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Illinois Blog

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.

Stand Parents Visit DC to Push for Improved No Child Left Behind Law


Advocating for education is not always something you can do from the comfort of your own home. It’s certainly not easy to deliver your message, with many issues getting pulled into partisan debates with one side against the other.

But that did not deter a number of Illinois parents earlier this week from visiting Washington, DC to attend a Congressional hearing and meet with their U.S. Senators. They all knew they had to be there. To stand up for our kids. To know that their voices were heard.

Stand for Children IL PAC Endorses Emanuel for Re-election


CHICAGO – Today, Stand for Children Illinois – a Chicago-based education advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring every Illinois student has access to a high-quality public education – announced its endorsement of Rahm Emanuel for another term as Mayor of the City of Chicago.

Looking Forward at the 99th General Assembly Inauguration


Yesterday, the 99th General Assembly was sworn in. Sure, it was symbolic and full of fanfare, but I can’t help but be optimistic about 2015. (Crazy, since I am a notorious pessimist – but hear me out!)

HS Seniors’ & College Students’ 2015 Resolution: Fill Out the FAFSA


The return to work, school, and normalcy following the holidays always brings with it a long list of tasks to be completed. For high school seniors and college students and their families, one of the most important items to be tackled immediately in the New Year is the FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid.