Local educators in Illinois are speaking out to state lawmakers about the replacement of the "No Child Left Behind Act".
One of fourteen statewide meetings was held in Carbondale on Monday, September 19 between representatives of the Illinois State Board of Education and area superintendents and teachers.
“Right now, we're in a state of limbo in trying to figure out basically what the new system will look like, ”Carbondale Supt. Steve Murphy said after the meeting adjourned.
President Barack Obama signed the "Every Student Succeeds Act" into law in December of 2015, effectively replacing the NCLBA.
Respective state Boards of Education are still figuring out how they will implement the new policies.
Southern Illinois leaders in education spent around two hours on Monday discussing foreseeable kinks in the legislation, including, but not limited to, comparatively limited funding and resources in smaller, more rural school districts.
“I think that looking at the resources available to each school district is going to be an important aspect of making sure this is implemented fairly,” Massac County Special Education instructor Jacqueline Hodge said at the meeting. “I think the importance is looking at how schools are going to be held accountable, or viewed for high school students, what measures are going to be used and how we can make sure those measures are fair and equitable for all districts across the state.”
Proponents say the change adapts the system to a more holistic approach; judging schools on things like extracurricular involvement and attendance rates rather than relying solely on the average score of a standardized test.
After the last regional meeting is held on October 5, the ISBE will continue taking public comment until October 7.
The new policies are expected to take effect in most districts in the fall of 2017.