Update: More Reform-Side Questions About SB7

ScreenHunter_09 Aug. 23 18.20 Remember a little while ago when I wrote about how there were some questions about just how far SB7 went in terms of changing the realities of Illinois schools? Well, some of the same questions are being raised again -- from reform-minded DFER, the pro-charter, anti-LIFO folks who are operating in several states but not (yet) in IL. In a just-published blog post, DFER's state legislative director notes that SB7, combined with SB315, comes to roughly 150 pages of legalese but may not actually lead to the changes and objectives its advocates have identified. In particular, it notes, the LIFO reforms listed in the bill aren't guaranteed to take effect, and can be replaced by an alternative method -- "effectively nullifying this provision in its entirety." This is not the only example.  The legislation is full of loopholes, according to DFER.  "Though considered a big legislative achievement in Illinois, compared to over a dozen states (and counting), SB 7 is mild-mannered - at best - in the overall scheme of teacher evaluation and tenure reform efforts happening nationally. A step forward? Yes, but a small one and certainly not a leap, let alone a national model as some have claimed." 

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  • Actually, it was hard reading beyond this faux pas in the piece:

    "It [SB7] was quickly signed into law following a 54-0 Senate vote and a 112-1 House vote."

    As of today, the governor has still not signed the bill into law.

  • Ron Tupa's analysis totally avoids the special provisions relating to teachers in Chicago. That just seems strange. The CPS has the largest number of teachers in the state. When you combine the current fiscal crisis, CPS school closures, and a new far more aggresive corps of principals, what tenure rights CTU teachers have will only exist at the very best of CPS schools where there is basic stability.

    Also I do not know how "Noooooooooooooooo said" can claim SB7 is not anti union, the subsection taking away virtually all bargaining rights for the CTU except for wages and benefits is clearly anti-union. Just because SB7 did not apply it to IEA locals and groups of IFT locals outside the city does not make it not anti-union.

    Rod Estvan

  • here's what steans and edelman, two proponents of the legislation, have to say -- they think he's wrong, too, and explicate each point

    http://www.dfer.org/2011/06/illinois_educat.php

    i'm told that DFER will respond later today or tomorrow, and remain somewhere in the middle on the issue of how impactful the legislation will be in the real world, though tending as always to thinking it will be much less of an impact than has been touted.

  • DC think tank education sector says that compromise legislation like SB7 is the only way to go for lawmakers who don't want to face voter backlash or sagging poll numbers like leaders in OH and WI are currently experiencing

    http://www.quickanded.com/2011/06/does-education-reform-have-to-equal-sagging-polls.html?

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