Page 1










V ol. 8 6, N o . 2









e undertook this issue of

College from 1940 to 1967, who was

page 16, explores the path Carson,

The Illinois School Board

the “son of slaves … and adviser to

now Reverend Courtney Carson, took

Journal with the questions “What

presidents.” The answer to “Why

from expelled student and incarcer-

is equity?” and “Why should we talk

now?” is because the time is right,

ated teen, to community leader and

about it now?”

and “it’s up to me to use it.” And since

a member of the board of education that expelled him.

The responses to “What is equi-

we decided to examine equity in this

ty?” were, as you will soon read,

issue, current events have made the

knowledgeable, wholehearted, pow-

discussion as necessary as ever.

This Journal also features the voices of several individuals who will

erful, and, I hope, useful in your work

The National School Boards

be presenting at “The Equity Event –

as school leaders. We discovered

Association Beliefs and Policies

What, Why, and How of Equity Issues

that every school district and every

statement says this about equity:

in Education” in April.

institution has its own equity story,

“Public schools should provide

On page 6, consultant Corrie

and addressing equity in public edu-

equitable access and ensure that all

Wallace explains equity vs. equali-

cation starts with the deep roots of

students have the knowledge and

ty and the importance of examining

the many cultures of Illinois and the

skills to succeed as contributing

both in every school district.

influences of those cultures.

members of a rapidly changing,

In “Ten ways school boards can

The answer to “Why should we

global society, regardless of fac-

champion racial equity,” on page 8,

talk about it now?” will be familiar

tors such as race, gender, sexual

Pat Savage-Williams, president of the

to those of us who were fortunate to

orientation, ethnic background,

Evanston THSD 202 Board of Edu-

hear Patrick S. Muhammad speak at

English proficiency, immigration

cation, shares strategies for school

recent IASB events:

status, socioeconomic status, or

boards wanting to address equity.


And, in “Coming to terms” on page

“I have just one minute Only sixty seconds in it, Forced upon me — can’t refuse it

In the pages of this Journal, we look at the roots of the discussion. Courtney Carson was in a brawl

14, the concept of equity is refined and explained in anticipation of Heather W. Hackman’s presentation

Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,

in the bleachers of a high school foot-

at the Equity Event.

But it’s up to me to use it.

ball game in Decatur in 1999. The

Anticipating that it will take

I must suffer if I lose it,

fight was captured on video (in ret-

more than “just a tiny little minute,”

Give account if I abuse it.

rospect one of the first “viral” news

I hope you will take the time to read

Just a tiny little minute —

videos) and an outcry ensued over

this Journal, reflect what equity

But eternity is in it.”

the participants’ expulsions. The

means to your school district, attend

community divide brought nation-

The Equity Event if you can, and

Muhammad uses the poem in

al attention, including that of civil

share your thoughts on equity with

his work, and credits it to Benjamin

rights activist Reverend Jesse Jack-

us for the next conversation.

Elijah Mays, an activist, preacher,

son. “From division, towards unity,”

— Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor

and scholar, president of Morehouse

by Dan Naumovich, which begins on



Why equity, and why racial equity? By Corrie Wallace Equity is about fairness, justice, and individuals getting what they need and deserve in order to reach their full potential. The racial component acknowledges that race is one of the first visible indicators of identity, while recognizing that students hold multiple, intersecting identities.


Ten ways school boards can champion racial equity By Pat Savage-Williams All students should have equal access to a high-quality education. Unless board members are “on board” with the implementation of racial equity within their school district, there are many opportunities for failure.

14 Coming to terms By Theresa Kelly Gegen A social justice and equity framework is the pathway to create substantive change in individuals, in organizations, and in our society as a whole.

16 From division, towards unity By Dan Naumovich Reverend Courtney Carson is in his first term as a member of the Decatur Public Schools Board of Education, the same district that he attended as a child, and was expelled from as a young man.

20 Towards a more perfect state: Teacher diversity in Illinois By Theresa Kelly Gegen Can Illinois’ teacher diversity match that of its student population?

23 COMMENTARY: Our schools have an equity problem: What should we do about it? By Danielle Gonzales and Ross Wiener As the federal role in public education recedes, there are profound implications for equity and broader implications for our country and society.

Front Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Practical PR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

M A R C H / A P R I L

2 0 1 8

Vol. 86, No. 2

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN-0019-221X) is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929, telephone 217/528-9688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120, telephone 630/629-3776. The JOURNAL is supported by the dues of school boards holding active membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards. Copies are mailed to all school board members and the superintendent in each IASB member school district. Non-member subscription rate: Domestic $18 per year. Foreign (including Canada and Mexico) $21 per year. PUBLICATION POLICY IASB believes that the domestic process functions best through frank and open discussion. Material published in the JOURNAL, therefore, often presents divergent and controversial points of view which do not necessarily represent the views or policies of IASB. Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Heath Hendren, Contributing Editor Britni Beck, Advertising Manager Katie Grant, Design and Production Copyright © 2018 by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), The JOURNAL is published six times a year and is distributed to its members and subscribers. Copyright in this publication, including all articles and editorial information contained in it is exclusively owned by IASB, and IASB reserves all rights to such information. IASB is a tax-exempt corporation organized in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Milestones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Ask the Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Cover art: © John Takai |



Closing the AP enrollment gap is changing students’ life trajectories By Peg Mannion

Peg Mannion, APR, is community relations coordinator in Glenbard Township High School District 87, vice president for North Central Region of National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and a board of directors member with the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA).



o matter their socioeconomic background, every parent has

hopes and dreams for their son or daughter. Parents recognize that a livable income isn’t possible with only a high school diploma. They believe we’re getting students ready for education beyond high school, and that’s why having all students experience college rigor while in high school is so important for our students. Glenbard Township High School District 87 emphasizes a growth mindset with students — teaching students that their skills can improve with hard work. As students develop their abilities and interests, we challenge them to stretch

Glenbard District 87 Superintendent David Larson visits with a student in Glenbard North High School’s AP Cafe. The cafe is one of several strategies implemented to increase Advanced Placement enrollment among under-represented students. Photo courtesy of Glenbard District 87

themselves by taking more rigorous classes, including Advanced Place-

district is seeing an upward trend

Illinois, serving 8,100 students from

ment (AP) classes. Many universi-

of Advanced Placement success.

nine western suburbs of Chicago.

ties and colleges offer college credit,

Among the Class of 2017, 44 per-

Demographic breakdown includes

advanced placement, or both, for

cent of graduates passed at least one

34 percent low-income students and

qualifying AP exam scores. Students

AP exam. That’s a 47 percent increase

50 percent white, 23 percent Hispan-

who earn a score of 3 or higher on

since 2010. The Board of Education’s

ic, 15 percent Asian, 8 percent black,

an AP exam are entitled to receive

goal is that 60 percent of graduates

and 3 percent two or more races.

college credit at any Illinois public

will pass at least one AP exam over

university or college.

their four years at Glenbard.

