Education & Schools
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Overhaul School Performance Reporting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 14:48

New School Report Cards to Help Parents and Communities
Measure Performance


CHICAGO – January 24, 2012. As part of his ongoing commitment to reform education in Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will give parents and communities more information about their schools’ performance than ever before. The new law makes changes to school report cards, and report cards for school districts, in an effort to continue improving the state’s primary and secondary education system. This law was the result of ongoing work by the Governor’s P-20 Council, which was formed in 2009 to work with teachers, administrators and other stakeholders to improve education in Illinois.


“Every child in Illinois deserves access to a good, well-rounded education and we want every parent to know how their child’s school is performing,” Governor Quinn said. “Empowering parents and communities with this information increases accountability in our schools and allows us to better judge what works and what can be done better.”


Sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), House Bill 605 makes changes to the report cards submitted to parents, the Governor, the General Assembly and the State Board of Education starting in the 2013-2014 school year for elementary, middle and high schools statewide. The new cards will help the state better evaluate the success of schools, programs and districts by allowing comparisons between similar schools across the state, as well as current and past outcomes and progress.


The revamped report cards will include:


  • School characteristics and student demographics (school enrollment; racial and ethnic background; # of low income students; per pupil expenditure)
  • Curriculum information (availability of AP classes; availability of foreign language classes; school personnel resources; dual credit enrollment)
  • Student outcomes (percentage of students meeting and exceeding state standards; graduation rates; percentage of college-ready students)


  • Student progress (number of students entering kindergarten ready to learn; student growth measures; percentage of students entering high school on track for college or career)


  • School environment (teacher and principal retention; percentage of students and teachers with fewer than 10 absences; measures of school learning climate)


“Every child in Illinois, regardless of background or ethnicity, deserves an effective education,” P-20 Council Chairman Miguel Del Valle said. “Knowing how schools serve students and their communities is key to understanding how we improve our education system as a whole.”


“The first step towards improving our schools is knowing where we stand,” Rep. Chapa LaVia said. “Giving parents, teachers, administrators and lawmakers the information they need to make decisions about the future of our children is the responsible thing to do for our communities and our education system.”


"Parents have a right to know how their child's school is performing,” Sen. Lightford said. “The new report card is important from both an informational and a transparency standpoint, and will allow us to track vital information about student progress and determine what policies and practices are working and how we can do better. It's an essential tool for parents and educators alike."


HB605, which passed the General Assembly unanimously, follows historic education reform Governor Quinn signed into law last year, which facilitated longer school days and stronger standards for teachers. The new cards (example attached) are a result of collaboration between the Governor’s P-20 Council, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, school districts, state lawmakers and education advocacy groups from across the state.


The new law goes into effect immediately.



Grant Will Help Close Achievement Gap PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Whitney Smith-Bringolf   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 10:06

Last year, due to grant funding, the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) was able to pilot technology which enhanced language to hearing impaired students. The pilot was such a success the Mississippi Bend AEA has decided to expand this technology to all preschool aged identified hearing impaired students (ages 1-6) who have hearing aids or cochlear implants. A grant in the amount of $14,256, from the Scott County Regional Authority, will help do this. The grant will assist seven deaf and hard of hearing students at home and in the classroom – helping to close the achievement gap between them and normal hearing students.  This grant in combination with last year’s grant and additional department funds will reach a total of 19 deaf and hard of hearing students with FM technology.

When hearing impaired students are fitted with either hearing aids or cochlear implants, they typically do not have access to additional technology to support their hearing needs. Parents usually cannot afford to purchase this equipment and educational institutions do not allow this technology to leave the buildings. The Mississippi Bend AEA will use the grant money to purchase equipment to be used in connection with hearing aids and cochlear implants, which will increase their access to devices such as; computers, cell phones, iPods/iPads and other technology which normal hearing students do not have difficulty with.  Most classrooms have background noise that competes with the teacher or device (i.e. others talking, paper shuffling, other electronics, ventilation systems, outside traffic or construction, and hallway noise). This background noise can make hearing very challenging for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants. The technology being purchased will allow sound to be transmitted directly to the hearing aid or cochlear implant so the background noise is less prominent.

