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20/20 Vision for Illinois schools

New plan being looked at by area districts

School boards around the county are now being introduced to a new statewide education plan — Illinois Vision 20/20.

Led by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), Vision 20/20 is a long-range blueprint for improving public education throughout the entire state.

The education plan focuses on four policy priorities: 21st Century learning, highly-effective educators, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding.

At last week’s Spring Valley Elementary School Board meeting, Superintendent Jim Hermes talked briefly about the plan to board members.

Hermes explained statewide education organizations and several educators have come together to develop the plan. He also pointed out how SVE Principal Kim Lisanby-Barber was one of the local administrators who worked on the plan.

“These are goals that we hope to get legislators to take seriously,” he said.

Hermes said many education associations will begin writing letters of support for Vision 20/20, and many school boards will adopt resolutions to also show their support in the plan.

“It’s a lot of really good ideas to help students in Illinois,” he said.

Hermes asked board members to review the plan and said he would be bringing it up again at the January meeting.

Last week, Bureau Valley Superintendent Steve Endress also addressed his board briefly about Vision 20/20.

“This is an effort led by IASA to put forth a forward thinking plan based on good decisions, good data and good motives,” he said. “They’re trying to have a positive voice for the future and taking back the positive direction of legislation, instead of legislation happening in public schools and we being reactionary.”

Endress said state education organizations that have contributed to the plan would be presenting the legislation. He named many of the organizations involved including Illinois Association of School Business Officials; Illinois Principals Association; Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools; Illinois Association of School Boards and the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.

“They’re adding more organizations all the time,” he said.

Endress compared Illinois Vision 20/20 to BVision 20/20, which is a new advisory committee within the district made up of 10 teachers and five administrators.

The committee has been discussing ways to move forward education within the district.

“There are some similarities between BVision 202 and Illinois Vision 2020,” Endress said, explaining that some ideas for Bureau Valley’s vision were used from the state vision. “But we got ahead of them as we started moving forward in what we wanted to do here in the district ... The Illinois Vision 2020 aligns with some of the things we wanted to do here, so we feel pretty good about that.”

Endress said he would update the board, as more information was available.

Parents and community members are encouraged to learn more about Illinois Vision 20/20. A full description of the plan, research behind the plan, editorials about the plan and frequently asked questions can be found at www.illinoisvision2020.org.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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