In the past several years, Glen-

Since 2015, 483 traditionally

bard District 87 has made intention-

underrepresented students (black,

al efforts to increase the number

Hispanic, and low income) have been

of students taking AP classes, and

added to AP classes.

despite significant Advanced Place-

Glenbard District 87 is the

ment enrollment increases, the

third-largest high school district in

Columns are submitted by members of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association


Like high schools around the country, Glenbard District 87 has a

be experiencing rigor for the first time;

gap when it comes to the number of

• Opportunities for students

minority and low-income students

to experience mentoring

enrolled in AP courses. The district

and group work outside the

is working with the nonprofit organi-


zation Equal Opportunity Schools to

• Understanding and embrac-

close the enrollment gap in Advanced

ing growth mindset and shifts

Placement that exists between mid-

in thinking that our students

dle- and upper-income white and

need to go through.”

Asian students and their black, His-

Honest, supportive conversa-

panic, and low-income classmates.

tions between students, teachers,

Superintendent David Larson said,

and administrators are an import-

“It’s incumbent upon us to identify stu-

ant part of the recruitment process.

dents for AP classes, advocate for them,

Some students didn’t feel like they

support them, and encourage them.”

belonged in Advanced Placement.

This fall semester, Glenbard Dis-

They told administrators that no

trict 87’s four high schools enrolled

one in AP classes looked like them.

1,008 traditionally underrepresent-

Glenbard West High School dean

ed juniors and seniors in AP cours-

and minority student achievement

es. Over the last three years, since

coordinator Sharon Ruff said, “We

partnering with Equal Opportunity

have a conversation with students

Schools, the district has seen the

and tell them, ‘We believe in you.’

following AP enrollment increases:

That’s what students really needed

• 89 percent for low-income

to hear was that sense of belief and

white and Asian students,

sense of belonging.”

• 124 percent for low-income

Larson emphasizes the impor-

Hispanic/Latino students, and

tance of talking with faculty and

• 196 percent for low-income

staff members about the need to

African-American juniors

close the Advanced Placement

and seniors

enrollment gap, saying, “Some-

These gains were accomplished

times we assume everyone gets

by applying the survey tool and data

it; however, there needs to be an

analytics provided by Equal Oppor-

opportunity for dissent, [and] time

tunity Schools to identify students

for people to vent and understand

who have the assets to succeed, but

the why.”

were missed through the traditional

Glenbard South High School

enrollment process or a lack of paren-

Principal Sandra Coughlin said, “One

tal advocacy. District staff embarked

of our strategies that was very pow-

on a relentless outreach and recruit-

erful was to have our equity team,

ment process. Larson said, “Equal

which is made up of teachers, coun-

Opportunity Schools’ playbook has

selors, and administrators, create a

a three-part approach:

video to explain to staff the reasons

• Teachers are making shifts

why we were looking at students to

in their classroom necessary

close our achievement gap, all of the

to help students who might

qualities students could bring to the

M A R C H - A P R I L 2 0 1 8 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L 

President Joanne Osmond

Treasurer Linda Eades

Vice President Thomas Neeley

Immediate Past President Phil Pritzker

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Bill Alexander

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Lake Ann Dingman

Central Illinois Valley Tim Custis

Northwest Chris Buikema

Cook North Barbara Somogyi Cook South Denis Ryan

Shawnee Sheila Nelson Southwestern Mark Christ

Cook West Carla Joiner-Herrod

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Three Rivers Rob Rodewald

DuPage Thomas Ruggio

Two Rivers Tracie Sayre

Egyptian John Metzger

Wabash Valley Dennis Inboden

Illini Michelle Skinlo

Western Sue McCance

Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Service Associates Glen Eriksson

Board of directors members are current at press time.

IASB is a voluntary association of local boards of education and is not affiliated with any branch of government.


table, and, most importantly, about

to close its enrollment gap, and the

As part of Glenbard South’s

the growth mindset needed for both

work, to increase the number of

outreach plan, Coughlin and her

students and staff.”

under-represented students enrolled

team looked at student data and

in AP classes in all four high schools,

then selected students to recruit.


“We spoke with students and had

Last year, Glenbard South was one of seven high schools in Illinois

them explore AP courses they were interested in and had them enroll,” Coughlin said. “As part of our outreach programming to support students, we conducted team-building OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Roger L. Eddy, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Carla S. Bolt, Director Office of General Counsel Kimberly Small, General Counsel Maryam Brotine, Assistant General Counsel Debra Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel Executive Searches Thomas Leahy, Director Jim Helton, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant Alan Molby, Consultant Catherine Finger, Consultant ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/ Chief Financial Officer ADVOCACY/GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Director Shanell Bowden, Assistant Director

BOARD DEVELOPMENT Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Trainer Angie Peifer, Consultant COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Services Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services Theresa Kelly Gegen, Director/Editorial Services Heath Hendren, Assistant Director/Communications Katie Grant, Assistant Director/Production Services FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Laura Martinez, Director Dee Molinare, Director Reatha Owen, Director Patrick Rice, Director Policy Services Ken Carter, Consultant Boyd Fergurson, Consultant Angie Powell, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

activities to be sure students had a sense of belonging and belief in themselves.” The following are additional outreach activities that proved successful: • A P student break fast or lunch with an exit slip indicating which AP class students are interested in • AP night for families • Letter mailed home with a recommendation for an AP course • College night for minority students and families • College visits for minority students In September 2016, the White House and U.S. Department of Education recognized Glenbard District 87 for committing to closing the enrollment gap in AP courses. Glenbard South was honored for being among the less than 1 percent of high schools nationally that have closed their Advanced Placement enrollment gap. We are proud of how our instructors have changed the life trajectories of hundreds of students by intention-

IASB OFFICES 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 217/528-9688 Fax 217/528-2831


One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 630/629-3776 Fax 630/629-3940

ally setting a goal to close the enrollment gap in AP courses by race and income.