Introduction of language is critical in the early preschool years and is the key to all academic success. Without the technology to access language, preschools and parents are constantly playing catch up with their deaf and hard of hearing children. Having the opportunity to expand this project will forever change the lives of these young children.

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The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is one of nine AEAs across the state of Iowa created by the 1974 Iowa Legislature. It provides educational services, media services and special education services to approximately 50,000 students in twenty-two public school districts and twenty-two approved non-public schools in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties.

The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender identity, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, socio economic status, or disability in its educational programs, services or employment practices. Inquiries concerning this statement should be addressed to Dr. Edward Gronlund, Equity Coordinator, at 563-344-6315.

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Creighton University PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Cindy Workman   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 10:04

OMAHA, NEB.– (01/23/2012)(readMedia)-- The following students from your area were named to the fall Dean's List at Creighton University for the fall semester of the 2011-2012 academic year.

Nathan Horst of Blairstown, a sophomore College of Arts and Sciences student

Michael Barnes of Bettendorf, a junior College of Arts and Sciences student

Adam Dilla of Bettendorf, a sophomore College of Arts and Sciences student

Emily Stensrud of Bettendorf, a third year School of Pharmacy and Health Professions student

Elizabeth Hines of Davenport, a sophomore College of Arts and Sciences student

Alexandria Clark of Rock Island, a sophomore College of Arts and Sciences student

John Philibert of Rock Island, a junior College of Arts and Sciences student

Kailee Steger of Milan, a sophomore College of Arts and Sciences student

Full-time students who earn a 3.5 grade-point average or better on a 4.0 scale are eligible for the Dean's Honor Roll.

About Creighton University: Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Neb., enrolls more than 4,200 undergraduate and 3,500 professional school and graduate students. Nationally recognized for providing a balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs that emphasize educating the whole person: academically, socially and spiritually. Creighton has been a top-ranked Midwestern university in the college edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine for more than 20 years. For more information, visit our website at:

Michael Herman makes fall Dean's List PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brett Eaton   
Monday, 23 January 2012 16:28

WINSTON SALEM, NC (01/23/2012)(readMedia)-- Michael Herman a resident of Davenport, IA, was among over 1800 students from Wake Forest University who made the Fall Dean's List.

About Wake Forest University

Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a top-25 university located in Winston-Salem, NC. Wake Forest combines the best tradition of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a national research university. For more information, contact the Wake Forest Office of Communications and External Relations at 336-758-5237.

IMSA Receives Highest Ranking in World Contest; Mathematical Model Addresses Maintenance of International Space Station PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brenda Sotern   
Monday, 23 January 2012 16:15

AURORA-- One team from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) received the highest ranking possible in the 14th annual international High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM). Their performance placed IMSA among the top seven schools in the world in this year’s competition.

The IMSA team of Henry Deng of DeKalb, Matt Gietl of Batavia, Andrew Ta of Naperville and Matt Yang of Hanover Park received the rank of “National Outstanding.”

Only seven teams out of 435 that competed worldwide received this ranking.  In addition, two other IMSA teams received the rank of “Regional Outstanding.”  Students on these teams included Webster Guan of Lisle, Aditya Karan of Naperville, Nilesh Kavthekar of Naperville, Peter Lu of Lisle, Nolan Maloney of Naperville, Abhinav Reddy of Naperville, Nishith Reddy of Naperville and Stanley Yuan of Naperville.

Although international studies generally place the United States in the middle of the pack compared to other countries, IMSA President Dr. Max McGee noted that IMSA's students have proven to be among the best in the world, in international competitions.

"For the seventh consecutive year, IMSA's math teams have received the highest ranking possible in this international event showcasing how mathematics can be used to solve some of the world's most challenging scientific, economic and social problems," McGee said. "IMSA students and coaches, both past and present, are to be commended for this amazing achievement."

The High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling is a 36-hour contest where each team is expected to solve a mathematical modeling problem. Each team then prepares and submits a paper discussing their solution to the problem.

IMSA’s “National Outstanding” team had to develop a comprehensive 10-year plan including costs, payloads, and flight schedules to maintain the International Space Station.

Outstanding teams will have their solution papers (or their solution abstracts) published in COMAP’s Consortium newsletter among other places. More information on the contest can be found at

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (


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