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Education

Republican Lawmakers Want Tenure Banned at Iowa's Regents Universities

4 hours ago
Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

Republicans in the Iowa legislature are advancing bills that would ban professors from getting tenure at the state's three regents universities. The lawmakers say conservative students are beings silenced.

More and more Illinois school districts are offering in-person options as COVID-19 positivity rates continue to drop. 70% of students are now in a hybrid learning format. But many parents are turning to their school districts to ask for more in-person time.

For the second year in a row, the Illinois State Board of Education is seeking a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for standardized tests normally given during schools’ spring semester.

SPENCER TRITT

This school year, schools identified around 420,000 fewer homeless students than last year. That would normally be a hopeful sign, but not during the pandemic. Advocates say there aren't fewer students experiencing homelessness. It's just that schools can't find them.

Courtesy photo

Recently there has been a great deal of talk about the new proposed Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. There are questions and concerns about what these standards will mean for students and what they will "learn" or not "learn" once the standards are put into place. It seems as though a bit more context is needed to help us all clarify our understanding of these standards.

Sexual health education could soon be mandatory in Illinois public schools under reintroduced legislation from Democrats in the General Assembly.

LinkedIn

The person hired to serve as the next superintendent of the Illini West High School District currently works in Wyoming, but he is no stranger to Illinois.

PETER MEDLIN

Nearly half of Illinois high school grads who enroll full-time at a community college get placed in a developmental education course. That includes 70% of Black students and, of them, only 8% graduate compared to 26% of white students.

JUSTIN FOWLER/STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP

Some members of the Illinois State Board of Education are voicing concerns that the state will soon adopt high school graduation requirements too burdensome for schools to enforce.

Courtesy Chapin Rose

An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly this week.

Rich Egger

The Macomb School District is one step closer to breaking ground for its new middle school just south of the current junior-senior high school.

Marisa Hardwick isn’t surprised there are now more than twice as many cases of COVID-19 on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus than previously predicted by university researchers.

Eighteen young people tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County during the week of August 23.

The weekly number of new cases among those less than 20 years old in each county is one of four metrics the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing late last month to assist local schools and health departments in making decisions about in-person learning.

Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators.

Whether it’s the global pandemic or social unrest, nearly everyone has experienced some trauma in 2020.

It’s hard to grasp the long-term mental health implications of COVID-19. But many Americans have already seen their mental health suffer during the pandemic.

Rich Egger/file photo

School districts around western Illinois are taking a variety of approaches to holding classes as the new school year gets underway. A regional school superintendent said that demonstrates the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University's administration and the University Professionals of Illinois, which represents faculty, have agreed on a plan for holding classes during the fall semester.

As the pandemic began to surge, schools closed and most students switched to online learning almost overnight. Schools with less access to technology relied on paper packets, especially for elementary students.

It was more like crisis teaching, like building the plane as you’re flying it. That’s how Lindsay Zelly described sudden changeover. She’s the director of professional learning at the Illinois Digital Educators Alliance. They provide professional development and online resources to teachers.

Rich Egger

Spoon River College will receive state funding to help complete the next phase of the East Jackson Street campus in Macomb.

With just a few weeks to go before some schools are set to begin their fall semester, the Illinois Federation of Teachers issued a recommendation on Monday that called for students to begin the academic year learning remotely.  It is part of a larger union statement on the new school year.  

The Seizure Smart School Act, is a new law in Illinois that requires schools to train employees and care aides on how to handle students with epilepsy, and how to administer their medications.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which the brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the country.

Courtesy of Dominican University

Even before the pandemic began, Lisbeth Hernandez says she was exhausted. Hernandez is heading into her senior year at Dominican University, a small Catholic college in Chicago’s western suburbs. 

Illinois recently released guidelines for schools to return in-person this fall. Some concerned parents are choosing to homeschool their kids this year rather than send them back to in-person classes during COVID-19.

Brandi Poreda has homeschooled three of her kids over the last 20 years. She said the biggest advantage of homeschooling is flexibility.

Her first piece of advice to parents homeschooling for the first time? Don’t try to replicate the public school classroom experience.

Governor Releases Fall Plans for Schools And Colleges

Jun 24, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to see kids in the classroom this fall.  He released guidance Tuesday for students returning to school and college.

A list of health and safety guidelines for getting students back in classrooms is scheduled to be released before the end of the month. It will provide rules and recommendations for more than 850 school districts resuming classes this fall.

ELINERIJPERS / VIA FLICKR CC BY 2.0

Illinois schools are now able to welcome students back for some types of in-person learning during the summer. The State Board of Education has issued guidance to districts to offer several programs.

School districts across the state have been resourceful in coming up with ways to honor their high school graduates, as health regulations prohibit the typical ceremonies.  But some of those plans ran into roadblocks with the governor’s office and the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Lisa Marlow is worried about her students. Marlow is a school nurse and educator with the Murphysboro Community Unit School District 186. 

The district serves primarily low-income students in a rural part of southern Illinois. 

When school is in session, Marlow says having eyes on students, especially those with chronic conditions like Type 1 diabetes or asthma, is crucial.

Families often count on their local school districts to provide two meals a day for their kids. But with school buildings closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, getting meals to students can be a challenge, especially in rural areas.

Rural families also often find it difficult to drive many miles to see if the grocery store has restocked needed items.

Courtesy of Lindsey Jensen

About half of Gladys Marquez's students can't access the internet at home. Marquez teaches English language learners at Dwight Eisenhower High School in Blue Island on Chicago's south side. The school serves predominantly students of color from low-income backgrounds. 

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