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Why equity, and why racial equity? By Corrie Wallace

Corrie Wallace is a consultant, anti-oppression educator, and community organizer who works with school districts in Illinois.


t’s 2018. Why are we still talking

Fundamental to understanding

speaking their mother tongue, stu-

about race and what’s all this talk

equity work is clarity regarding the

dents of color have been intention-

about equity in schools?

historical context which informs

ally and negatively impacted by the

Equity is about fairness, jus-

our current situation, where the

United States school system.

tice, and individuals getting what

racial predictability of achieve-

Point 2: According to the 2017

they need and deserve in order to

ment and disciplinary outcomes

Illinois School Report Card, there are

reach their full potential. This is as

in schools is pervasive nationally

2,028,162 students in 3,796 schools

opposed to equality, which is about

and locally.

in Illinois, and over half of them are

sameness and treating everyone in exactly an identical manner regard-

students of color. Black and HispanWhy are we talking about this?

ic students comprise 43 percent of

less of their differences or unique

Point 1: Throughout U.S. his-

the total student population. Eleven

situations. Focusing on racial equi-

tory, racially discriminatory pol-

percent are limited English profi-

ty acknowledges that race is one of

icies and practices in housing,

cient, 50 percent are from low-in-

the first visible indicators of identi-

healthcare, and education have

come households, and 14 percent

ty, while recognizing that students

systematically disenfranchised

have IEPs (Individualized Education

hold multiple, intersecting iden-

black people and people of color,

Program for special education and

tities such as mental or physical

impacting schools and our chil-

related services). Disproportionate

ability, sexual orientation including

dren. Tuskegee’s syphilis experi-

academic outcomes for students

gender identity and/or expression,

ment, Illinois’ sundown towns, and

who are black or Hispanic reflect

religion, economic status, national

the forced sterilization of Puerto

this trend in Illinois as evidenced by 10th- through 12th-grade students taking advanced coursework such as

Seek balance in perspectives, first to understand, then to be understood.

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Dual Credit. High school dropout rates show similar racially predictable patterns. Scholar Sonia Nieto asserts,


origin, and many other personal

Rican women are just a few exam-

“Simply desegregating schools will


ples. From laws prohibiting anyone

not make a difference until the power

As historian Robin D. G. Kelley

teaching kidnapped and enslaved

relations within such settings are

says, “Racism isn’t about how you

African people to read and write,


look, it’s about how people assign

to the Native American boarding

Therefore, ack nowle d g i n g

meaning to how you look.”

schools that forbade children from

the history of white supremacy in


U.S. schools is a fundamental step

Here are eight essential elements

towards building understanding

for board members to consider to

community who’ve helped

and addressing the persistent racial

support racial equity in schools:

8. Remember we’re not talking

achievement gap. The tenets of Glo-

1. Be humble. Acknowledge

about pizza or pie. Empower-

you out.

ria Ladson-Billings’ CRT (Cultur-

that you don’t know

ing traditionally underrepre-

ally Relevant Teaching) reminds


sented g roups of people

us that creating a more equitable

2. Self-reflect. What are you good

learning environment will require

at and what will you need help

respect at the most basic level, stu-

with? Where will you go to get

dent empowerment, cultivating cul-

the help you need?

tural capital and honoring student

3. Listen and be open to learning.

backgrounds and social identities,

4. Seek balance in perspectives,

including but not limited to gender

first to understand, then to be

expression, religion, and ethnicity.


Additionally, adults must model

5. Strive for loving accountability.

lifelong learning through sustain-

6. Honor those who have come

able professional development to

before you and upon whose

enhance skills and knowledge along

shoulders you stand.

with a commitment to collaborate

7. Ack nowledge where you

and model loving accountability for

get things from. Name and

all of our children.

thank people in your school

improves quality of life for everyone. Resources Sonia Nieto, Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education. Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, UCLA. faculty/robin-kelley Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison. lmcreadinglist. %281995%29.pdf Illinois Report Card:

Our Mission is Your Success A PREEMINENT EDUCATION LAW FIRM REPRESENTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS 310 Regency Centre, Collinsville, IL 62234 618.301.4060 618.301.4080 Fax

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12/13/2017 3:15:01 PM



Ten ways school boards can champion racial equity By Pat Savage-Williams

Pat SavageWilliams is the president of the Evanston THSD 202 Board of Education and special education coordinator, SEED facilitator, equity team co-chair and PEG affiliate at New Trier THSD 203, Northfield.


chool board members are

barriers and obstacles to opportunity,

Many school districts and com-

expected to understand board

interrupt their negative impact, and

munities across our state and in the

structure, board functioning, and the

eliminate persistent disparities in stu-

country are experiencing a move to

board’s role. They are responsible for

dent outcomes. When we look at racial

raising awareness of equity issues

approving policy decisions that affect

achievement data in our nation, we see

with a particular emphasis on racial

the educational environment in many

disparities in education pervasively

equity. The long-term impact of race

ways. These decisions include how stu-

across all areas. We must never make

and racism on student achievement,

dents learn, how students are taught,

excuses for those disparities in our

how instruction is delivered, disci-

how learning is measured, how teach-

schools or lower our expectations for

pline, resource allocation, etc. is

ers are supported with professional

any students.

discussed and debated at many dif-

development, how funds are allocated

Our purpose is to successfully

ferent levels. Getting school boards

based on district priorities, and how

educate all the students who attend

to commit to implementing racial

effectively the community at large is

our schools — all the children in

equity work within a school district

engaged around student learning.

our community — and implement

requires more than finding people

If we consider these roles using

improvements to address racial dispar-

with assumed good hearts to serve

an equity lens, we quickly understand

ities. It is essential that we, as school

on the board. Most school board

that unless board members are “on

board members, focus our work on

members want to provide opportu-

board” with the implementation of

racial equity in schools and identify

nities for students and community

racial equity within their school dis-

all forms of racial inequity for two

members. However, securing a real

trict, there are many opportunities


impact on student achievement

for failure.

