Education Desk: Conversation With Jim Broadway

Jul 25, 2016

Jim Broadway publishes the Illinois School News Service. It’s a subscription-based online newsletter for educators, documenting policy as it’s crafted and implemented at the state level. He recently wrote a roundup of education bills that came before the 99th General Assembly, and talked to Illinois Edition about some that became law, and some that didn’t.

    

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On the bill expanding availability of epi-pens:

“Legislation doesn’t come out of nowhere. These people are not just there in Springfield trying to figure out what they can put into law. It all emerges from either significant events that are in the news, or situations that are brought to them by constituents, or problems that are obvious all the time and they’re always struggling to find solutions to them.”

On the Illinois State Board of Education decision to stop administering the PARCC test to high school students:

“From my experience of watching  governments work for the last several decades, it was really clear to me that Common Core and things associated with it like PARCC were poisoned and not going to work.”

On Common Core curriculum:

"The thing that I’ve heard about educators that excites them the most is the shift away from the rote memorization of content and into a process in which the kids would be guided into … critical thinking. And that makes so much sense. Because if you can do some critical thinking, you can learn on your own…. It’s made teaching exciting again for the educators who have talked to me about it.”

On a potential change in the state school lfunding formula:

“The leadership -- they’ve always known -- and Governor (Bruce) Rauner knows that the disparity in resources from one school district to another has passed by the level of morality.”