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Illinois Blog

We Can’t Afford This


It’s a big week in Springfield. An important bill, known as HB 306, could come up for a vote any day now. This bill would potentially jeopardize over a billion dollars in school funding while offering a way out for parents who oppose the modernized state test that kids across Illinois are taking.

Tell your legislator: vote NO on HB 306.

Stand Congratulates Mayor Emanuel on Re-election Win


What a day! Election Day in Chicago saw a spirited last push from Stand for Children advocates and volunteers with their dedicated work to ensure that Mayor Rahm Emanuel got re-elected to another term in City Hall. On behalf of Stand for Children Illinois and our members across the city, I want to congratulate Mayor Emanuel on his victory. We look forward to working with him over the next four years to see that the education gains we have seen in Chicago are solidified and to improve education outcomes for all students.

Vote for Chicago Students Tomorrow


If you are anything like me, you sometimes dread looking at e-mail or turning on the TV as Election Day nears, knowing that there will be more election-related notes or commercials. But, you also know how important these elections are, not only for the education issues we care so deeply about, but our communities as a whole.

Update from Springfield: New ISBE Modeling for SB1


We have seen many developments related to school funding over the past few days. One of the biggest came late last week when, after two months of anticipation, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released modeling on what school districts can expect under SB1.

Setting the Record Straight


On Friday morning, at a press conference outside of a Chicago Public School, I stood proud with a group of Stand parents in opposition to the recent ridiculous attacks by mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Our community, our schools, and our parents deserve better than this. They deserve a Mayor who won’t pit parents against parents. They deserve a mayor with a plan. Here’s what our parents had to say:

It’s Go Time for PARCC


After five years under development, the PARCC test finally debuted in Illinois this week. School districts will give one portion of PARCC testing in March and a second piece in May. Districts have autonomy to figure out exactly when they are testing within a window of time, so some started March 3 and others will start in the coming days. But so far, there have been over 44,000 PARCC tests taken in Illinois and over 836,000 across the eleven states that are using this particular assessment.

IL’s PARCC Test Transition: Why Getting It Right Matters Way More Than You Might Think


This week, the Illinois House held a subject-matter hearing about the new PARCC test. Two things are clear: change is hard. And we absolutely have to do it.

PARCC is the new standardized test that Illinois students will take next month for the first time, which replaces the old ISAT students used to take. We’ve known it was coming for a while now, but there’s no doubt that this transition is a big undertaking for our schools. The hearing revealed a lot of the potential that PARCC holds, and also a lot of the anxiety and concerns about implementation.

Why We Support Mayor Emanuel


I've been involved with Stand for Children Illinois for a while now. Advocating for my kids - and the kids of my neighbors in Back of the Yards - has been a very rewarding experience. My work with Stand allows me to engage with parents from all over Chicago and Illinois.

Dispatch from Springfield: A New Beginning


For the past four years, I’ve been working directly with parents in underserved communities, giving them the tools to engage both in their children’s education and to champion policies to improve Illinois public schools. As our membership continues to grow, I’ve begun working more on connecting our work at the Statehouse to our organizing. I spent last week in Springfield, helping our Government Affairs Director Jessica Handy welcome Illinois’ newest legislators.

Ms. Williams Goes to Washington


I can honestly tell you that advocating for education is one of the most important experiences I’ve ever had. It’s certainly not one of the easiest, with many issues getting pulled into ugly partisan debates that go nowhere.

But when I heard that Stand for Children was bringing parents from Chicago on a trip to Washington, DC to attend a Congressional hearing and meet with our legislators, I knew I had to be on that trip. But the thing is, before last week’s trip, I had never even set foot on an airplane. Never once taken a flight.