Support Illinois School Reform: FOX Chicago General Manager Mike - New York News

Support Illinois School Reform: FOX Chicago General Manager Mike Renda

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In a recent op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune, Jeb Bush -- former governor of Florida and now Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education -- praised the major reforms the Florida legislature enacted upon the teaching profession. He challenged every state in the U.S. to follow it's lead.

The Illinois Senate answered the call, passing landmark legislation last week that:

  • Will make it harder for teachers to strike, raising the threshold on strike votes in Chicago during contract negotiations.
  • Will reform tenure; keeping a job because of seniority will be reformed to include performance criteria and rewarding superior performers.
  • Will transform evaluations; all teachers, regardless of their experience level, will be evaluated and compensated based on how effective they are as teachers.
  • Will change the way teacher effectiveness is measured; it will be be objectively measured by multiple criteria, but the bottom line will be: "Do these children know more than they did last year?"
  • Will change layoff criteria; performance and credentials will be considered when teacher layoffs are initiated. This ends "Last-in, First-out."
  • Will tie pay to results; teachers who are highly effective can earn raises and those who take on the toughest jobs like positions in the inner city schools may earn a bonus.

This legislation now goes to the Illinois House for a vote. Gov. Quinn has stated that he would sign the Senate version.

We have come to a watershed moment here in Illinois. We are on the verge of passing a very strong package of education reforms that can dramatically improve our schools.

Contact your state representative and urge them to vote for this reform legislation - a floor vote could be held very soon.

Illinois deserves better!

 

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