1. To increase awareness of sys-

requires skills, courage, strength,

All students should have equal access to a high-quality education.


temic barriers that disadvantage students of color.

and determination. Moving the equity work from

As long as race, class, and ethnicity

2. To encourage and support educa-

theory to practice at the board level

continue to be strong predictors of

tors as they seek to adapt instruc-

means that school board members

student achievement, college suc-

tional and leadership practices to

must be willing to craft policies that

cess, and successful life experiences,

respond more effectively to the

encompass equity and empower the

school board members must work

needs and aspirations of all the

district to undertake the work of

within their school systems to identify

children they serve.

racial equity.


Here are 10 ways school board members can move the district

AP courses, with 51 percent earning

level of understanding about the inter-

a 3 or higher on AP exams.

section of race and education to make

towards racial equity.

Without the clear commitment

decisions about important district-wide

of the school board, the superinten-

equity initiatives in order to approve

The school board must have

dent will be unable to make large-

the expenditures for the large-scale

a strong commitment to

scale, systemic changes that will

changes. Data must be disaggregated

impact the district. The board will

by race.


racial equity. Members of the school board

need to be solid in its commitment

School board members should

must be willing to commit to creat-

to the importance of racial equity

understand the community and rele-

ing a school culture that embraces

work and endorse the efforts of the

vant demographic data as well, includ-

and implements racial equity prac-

superintendent to move forward.

ing housing patterns and the history of

tices, with board members holding themselves accountable to progress towards equity. A key example is Evanston

these housing patterns. They should be


Adopt an Equity Statement.

able to discern where most people of

The Equity Statement will

color live in the community and what

serve as a guidepost for the

schools students of color attend. Data

Township High School (ETHS). In

equity work of the district and

can help school board members discuss

2010, ETHS dramatically changed

provide the framework to focus on

and ask questions about achievement

its curriculum for incoming fresh-

racial equity at every level. This

patterns: which student groups partic-

man-year students. ETHS de-tracked

statement is meant to guide the

ipate in various programs, the racial

freshman humanities classes (English

equity work and is not an actual

make-up of classes, who is in special

and history) and biology. The goal of this dramatic change was to remove barriers that historically caused the under-representation of students

As long as race, class, and ethnicity continue to be

of color in Honors and Advanced

strong predictors of student achievement, college

Placement (AP) classes. The district

success, and successful life experiences, school board

believed that students who have

members must work within their school systems

access to, and are successful in, highly rigorous courses have greater

to identify barriers and obstacles to opportunity,

opportunities to be accepted to, and

interrupt their negative impact, and eliminate

successful in, colleges and universi-

persistent disparities in student outcomes.

ties. Moreover, they will have a greater likelihood of successful life experiences in general. Since there was so much dialogue regarding these changes, the

policy. Samples of the statements

education, who participates in extra-

school board’s public commitment

ETHS has developed can be found

curricular activities and clubs, atten-

empowered the superintendent to


dance patterns, graduation rates, and

move forward. In the last five years,


which students are being disciplined

there has been a 61 percent increase in the number of African American students taking AP courses, with 91 percent of them earning a 3 or


most and why. Identify trends that

Know your district

run through the school district and


community. Be aware of classes and

School board members should

activities that tend to be comprised of

higher on the AP exams. There has

know the racial demographics of the

been a 48 percent increase in the

district — both staff and students.

At this level, try to avoid explain-

number of Latinx students taking

It is necessary for the board to have a

ing or excusing why you believe these


racially homogeneous students.

#ILjac17 9

disparities exist. There are many

lear ning in school systems. A s

is sponsored by the Pacific Educa-

theories and opinions that you will

school board members become

tional Group. Seeking Educational

review, debate, and consider. What

awa re of t hei r ow n i nd iv idu a l

Equity and Diversity (SEED) is a

truly matters is the board having

biases, they will reflect upon their

professional development oppor-

the determination to address the

personal life experiences. This will

tunity designed to create equitable

disparities. Consequently, it is

equip them to determine how these

experiences and outcomes for all

important to have a clear under-

experiences have shaped those

students and staff. Find and attend

standing of your district and the

biases and how they have affected

workshops on unconscious bias and

breakdown of the experiences of

interactions with others. They will

culturally competent pedagogy in

racial groups in your community.

develop better ability to weigh and

educational institutions. These

consider the perspectives of others.

trainings will provide you with tools

School board members

Be ready to share your perspectives

to undertake your personal jour-

must be willing to engage


and listen thoughtfully and respon-

ney and will give you a context and

in their own personal journey

sibly to colleagues and community

language to engage in courageous

to expand their knowledge and


conversations about race.

understanding of issues of race.

Engage in formal training such

These board trainings should

The first critical step of this

as Beyond Diversity and SEED.

be done as a group with facilita-

journey is expanding your racial

Beyond Diversity is a powerful,

tor-led discussions to debrief and

consciousness. Unconscious biases

two-day seminar designed to help

follow-up. School board members

influence institutional and struc-

participants understand the impact

will be encouraged to challenge the

tural racism and impact student

of race in academic institutions and

internal and external systems — that have been in place for decades in the district and in the community — that maintain the disparities between students of color and white students. The trainings develop the capacity to systematically change and challenge insensitive policies that serve to impede the success of students of color. It is essential that school board members take

IASB — A nationwide search with Illinois experience

training and courageous conversations about race to deepen their

• IASB works with the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS), with over 110 consultants located in 40 states

understanding of how the district’s

• NASS annually assists hundreds of districts and school boards with superintendent and other administrative searches

school district.

• Illinois searches with IASB include serving 192 school districts in 70 different counties, from 2009-2016 Contact IASB, your local search professional, to find out more: 217/528-9688 or 630/629-3776, ext. 1217,


t he ti me to enga ge i n ongoi ng

governing body can create a more welcoming and culturally conscious In addition, consider a book study to help further the school b o a rd ’s le a r n i n g a b o ut r a c i a l impact. A list of suggested titles is below, but it is not an exhaustive list. It is essential to make a point to review relevant literature


board member, dream and create a different narrative, a counter-narrative with different outcomes. For example, if your district is separating students by “ability level” in classes, look at the traditions and the outcomes of this. Challenge the policies and practices that maintain and uphold this. Look at where students are separated by race and talk to your superintendent and board colleagues about the impact and outcome of these separations. Consider how to work backward to dismantle the structures that hold this together.


