Under a new law sponsored by Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, parents will have access to a newly designed school report that will show them how their child’s school is performing in three key areas – student outcomes, student progress, and school environment – beginning in 2013. The legislation was recently signed into law by Governor Quinn. See photos from the bill signing ceremony below.

Listen to Senator Lightford describe the impact of this new legislation:
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Listen to Senator Lightford describe the new features of the revamped report:
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Listen to Senator Lightford discuss Illinois' recent advancements in education:
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Senator Lightford gave the following statement at the ceremony: “Parents have a right to know how their child’s school is performing. It’s also important for us to be able to track vital information about student progress so that we can determine what policies and practices are working and how we can do better.” Click "Read More" to read the entire news release.

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LIGHTFORD BILL TO REVAMP SCHOOL REPORT SIGNED INTO LAW

“Parents have a right to know how their child’s school is performing,” Lightford said.

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Under a new law sponsored by State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), parents will have access to a newly designed school report that will show them how their child’s school is performing in three key areas – student outcomes, student progress, and school environment – beginning in 2013. The legislation was signed into law Tuesday by Governor Quinn.

“Parents have a right to know how their child’s school is performing,” Lightford said.  “It’s also important for us to be able to track vital information about student progress so that we can determine what policies and practices are working and how we can do better.”

House Bill 605 requires the State Board of Education to prepare a state report card, school district report cards, and school report cards to each school district in the state by October 31 of each year beginning in 2013. Currently, the Board issues school report cards that detail a variety of statistics including student performance, attendance rates, and graduation rates. House Bill 605 improves upon the current process by including reporting on student outcomes, student progress, and school environment.

In addition, the report card will feature a one-page summary linked to readily available, more detailed information on an online interactive report card. Each school district will be required to present its report card at a school board meeting, post it on its website, post it in the local newspaper, and send the report card home to any parent who requests it.

House Bill 605 stems directly from a landmark education reform law Senator Lightford passed last year that will make sure tenure is awarded only to teachers with a proven track record, make it harder for teachers to strike, and increase instruction time for students in Chicago Public Schools. The legislation, which has been hailed as a national model by United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, also included language that required the state’s P-20 Council to develop a redesigned school report card.  House Bill 605 is the result of the group’s work.

“Now that we have reforms in place, we need to observe how they are implemented,” Lightford said. “The new school report card is critical from both an informational and a transparency standpoint. It’s an essential tool for parents and educators alike.”

The revamped school card will be used beginning next year.

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Bio

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Born May 10, 1968, in Chicago; B.A., public communications & human relations, Western Illinois University; Master's in public administration, University of Illinois at Springfield. Village of Maywood Trustee 1997-2003; State Government Employee - IL Secretary of State, IL Department of Corrections, IL Central Management Services. Resides in Maywood with her family.

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