If you have an elementary or secondary student in your house, you may be hearing a lot of the phrase “Five Essentials” these days. The Illinois State Board of Education, as required by the school improvement program which passed in 2011 as “Senate Bill 7,” will be surveying K-12 students and teachers about five areas: effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment, and ambitious instruction.
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Mary Fergus, a spokeswoman for ISBE, says the survey will be administered between now and the end of March, with the findings being part of a report in the fall. “As educators, we have long understood that test scores alone do not represent the full scope of school life and learning,” said ISBE superintendent Chris Koch in a statement, adding the survey “will finally help us paint that fuller picture of learning conditions and guide local and state improvement initiatives so that every student has access to a world-class education.”
The survey was developed at the University of Chicago and is already in use in Chicago Public Schools as well as in six other states.