As a board, commit to develop goals and policies

with a strong equity lens, and identify and dismantle the policies that support the disparities. Because every student in your district deserves the right to excel, be compelled to assure that all students have an opportunity to achieve. As school board members, we must

on institutional racism and class

identifying the structures that hold

ensure that students are on track

bias in public schools. In addition,

them together. Finding these dispar-

to graduate and attend college and/

attend lectures and find articles

ities will lead you to determine the

or pursue successful careers. This

that are written about your com-

structures that support these dis-

accountability to all learners means

munity, various cultures, and topics

parities. Because you are consider-

that we promote high academic stan-

around equity to read as a board

ing the history of the district and

dards and outcomes for all, embrac-

and discuss at board meetings. It

community, you may be learning

ing and accommodating differing

is important for the staff and com-

about the long trends and decades

characteristics of the students,

munity to see the board engage in

of patterns set. In addition, some of

always having high expectations

this learning process.

these patterns have been in place for

for all students, not just for some.

a long time; therefore it is difficult

Thus, an equitable education that

Be able to initiate and create

for many to see them as problemat-

will increase each student’s academic

structural changes that

ic. Tradition and customs are often

and functional trajectory to realize

challenge the status quo and

named as “reasons” for patterns that

college/career readiness and inde-

support equity for all.

usually support racial inequities. In

pendence should be included in the

Look at the areas of disparities

collaboration with the superinten-

goals. Striving to eliminate the pre-

within your district with the goal of

dent and within your role as school

dictability of academic achievement




based upon race should be embedded

Highly qualified staff and facilities

student academic performance,

within the mission, goals, and vision

— including learning environments,

discipline, attendance, dropout

of the district.

technology, and instructional support

and graduation rates, involvement

— should be dispersed with racial

in extracurricular activities, special

Fiscal accountability:

equity considerations. The distribu-

education classification, and access

Change the school budget

tion of resources in an equitable and

to student services. Identify areas

options to prevent disparities.


fair manner assures that all learners

of inequity in student success and

Every district is facing challeng-

have equal opportunity to achieve

participation, disaggregating data

es and threats that could impact its

high academic standards. Equitable

by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic

financial stability. School board

allocations of resources is paramount

status, gender, disability, and English

members should partner with the

to equity in a school district.

language proficiency. Develop statis-

superintendent and collaborate with the chief financial officer to assure that equitable resources are allotted for all students. Be certain that all


tical measures to assess equity in

Be data informed.

these areas. Remember, the patterns

Require the superintendent

established have been in place for

to develop inclusion practices and

decades if not hundreds of years. It

funding, staffing, materials, equip-

methods to measure, report, inter-

is unlikely that disparities will dis-

ment, facilities, space, school trips,

pret, and analyze data regularly for

appear within a few years.

and all other resources are carefully

the purpose of improvement and

Recognize and understand the

established with an equity-based lens.

transparency. Examine data on

intersection of race, socioeconomics,

Using technology to enhance your board effectiveness through online services, such as

Policy Services

PRESS, the IASB sample policy and procedure service – Use the newly upgraded interface and navigation tools to receive 24/7 internet access to PRESS, IASB’s sample board policy and administrative procedure service. Find the information you need quickly and easily with our powerful search engine and the legal, informational, and time-saving links embedded in the policies and procedures. School Board Policies Online – Let IASB publish your board policy manual online and easily navigate your manual with keyword searches, jumps to cross references, and links to legal references by using the same newly upgraded interface and navigation tools used for PRESS online. Place the IASB-supplied link to your manual on your district website to provide increased community access and awareness of your district’s governing document. BoardBook® – Learn about the advantages of electronic board packet preparation made possible through use of IASB’s BoardBook® service by scheduling a demonstration for yourself, your administrators, or your entire board.

Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1154; or



mobility, gender, and sexual ori-

Develop allies by partnering with

incorporate their thoughts into the

entation/identity through district

community organizations such as

plan may transform these critics into

data. Determine how you will gain

local universities, faith-based insti-


evidence of success, and be willing to

tutions, and city government to pro-

Most important, do not lose your

make changes or tweaks if the data

mote racial equity in the district.

focus or your resolve to do what is

indicates the need to do so.

Invite members of these groups to

right for all students. Every student

the school for training and other

deserves to have access to the best

Develop partnerships and

professional development activities

opportunities and the best educa-

allies to achieve equity.

to model this work, and encourage

tion we can provide in our schools.


Communicate clearly through-

other agencies and organizations to

When our schools are lacking equity,

out the community the district’s

implement similar goals and strate-

we are obligated to address inequi-

strategies and efforts to promote

gies in their organizations.

ties or we are failing to do our jobs

equity, diversity, and a safe environment. Acknowledge challenges and problems where they exist within the district and the history behind


properly. Our students are relying Expect opposition. Change is difficult and

not always welcomed by everyone.

on us to assure equity for them in our schools. That is the purpose of public education.

the patterns of disparities. Elicit

Many will engage in vocal discus-

“Ethics and equity and the prin-

community support for racial equi-

sions and conversations about

ciples of justice do not change with

ty. Celebrate successes and accom-

racial disparities, but proposals

the calendar.”

plishments of all students and staff,

for structural and policy changes

particularly those who don’t often

towards dismantling what has been

get the spotlight.

in place for decades are not often

— D. H. Lawrence Suggested reading

Find a way to focus specifi-

met with universal approval. This

cally on programs for parents and

can divide a community as there is

Between the World and Me by

gu ard ia ns of ch i ldren who are

significant controversy surround-

Courageous Conversations

struggling in school, or who are

ing racial equity work. This does

About Race : A Field G uide for

experiencing lower rates of suc-

not help the equity-centered school

Achieving Equity in Schools by

cess and participation in school.

board members or superintendents

Glenn Singleton

Reach out to parents who do not

gain confidence. Board members are

Despite the Best Intentions:

typically come to school or speak

elected officials and members of the

How Racial Inequality Thrives in

at meetings. Ask parents how they

community. The fact that this con-

Good Schools by John Diamond and

feel most comfortable connecting

troversy is almost exclusively gen-

Amanda Lewis

with your school and be willing

erated by white parents, educators,

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incar-

to make changes to meet their

policymakers, and other community

ceration in the Age of Colorblind-

needs. It could be that joining the

stakeholders, most of whom have

ness by Michelle Alexander

PTA, for example, does not work

never personally engaged in racial

Waking Up White, and Finding

for all parents. Identify what does

equity training, presents another

Myself in the Story of Race by Debby

work for them. Work with staff to

significant challenge.


