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|Group Recommends Education Reforms
|An education reform group with some political know-how is out with its first three recommendations.
The group Advance Illinois says the state must recruit and empower better teachers and principals, raise expectations for students, and financially reward school districts that discover innovations that actually contribute to better learning.
Members of the group are former Gov.. Jim Edgar, former State Sen. Miguel Del Valle, who was chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and former U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley.
The higher standards for students, all expected by 2020, include:
* Raising to 50 percent the number of students who read and compute at grade level. This figure is now 35 percent. Raising it to 50 percent would put Illinois among the top five states in the nation.
* Closing the reading and math "achievement gap" between white and minority students to 10 percent. In Illinois it is now 20 to 40 percent.
* Doubling the rate of students completing a college-ready high school curriculum from 45 percent to 90 percent.
* Raising the high school graduation rate to 85 percent, and increasing the portion of 25 year-olds with an associates or bachelors degree from 36 percent to 50 percent.
The cost of the "innovation fund" to reward schools that come up with successful new ideas is undetermined. The report says the other reforms have negligible costs, or costs that can be covered with money already in the system.
The group studied these issues for six months before issuing its recommendations.
The Advance Illinois website is available by CLICKING HERE.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|06 18 09 by Newsroom
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