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ETHS board approves NCLB resolution

The District 202 school board unanimously approved a resolution promoting change in the federal No Child Left Behind legislation as Evanston Township High School faces restructuring under the law.

The District 202 school board unanimously approved a resolution promoting change in the federal No Child Left Behind legislation as Evanston Township High School faces restructuring under the law.

To initiate change, the school board created a resolution that outlines ways NCLB can become a stronger piece of legislation.  The resolution will be forwarded to the Illinois congressional delegation among others as they consider the reauthorization of the NCLB act, which chould affect schools like ETHS.
Because ETHS has fallen below federally-defined Adequate Yearly Progress standards five years in a row, the school may be forced to reopen as a public charter school, replace all or most of its staff, enter into a contract with a private management company, or implement another restructuring program with fundamental reforms.
"Basically what we want to let them know is that we have some concerns and we want them to know what our concerns are should it matter to those who are redrafting or reauthorizing," said board member Mary Wilkerson.

The board states in its resolution that the government and the state have not provided "adequate supports" to carrry out the law.  Specifically, they have failed to reward schools for growth and improvement, they have failed to align the assessment tests in elementary, middle and high schools so that standards of proficiency are consistent across the board , and they have failed to show how the restructuring options will enable a school to meet AYP.
With the reauthorization of NCLB coming up, the board wants Congress to consider creating a growth model that would reward schools for student progress, establish high proficiency standards and set a reasonable timeline for schools to achieve those targets, provide adquate funding at the federal and state levels to address the effects of poverty on academic performance, and to invest in a nationwide literacy program.
"I think it’s compelling and concise," said board member Missy Fleming. 
The resolution is being sent to Representative Jan Schakowsky, state representatives Beth Coulson and Julie Hamos, and State Senator Jeff Schoenberg as well as members of the Illinois U.S. Congressional delegation, the governor, the members of the Illinois General Assemby, local public officals, and the Illinois state superintendent. 
Attached to the resolution is the board’s position paper which explains its concerns in depth and the changes the board would like to see in the future.

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