Ta-Nehisi Coates

make sure these parents feel they

While it is important to contin-

What Does It Mean To Be White?

are welcome in school and see

ue engaging with them as commu-

Developing White Racial Literacy

the school as working on behalf

nity members, employ careful and

by Robin DiAngelo

of their students’ best interests.

thoughtful responses and strategies.

Why Are All The Black Kids

Promote parent involvement as the

Listening to their concerns, provid-

Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

cornerstone of students’ success

ing opportunities to share and hear

(20th Century edition) by Beverly

in all facets of school life.

other perspectives, and working to

Daniel Tatum




Coming to terms By Theresa Kelly Gegen

Theresa Kelly Gegen is editor of The Illinois School Board Journal.


t’s a relatable image, and a

commitment to bringing about

individuals, in organizations, and

familiar one to those embarking

equitable and empowering change

in our society as a whole.”

on a study of equality and equity:

to organizations, our communities,

Hack man redefines busi-

three people of different heights,

and our society as a whole.” When

ness-as-usual as institutional rac-

usually children, trying to peer over

she speaks of “The Urgency of Now:

ism and acknowledges that it makes

a fence. What each can see depends

Developing and Utilizing an Equity

people uncomfortable — in having

on how tall they are and what size

Lens for 21st Century Education,”

existing systems challenged and in

boxes they have to boost them.

her work starts with coming to

being part of a system that is unjust. But it’s a necessary discomfort.

Heather W. Hackman, a featured

terms with a framework centered on

speaker at IASB’s upcoming Equity

social justice and equity, as opposed

“Why? The long-term answer

Event, isn’t a fan of this image — she

to diversity or cultural competency.

is, because this is untenable in

calls it “tired” but for the purposes

“Diversity work is fantastic for

education,” Hackman says. “We

of dicussion, she’s willing to work

what it’s designed to do, and that is

aren’t learning the real history,

with it and, indeed, take it a step

to create awareness and apprecia-

we aren’t able to make engaged

farther. If equality is when every

tion of difference. And we need that

decisions. We need to drill down

child has the same box, and equity

in our society,” Hackman says. “But

into the system and structures,

is when each has what they need

it’s not enough to substitute diversi-

because that’s what’s killing these

to see, then social justice is getting

ty work for social justice and equi-


rid of the boxes and “tearing the

ty. It’s not a sufficient substitute,

Hackman acknowledges anoth-

fence down.”

because social justice and equity

er, more practical discomfort: “It’s

Hackman’s team at Hackman

work does what diversity does not:

a lens, not a list. People want a list.

Consulting Group has an “unyielding

it looks at systems, power, privilege,

Developing a lens is harder than

and access to resources.

developing a list. We must funda-

Hack ma n says the sa me is true for cultural competency —



Courtesy of the Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire. and


mentally shift how we view these dynamics.”

cross-cultural skill development.

It’s harder, but for school dis-

It ’s wor thwhi le, fant a stic, and

tricts, each in a unique situation

invaluable in society. But it too,

relative to equity and social justice

does not look at systems, power,

work, it’s better.

privilege, and access to resources.

“Starting in the right spot,”

The only framework that can

Hackman says, “means every dis-

address the issues — the big-scale

trict can engage and work their way

issues like sexism, and classism,

into this concept at their local lev-

and racism, is a social justice and

el. The framework and cognition is

equity framework. That is the path-

non-negotiable, but how they apply

way to create substantive change, in

it is.”


! Y A D




What, Why, and How of Equity Issues in Education This unique learning event for IASB school board members and superintendents will address the “what, why, and how” of equity issues in education and provide an opportunity to •

Understand the various equity issues present in public education (including race, socio-economic, gender, etc.)

Gain insight and practical applications from Illinois school districts actively working on equity issues.

Learn critical steps for developing and implementing an equity approach in school board work.

Be inspired by one man’s personal journey of resilience, determination, and vision.

There is no charge to attend this event designed exclusively for IASB school board members and their superintendents.

Speakers: Presenting school districts: • Berwyn North SD 98 • Joliet PSD 86 • River Forest SD 90 • Evanston THSD 202 • Evanston/Skokie SD 65

Dr. Heather Hackman

Steve Pemberton

Corrie Wallace

April 28, 2018, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Hyatt Regency Lisle •

1400 Corporetum Drive • Lisle, IL 60532

Register online at For more information contact Peggy Goone,, 217/528-9866 ext. 1103.

School board members receive one credit in the LeaderShop Academy program.




From division, towards unity By Dan Naumovich

Dan Naumovich is a freelance journalist based in Springfield.


believe that all things are possi-

Last year, Carson was elected

MacArthur high schools. It was a

ble. I’m certainly a believer of sec-

to his first term as a member of the

brief altercation that resulted in no

ond chances. I just want to see people

Decatur Public Schools Board of Edu-

serious injuries, but in accordance

better. I want to see the world better.”

cation. It’s the same district that he

with the district’s then “zero toler-

Reverend Courtney Carson

attended as a child and young man,

ance” policy, the students received

relayed that sentiment after telling

back when he was troubled and con-

an automatic two-year expulsion.

the story of how he almost didn’t get

fused, and oftentimes angry. It was

That’s when the battle really began.

his second chance, at a moment in

then, as a high school student, that

The community quickly became

his life when he needed it most. But

he found himself caught in the mid-

divided on the appropriateness of

because someone refused to give up

dle of a controversy that reverberated

the disciplinary action. Headlines

on him, a countless number of people

throughout the nation.

