Laid-Back NCLB Standards for Illinois (Chicago IL)

Just a week after a report from the Harvard Civil Rights Project described Illinois as one of the few states that had already not sought relaxed standards for NCLB, Illinois announced ... relaxed standards for NCLB: Standards on No Child eased (CST), Schools get a break with No Child rule changes (Daily Southtown).

Under the new plan, the subgroup size changes to 45 students, dropping the number of schools with special needs subgroups by over 100 schools. And schools will not have to include scores of students who have been at the school for less than a year. Perhaps most importantly to places like Chicago, the new rules also make it harder for districts to be categorized as failing to make AYP. According to ISBE,"If any one grade span across the district makes AYP, the district makes it as well." Woo hoo. The minimum score does go up to 47.5 proficient, though.

Depending on your view of things, these changes either mean (a) schools in Illinois will no longer be "punished" for being more diverse and for other factors outside their control, or (b) schools in Illinois will effectively be able to ignore low-performing subgroups of children without fear of being labeled as failures.

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