Illinois’ public schools are facing a crisis of leadership after the resignation of the superintendent of education, and the state’s most vulnerable students are now facing the threat of losing the same services they were promised.
But the crisis has not been limited to the school system, with several other states across the country facing similar issues with their early childhood programs.
In Illinois, it’s an issue that has long plagued educators, with some districts that have experienced high rates of student attrition and low test scores in recent years.
And now, with the state facing a $4.3 billion budget shortfall, teachers are increasingly seeing the potential to be cut in order to pay for a more ambitious curriculum.
To begin with, the Illinois Department of Education has recently begun a process of transitioning the school curriculum into a more aligned state-wide template.
That means that the curriculum and assessments used in each district will no longer be the same.
It also means that districts will no long be able to make their own curriculum, with each district being able to customize the assessment and the assessment-based content, and so on.
But there’s another big difference in this process, which is that the state is giving districts new authority to create their own assessment, which will have to be approved by the state, and that means districts have less say in how the state uses the assessments.
In other words, districts may no longer have the final say in whether they use the assessment, or even in whether it even has the final assessment.
That means that if districts are worried about the future of the curriculum, they can be even more worried about what they can do with the assessments that are coming out, said Nancy Ziegler, a professor of education and pedagogy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
If districts can’t even make their assessments and assessment-specific content more aligned, then they are less likely to be able make use of the assessments and assessments-based programs they need to improve the curriculum.
And that could leave them even less effective in the classroom, Zieglin said.
Ziegler and her colleagues have been studying the effect of early childhood curricula on students since the early 1990s.
But the data they have looked at is limited to students who are already enrolled in school and at the end of the year, in the middle of the school year.
But she has also looked at the data from the years the districts were implementing the new assessment standards, and she’s seen similar results.
In 2011, when Illinois adopted its first set of assessments, for example, the state was using a curriculum-based assessment that focused on the basics of literacy and numeracy.
But in 2013, that curriculum-driven assessment was eliminated, leaving the state with a test-based curriculum that focused mostly on math and reading.
As Ziegling and other researchers have pointed out, this is a recipe for low scores and lower test scores.
And the fact that districts are getting more autonomy in how they use assessments, with districts no longer having a say in the curriculum or assessment content, makes it harder for districts to learn from one another, she said.
The new guidelines in Illinois are designed to provide more flexibility for districts.
But Zieglers work also shows that the assessment standards can still have a significant impact on how a district is using its students.
The assessment guidelines, for instance, show that districts may be using a standardized test that does not necessarily capture the needs of students, but instead simply tries to make students more aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
In some cases, districts have even changed the content of the assessment in order not to make it overly complicated or difficult to understand.
The result is that many students in Chicago’s most disadvantaged areas may have lower scores on their test than they would have otherwise been.
Zielers research also shows the impact of having a standardized assessment.
If a district has to make the choice between using the assessments or making use of a different curriculum, and is forced to make a choice, it has a higher chance of making the wrong choice, she noted.
For instance, a district could decide to use a different assessment and curriculum that focuses more on language skills than on reading and math.
But if the district doesn’t have the ability to change the curriculum based on what is already in place, then the district may be less likely be able take advantage of the learning that is happening.
In other words: If a student is struggling with the content, that student may be even less likely than a student who is not struggling with reading and mathematics to improve.
In some cases there are no districts in the state that are implementing assessments, but they do exist.
In these cases, they are simply being used as the framework for the assessment.
In the case of Chicago, there are several districts that use assessments for testing, and they all use them as the basis for their curriculum, said Tim Gieringer, director of the Illinois