Freeport School District

Freeport School District Superintendent Roberta Selleck has submitted her resignation to the Freeport School Board.

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