Education overhaul in Illinois

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - The education system in Illinois is getting an overhaul, after legislators voted in favor of the measure and the governor signs it into law.

Senate Bill 7 will now put teachers on a grading scale based on the performance of the students in the classroom.

"It really does put performance as a factor in education," said  Director Mary Jane Morris with Illinois Education Association Center for Educational Innovation.

"It allows teachers to be evaluated according to their performance which is a big change in Illinois. Tenure is still in place. And we still have collective bargaining rights."

And based upon the evaluations of the teachers performance they can be fired and hired. They can also gain tenure with the school district quicker.

"I think it's a good idea," said Mary Lou Bingamon.

"That way the teachers will be more alert to the fact they may need to get some extra training in the Summer in order to fulfill the requirements that are being expected of them in order for them to relate correctly to our students."

The new law will also require every voting member on the school board whether elected or appointed to complete a minimum of  four hours of professional development leadership training covering topics in education and labor law, financial oversight and accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member.

"It does level out the playing field. And it also does put the achievement of students first," said Morris

But, not all students agree with the new changes in their educational process.

Personally I think it's retarded because it's not that they're bad teachers, it's just maybe we can't learn as fast as other students. So I just don't get it," said Madilyn Billington of Carterville.

But, Morris says in the end the students will be better prepared for their future once the teacher evaluations begin with the 2012-2013 school year.

"It's very positive, it's positive for teachers, it's positive for parents and the community," Morris said.

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