Office of the
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Today D127 students and staff are braving this crazy ‘March like a lion’ weather to participate in the much discussed PARCC testing. We so appreciate the continued support of our families. Thank you for navigating slick roads this morning, and making sure your sons and daughters made it to school. As our students and staff members engage in today’s assessment process, rest assured that continued conversation is happening at the state and national levels around high-stakes tests and testing.
On behalf of both D127 and Lake County and Illinois high schools, many of us have voiced strong opposition to the way the PARCC assessment is being administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. We are pleased to have ultimately earned the flexibility in selecting which students will be given the PARCC assessment this year. It is likely that once PARCC has been fully implemented, we will see more changes in leadership and in the direction of future assessment systems in the upcoming months.
I believe in the power of accountability to improve performance at every age and stage. I also believe that our own teachers are best able to measure the growth of our students. Valuing the expertise of our teachers and providing multiple growth measures for our students over time matters.
I am pleased to share that Grayslake’s own Illinois Senator Melinda Bush has recently sponsored a bill in support of differentiated accountability, calling for multiple qualitative and quantitative measures in assessing student performance. Further, a statewide initiative called Vision 20/20 was recently launched by several key educational organizations, including: the Illinois Association of School Administrators; the Illinois Principals Association; the Illinois School Board Association; and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. Vision 20/20 is a collaborative effort resulting in the creation of a clear vision for education, serving as a framework for initiating legislation designed to foster positive changes for all Illinois schools.
The D127 Board of Education was one of the first districts to pass a resolution in support of Vision 20/20 in January. Several bills have already been introduced in support of one of the four key Vision 20/20 categories: highly effective educators; 21st century learning; shared accountability; and equitable and adequate funding. If you would like to learn more about Vision 20/20, please check out the Executive Summary, talk to your building principal, or go to this link: http://illinoisvision2020.org/
This is a great time to be involved in education. Students lead more complex lives than ever before, we are faced with competing initiatives that force us to reevaluate our values and beliefs routinely, and the world around us never stops turning and changing. The partnership between D127 staff members and families is the best gift we can offer our children as we prepare them for success in their current and future lives.
Thank you for joining us for the journey,
Catherine M. Finger, Ed.D.