Illinois survey to give inside look at schools
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — As many as one million Illinois students, parents and teachers will be able to give their opinions about what they like and dislike about the state's public schools in a first-of-its-kind survey.
A 2011 state law requires children in grades six through 12 and teachers in all elementary and secondary grades be surveyed at least every two years, if money is available. The Illinois State Board of Education is using $550,000 in federal funds to pay for this year's effort, called the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. Federal money will be available to do the survey again next year, said Mary Fergus, the board's spokeswoman.
But given the state's budget crisis — districts got $200 million less in state funding for this school year — some question the timing of the assessment. A downstate superintendent has labeled it as the "perfect storm" to make public schools look bad.
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