coming out of Decatur eventually

are better off today thanks to the

In 1999, Carson and six other

reached Chicago, where the Rever-

lessons he learned growing up, and

students were involved in a fight

end Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push

his unique ability to teach them to

while attending a football game

organization is headquartered. The

others in need.

between Decatur’s Eisenhower and

“Decatur Seven,” as the expelled students came to be called, caught the attention of Jackson, at the time the nation’s most prominent proponent for civil justice. He and busloads of his supporters descended upon Decatur to protest the school district’s decision. And with them came the national spotlight. “I wasn’t familiar with Reverend Jackson at the time, but when I saw the man, he had a halo over his head. There was a glow. He had this ‘it’ factor and an authority when he spoke,” Carson said. To Jackson and his supporters, the Decatur Seven presented a case study of how society views minorities

Reverend Courtney Carson shares the lessons of experience with his hometown of Decatur. Photo courtesy of Reverend Carson


as expendable, and its willingness to forfeit their future by taking away the


opportunity to earn a high school

individual to work with kids, and I

potential and promise, the different

diploma. For those defending the

don’t think I’m that person,’” he said,

dimensions of human existence that

expulsions, the hardline stance was

with a laugh.

shape people.”

necessary to maintaining discipline

If he doubted the suitability

Carson’s brand of self-improve-

and eliminating disruptive influences

of his temperament to work with

ment goes well beyond encouraging

that hinder the educational process.

children, he never once questioned

words and pats on the back. He’s a

The controversy brewed, at one

the call he heard to do so. Carson

student of psychology, with a deep

point leading to a two-day closing of

answered by becoming actively

interest in the complexities of the

all three Decatur high schools over

involved — as a preacher, teacher,

human condition and how people

fears of civil dissent. Eventually,

and mentor in preparing young peo-

interact with one another. This curi-

then-Governor George Ryan inter-

ple for life and providing them the

osity has resulted in insights that

vened and a compromise was reached

wisdom and courage to pursue their

serve him well as a member of a

in which the expulsion was reduced


school board that must look out for

to a single year, during which time

“When I really took a look at

the best interests of students from

the students would be provided an

young people’s lives and how they’re

diverse backgrounds and with dif-

opportunity for alternative education.

easily led astray and feel unloved and

ferent abilities.

The decision wasn’t immedi-

unappreciated, I decided that I had

“For a straight-A student who is

ately life-changing for Carson, who

to do something about it,” Carson

used to success, a single bad grade

continued to struggle in school, and

said. “So this provided an opportuni-

can be detrimental to their confi-

with the law. He also still didn’t fully

ty to expand on the work that I do on

dence. For a kid who lives in poverty,

grasp the magnitude of the national conversation that he had helped spark. But after the TV cameras and reporters left Decatur, he was aware that Jackson was still by his side. His continuing advice and encouragement instilled in Carson the will to persevere. “Reverend Jackson took us under his wing to show us a dif-

IASB Field Services offers board development opportunities for board and superintendent teams in YOUR district.

Field Services

ferent side of life. He really helped me,” Carson said. “The fight and the expulsion definitely changed my life. But the response to all of that really provided me a positive understanding of what life can be. If I hadn’t been threatened with expulsion and the reverend hadn’t come, I don’t know where I’d be today.” His journey from expelled and indifferent student to respected school board member isn’t the only unlikely turn that his life has taken. “I can’t help but to love kids.

Model continuous learning Commit to continuous improvement Call your IASB field services director today! Springfield: 217/528-9688 Lombard: 630/629-3776

But I always said, ‘it takes a special


March/April 2017


Reverend Courtney Carson combines experiences in national civil justice issues with local application of trauma studies and motivational interviewing. Photos courtesy of Reverend Carson


much of the trauma they experi-

Carson is also a big believer in

ence comes from the things they

the use of Motivational Interviewing

know if they’ll get dinner tonight,”

bring in from outside the school,”

(MI) in teacher/student interactions.

When Carson got his life turned

he said.

Carson said.

MI is a goal-oriented technique for

around and graduated from college,

The impact of trauma on the

promoting behavioral changes by

he planned a move to Atlanta. He had

ability to learn is of special interest

asking open-ended questions to

no desire to return to the scene of his

to Carson, and a major concern in

engage students, while also provid-

earlier life, but Jackson told him that

a school district where the major-

ing affirmations.

that is exactly what he should do.

ity of students live in poverty. Six

“I believe when teachers chal-

Coming back home made him realize

years ago, he went to Washington

lenge themselves and utilize moti-

how much he loved the community.

D.C. for training on how to recog-

vational interviewing, then they

Despite this commitment to his

nize the trauma behind a person’s

get the best out of the student,”

hometown, he was initially reluctant

actions and decisions, and how to

Carson said. “It’s a therapeutic

when people first started encourag-

connect with them on a personal

approach and a form of counseling.

ing him to run for school board, to

level. Teachers in Decatur public

You become an aid in the change

bring a fresh perspective and share

schools have since received similar

process and express acceptance of

his unique expertise. But as with so


the student. It’s a way of interact-

many decisions before, his mind was

“I love that we have trauma-in-

ing with substance, especially when

changed when he received a sign.

formed schools,” Carson said. “Our

dealing with a student experiencing

teachers are getting training on recog-


After tentatively throwing his hat in the ring, the lottery that

nizing trauma because it’s such a scary

With MI, the goal is to encour-

determined the order candidates’

thing. You might have a child in your

age students to “win” the present

names would appear on the ballot

class worried about when he’s going to

moment, rather than focusing on

placed him fourth on the list. While

get his next meal. How can he learn

the long-term consequences of their

most politicians covet the top spot,

when he knows that the electricity

negative behavior. By doing so, the

Carson saw providence in his draw.

might not be on when he gets home?

student becomes better prepared to

“The election was on the fourth

How can we expect him to focus on his

win the next time a situation arises.

day, of the fourth month. There were

work when there’s someone at home

“Threatening a student with

four open seats. That was enough

who’s molesting him? That student is

the possibility of not graduating in

being disobedient because his brain

a few years isn’t going to mean too

After his first year as a board

is being numbed by the trauma.”

much to someone who doesn’t even

member, Carson is pleased with the

for me,” he said.


direction the district is heading. The

action be placed in an alternative

church in Joliet, to speak to students

district is currently working closely

education setting. The practice of

and congregations. He also played a

with the community on a new stra-

putting people in an empty room

big role at an event at Antioch that

tegic plan, and a residency rule has

with nothing to do to serve out a

brought together five area churches

been passed for district employees.

detention is akin to tossing them in

to honor the civil rights leader.

