Heading back to Springfield next week; new facilities law for CPS; new state ratings; etc

RYHA has been busy this fall hosting Mayoral candidate meet and greets with We Will, registering people to vote, and connecting parents by legislative district so they can advocate together.  

And now it’s time to head back to Springfield to get to work on our legislative agenda.  Our co-directors have been appointed to a new College and Career Interest Task Force, as a result of some work RYHA did on student data privacy protections last session, and we will have that meeting on November 8.

The following week we’ll be going back for veto session to work on an override of our class-size goals bill that Gov Rauner vetoed. If you want more info on that, contact our organizer Huu Nguyen at [email protected]. We’ll also be meeting with legislators on funding and the data privacy bill that we are working on.  If you’d like to volunteer or join a legislative network, sign up here.


RYHA speaks at press conf with Rep Harper and Senator Hunter

Co-director Cassie Creswell joined with Blocks Together and the sponsors of HB5721, a CPS facilities bill we all worked on together to ensure CPS schools that are underenrolled would receive supports before being considered for closure.

You can read Cassie’s statement and find a link to video of her speech here. You can read a thread of live tweets here.


State school ratings are out and they don’t mean much

ISBE is using a new school rating system where they are now labeling schools across IL as “underperforming” and a whole host of other unproductive names. Many of their ratings are in utter contradiction to CPS’ rating, and there are many schools that are now Level 1 according to CPS and “underperforming” or even “lowest performing” according to the state.

Chalkbeat: Illinois report card: 94 Chicago schools earn low performance rating

WBEZ: What’s A Grade Worth? State Vs. CPS Ratings Mismatch

Why the disparity? 70% of the score from the state is based on the PARCC test! This test has been dumped by almost every state that chose to use it originally due to its many problems. IL has already gotten rid of PARCC for spring 2019 and replaced it with a mostly new test that will include some PARCC questions, the IL Assessment of Readiness. So how can 70% of an elementary school’s quality be meaningfully determined by an obsolete test?

CPS uses the NWEA MAP test to determine a school’s “quality”, and 60% of the rating is derived from this metric.

For high school ratings, graduation rate is the the primary driver of differing ratings: 50% of the score from the state is determined by graduation rate. For CPS, grad rate is just 12.5% of the metric.

What does this mean? These labels are arbitrary, misleading, and omit so much of what matters in determining school quality, yet they guide perception, real estate values, enrollment trends and much more.

Read our sister org Raise Your Hand’s parent guide on how to talk about high quality education! And find lots of resources from RYH’s forum last winter on school ratings systems here.


Donate to RYHA ASAP!  

RYHA did not get any grant funding for the upcoming year, and we need your support if you’d like us to be in Springfield in 2019. We believe it’s critical to be there to advance strong public education, stop bad legislation and to increase the grassroots parent/community voice where law is made. We simply won’t be able to do this without your support.

Donate here and consider becoming a monthly donor.


Coffee with mayoral candidates series: 11/28 Garry McCarthy

We’re co-sponsoring a series of Mayoral Candidate Meet and Greets with the group We Will. These events are an opportunity to engage with mayoral candidates directly and have your education questions asked and answered in an informal setting. The series continues:


Coffee with Garry McCarthy

Wednesday, November 28,, 2018

10 - 11:30am

Sip of Hope Coffee Bar

3039 W. Fullerton Ave


There will be food, coffee, networking, comfy legislative chats and childcare included. Please RSVP (with any children counted too).

Find future meet and greets here on our calendar and like our Facebook page for the most updated way to receive the information on all the Mayoral Candidate Meet and Greets.


Sign up to get email updates from us here!

Donate Volunteer Legislative Agenda