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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Mar 6, 2014

10th District Race: Candidates Sound Off On Elected Chicago School Board, TIF Reform

Three of the five candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) in the crowded 10th District Illinois House race took part in a forum Wednesday night, discussing everything from education to TIFs. Progress Illinois was there for the discussion. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Mar 5, 2014

Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Social Issues

The four Illinois GOP gubernatorial hopefuls faced questions about a number of social issues at a Tuesday night debate, ranging from the death penalty and women’s reproductive rights to helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society. Progress Illinois provides some highlights from the forum.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 3, 2014

New Report Finds Gaps In Educational Supports For Illinois Homeless Students

The number of homeless students in Illinois has ballooned over recent years with many of these children and youth unable to access vital educational supports, according to a new survey and report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Given the recent findings, housing advocates say it is crucial that the state restore funding for the education of students with unstable homes.

"We’ve got this exploding population, but yet districts don’t have sufficient resources to adequately serve them," said Patricia Nix-Hodes, associate director of the law project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Feb 28, 2014

Chicago's Drummond Elementary School Teachers Announce Plans To Boycott ISAT

A group of teachers at Thomas Drummond Elementary School in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood have decided to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), which is scheduled to be administered next week.

Drummond, a magnet montessori school, is now the second public school in the city where teachers have decided to boycott the two-week test, to be administered Monday through March 14. Earlier this week, teachers at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy announced they would not be administering the ISAT, which is taken by third through eighth graders.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Thu Feb 27, 2014

Battle Brewing Between CPS, Teachers Over ISAT Boycott (UPDATED)

The Chicago Public Schools district appears to be intent on disciplining educators that boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), which is scheduled to be administered next week. 

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent a note to principals warning that teachers who fail to administer the test could lose their state education certification, adding that the teachers should be ordered to leave the school building if they do not give the test to their students.

“The Chicago Board of Education will discipline any employee who encourages a student not to take the ISAT or who advocates against the ISAT on work time for insubordination and for any disruption of the educational process,” Byrd-Bennett reportedly stated in the letter, according to the newspaper.