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Illinois Blog

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.

Illinois Earns Early Childhood Education Grant


Earlier today it was announced that Illinois is a recipient of a $20 million federal preschool expansion grant. The grant will help to increase the availability of high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities, and serve as a model for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low-income families.

Stand Parents Visit Capitol to Rally for SB16


What do we want? EQUITY! When do we want it? NOW!

That chant rang out loud and clear in the rotunda of the state Capitol yesterday as leaders from Stand and the coalition of Funding IL’s Future rallied for equitable state funding for public education. The rally filled the rotunda with advocates from across the state, among them legislators, teachers, administrators, students, and parents.