Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Education in Trouble

I am seriously worried about our public education system in Illinois.

Here's the situation: The state of Illinois is behind in its payments to elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars. In our city, school officials are coming to realize that they may never see that money.

So, there is a giant hole -- not of our making -- in our public school budget, and now officials have to scramble to 'adjust' the costs of education. That means, educators will be losing their jobs. Class sizes will increase. And, even as No Child Left Behind ramps up expectations for results in student testing [next year, 85% percent of students must meet or exceed standards in reading and math], we will be pulling the proverbial rug out from under the teachers we expect to deliver those results.

At this point, it doesn't really matter whose fault it is -- although most fingers point to politicians in Springfield. The sad reality is that small towns like ours are in serious trouble. Republicans and Democrats in our state government have failed our children.

They continue to fail them.

And teachers, students, parents, and school administrators are bearing the brunt of the consequences.

The lack of serious solutions makes me sick.

- Midwest Mom


  1. The State of Illinois is a joke - at all levels. I feel your pain. My oldest is about 18 months away from going to school, and I'm already scared to death!

  2. Don't be afraid -- do something.

    I'm headed to NCLB parent council tonight for a brainstorming session. Solutions are out there... we just have to be creative enough to invent them and brave enough to implement and follow through.

    The stakes are high for this. I mean, these are our kids we're talking about.

  3. That's really, really awful. I'm so sorry. Now I have yet another reason to be thankful my son and his family are moving back to Ohio.

  4. It's happening everywhere. The local governments will have to either shoulder the cost or shoulder the consequences of unfunded education. I wish they'd quit passing education legislation without funding allocated for it.

  5. agreed. My mom is in education in Aurora, and she's been told she's losing her job. They're also cutting all non-tenured teachers (supposedly), and getting rid of the accelerated program in elementary schools. It's so sad!!

  6. Can we blame Rod? Not much better out here in CT. Too much to do, not enough money or passion to do it.

  7. Jill,
    That's awful news for your Mom. We're in a situation where they're talking about across-the-board staff cuts. At the same time, our district is in a negotiation with the teachers' union... So, it's very delicate.

    But the current contract says teachers have to know if they'll be cut no less than 60 days before the school year ends. So, my guess is that teachers in Danville, Champaign, and Urbana will be hearing similar news to your Mom in Aurora.

    What kills me is that NCLB standards rise every year, so now we'll have to raise class sizes and cut staff right when the pressure is on to produce high test results.

    I can think of no greater 'perfect storm' conditions for school failure.

    - Julia

  8. Hi Julia! We need a lot of fixes for a lot of things these days. Obviously education is right up there. I fought battles with the schools 20 years ago but today's situation is a new level of low.

    I am running a blog series, starting tomorrow, Sat., on the food - a years worth of research. I encourage everyone to tune in - especially parents! It has been a shocking research project and I decided to blog about this as really a Public Safety Alert. I have lots of links for more information on Mondays blog. It's critical that we as consumers get informed and start speaking up. Hope you'll come over and pass the info on as well! Thing MUST change!


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