Comments on proposed CPS SOPPA guidelines

The Chicago Public Schools are preparing for compliance with the changes to IL's Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), passed in spring 2019 and going into effect on July 1, 2021. Their new policy on SOPPA was passed at the January board meeting, and we were encouraged to see that some of the input we had provided was incorporated into an improved final version. Now CPS is developing more detailed guidelines on how the policy will be implemented.

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State board makes adjustments to state testing requirements for 2021

IL-FPS testified on the issue of standardized testing this week at the IL State Board of Ed March Board meeting, and we were happy to learn that ISBE is waiving the grad requirement for current seniors for the SAT. The announcement of this can be found in ISBE's weekly newsletter under assessment.

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Take action to protect Illinois' strongest privacy law

With three out of four Illinois students still learning remotely full or part time, protecting children's privacy from threats like face recognition and surveillance for remote proctoring is more important than ever.

The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is a uniquely protective Illinois law assuring that the biometric information of Illinois residents is protected from the threats of face recognition and surveillance.

➡️ New York Times "The Best Law You've Never Heard of"

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Spring tests not suspended | Witness slip time for new ed bills | and more

Despite pleas for state testing waivers this year, Biden administration says tests will go on - with some flexibility

The IL State Board of Ed joined many other states in requesting a waiver for giving state tests this year. This came after over 600 Superintendents in IL, led by Tony Sanders of U-46 Elgin organized the mass effort to inform ISBE and the US Dept of Ed that there should be a pause in testing.  

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Which bills are a top priority? Take our quick survey!

IL Families for Public Schools wants to hear from you about which legislation you think is a top priority this session! There are a number of important bills already introduced or being filed now, and we want to know what you would most like to see passed—and also what you’d like to help support.

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Take a stand for inclusivity! Support ISBE new culturally-responsive standards for teacher education

The IL State Board of Education has proposed a rule change which would include more culturally responsive teaching and learning standards in teacher prep programs, the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. Unfortunately, some IL legislators want to block the passage of these rules. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will be taking a vote on it in the JCAR committee on February 16th. 

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CPS's new SOPPA policy: no more contracts for kids!

The Chicago Public Schools are preparing for compliance with the changes to IL's Student Online Protection Act, passed in spring 2019 and going into effect on July 1, 2021. As the largest district in IL, CPS's policy will have important implications for the rest of IL's public schools.

After feedback on their initial policy draft from IL-FPS back in November and some ensuing discussions with us, the policy on the agenda for the Chicago BoE's January meeting has improved---and we're especially pleased to see it will mean students themselves can no longer be required to sign contracts with vendors anymore.

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Reopening debate intensifies at CPS

A lot happened over the weekend that impacts school reopening plans for K-8th grade in Chicago Public Schools. Teachers were supposed to be back in the building today but the district delayed this until Wednesday for K-8th grade as the Chicago Teachers Union and CPS negotiate over a list of demands regarding safety measures. CPS says that the start date for K-8 in person learning will still be 2/1, but the CTU took a vote to support a resolution to reject in person learning at this time with 71% supporting the resolution.

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Elected school board bill dies with the end of lame duck

Despite our best efforts and enough votes from IL state senators, Senate President Don Harmon chose not to call the elected school board bill for a vote before the end of the 101st IL General Assembly session. 

As a new session begins, we will be back at it again, renewing our fight for much-needed democracy in the school system of Chicago. Chicago families and taxpayers deserve the same rights afforded to the rest of Illinois, and the debate about whether Chicago wants this is long over. Read the statement from the full coalition of education advocacy orgs fighting for an elected board here.

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Action alert HB256: Pearson can't be trusted with sensitive student data!

Update 1.11.2021:

HB256 would stop the IL State Board of Ed (ISBE) from requiring student teachers to videotape themselves and their students in order to get a teaching certificate in Illinois.

HB256 passed in the IL House in 2019, and it can pass the Senate, but time is running short!

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