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IFT: State Board should have listened to educators

by dan montgomery - illinois federation of teachers  |  03/15/2017

SPRINGFIELD—In response to the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) unveiling of its plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at today’s meeting, IFT President Dan Montgomery, a veteran high school English teacher, issued the following statement:

“The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has great potential to improve equity, support, and resources in our public schools. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) had the opportunity to include in its ESSA plan suggestions from the very people who work with students every day and understand their unique needs. However, the final draft of the ISBE ESSA plan unfortunately ignores the critical input that teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel provided through numerous venues for public comment, including the Illinois Balanced Accountability Measure Committee (IBAM).

We urge ISBE to consider the ideas it has received over the past year and implement a plan that prioritizes teaching over testing, provides students access to social and academic supports and services, and ensures schools will not be penalized for a lack of resources available to them. Unless we make these critical reforms, we are looking at the failure that was No Child Left Behind all over again.” 

The IFT and others will be providing full testimony at today’s meeting, which will be held at the Illinois State Board of Education (100 N. First St., Springfield) at 9:30 AM.  This meeting will be audio cast at

The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees. 

Chicago Teachers Union