Decatur SD 61 has also hired a direc-

a holding cell at the county jail, an

“I spent a lot of time determining

tor of curriculum to bring consisten-

experience that instills in them a

how to best articulate the spirit of

cy to the coursework being offered at

sense of hopelessness.

Dr. King to an audience so they could

different schools so that when stu-

In January of this year, Reverend

gain a better understanding of who

dents transfer, they don’t fall behind.

Carson had more on his plate than

he was,” Carson said. “And to convey

He credits these accomplish-

usual. In addition to his job as a busi-

my own personal charge to assassi-

ments, at least in part, to the unity

ness developer for the Springfield

nate racism by activating love,

that has been established among

Urban League, his duties as associ-

moment by moment. I want to see

board members.

ate minister at Antioch Missionary

the white brothers and sisters, and

“We’ve been able to for m a

Baptist Church, and his work mento-

the black brothers and sisters, and

bond. Not that we don’t have some

ring young men through his 20 Men

however else people like to identify

strong arguments in closed sessions,

organization, Carson found himself

themselves, to come together and

but those usually produce the best

in demand at Martin Luther King Day

practice unity. That’s the one thing

results. And everyone is working

events. He traveled to Blackburn Col-

we seldom try, but when we do, we

towards a common goal — to edu-

lege in Carlinville, and up north to a

always see progress.”

cate our children,” he said. As for the issue that cast a cloud over the school district all those years ago, the defenders of the Decatur Seven may have finally found the justice they had sought. In 2015, Illinois passed Senate Bill 100, legislation that eliminates public school “zero tolerance” policies regarding suspensions and expulsions, along with implementing other reforms. The bill

A new in-district workshop available now

Monitoring District Performance: Saying What We Mean & Doing What We Say

received wide bipartisan support.

Where do we say it?

“SB 100 is doing a phenomenal

Our written board policy manual!

job in making sure that our kids

How do we know if we are doing it? By effectively

remain in a position to receive an education. I’m wholeheartedly a

monitoring our board policy!

supporter of that law,” Carson said. “That wasn’t offered to me when I was in school. There was no alternative plan for the seven of us. When we were expelled, we were expelled out of an education. We couldn’t even go to the public library.” Carson believes that it is crucial that students facing disciplinary

Contact your IASB field services director or a policy consultant today for more information! Springfield: 217/528-9688 Lombard: 630/629-3776




Towards a more perfect state: Teacher diversity in Illinois By Theresa Kelly Gegen

Theresa Kelly Gegen is editor of The Illinois School Board Journal.


n 2016, National Public Radio

Nationa l ly, wh ite st udent s

are slightly less diverse than their

p ubl i she d a “p er fe c t st at e

are 48 percent of public school

national cohort: 80 percent of pub-

index,” based on a premise that

enrollees, followed by Hispanic

lic school teachers in the U.S. are

used race, education, age, income,

(27 percent), African-American


and religion to consider which state

students (16 percent), and Asian

should “go first” in national elec-

(6 percent).

For those curious about gender demographics, 77 percent of Illinois

tions. Equal parts data journalism,

In Illinois 83 percent of the

teachers are female and 23 percent

sociological study, and election

state’s 130,000 teachers are white,

are male; these percentages have

news, the story placed Illinois atop

6 percent are black, another 6 per-

not changed since 2008.

the “perfect state index” and named

cent are Hispanic, and 2 percent

A lthoug h there are more

it the winner of the “most average”

Asian. Although these percentages

minority teachers in the U.S. now

award. The Land of Lincoln “won”

are mostly unchanged over the past

than 10 years ago, it’s not keeping

primarily because the index gave

10 years, there is a slight decrease

up with the increasingly diverse

extra weight to each state’s racial

in the percentage of black teach-

student population. For Illinois’

composition as a strong indicator

ers since 2008. Illinois teachers

teacher population to match its

of likely voter behavior. And Illinois population “closely mirrors that country’s racial portrait … almost perfectly.” What’s not perfect is that Illi-



nois, like most states, has a gap




between the racial diversity of its



student population, and that of its teachers.


25% HISPANIC 6% 49% WHITE 83%

The numbers Enrollment of students in Illinois public schools reached the minori-


ty-majority mark in 2014, and that




mark holds true today. According




to Illinois School Report Card data,

27% HISPANIC 20%

of the state’s 2 million public school




students, 49 percent are white, 25 percent Hispanic, 17 percent black, and 5 percent Asian. 20

Data source: Illinois School Report Card data THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL / MARCH-APRIL 2018

“perfect” racial and ethnic diver-

in the Journal’s “Rigor to Reali-

between different ethnic and racial

sity, public education in the state

ty” series, changes to the “rigor”


wou ld need 14,000 more black

of the requirements for admission

According to “High hopes and

teachers and 28,000 more Hispanic

to teacher preparation programs

harsh realities: The real challenges


resulted in the “reality” of a dra-

to building a diverse workforce,” by

I n a 2 016 rep or t , t he U. S .

matic decline in candidates, espe-

Hannah Putman, Michael Hansen,

Department of Education noted,

cially minority candidates seeking

Kate Walsh, and Diana Quintero,

“Diversity decreases at multiple

an education degree.

published by the Brown Center on

points across the teacher pipeline in which teachers progress through

Education Policy at the Brookings Why does it matter?

Institution and the National Council

postsecondary education, teacher

Addressing the teacher/student

on Teacher Quality:

preparation programs, and reten-

diversity gap addresses the achieve-

“F irst, sa me -race matches

tion.” There are fewer minority

ment gap that is the persistent dif-

between students and teachers are

students enrolled in education

ference in academic performance

associated with greater student

programs, and “bachelor’s degree completion rates for students who major in education are lower for black and Hispanic students than


for white students.” The report


a d d it ion a l ly not e d t h at fewer minority students, especially black students, are choosing education a s a major, compared to other

Policy Reference Education Subscription Service

majors. This is cyclical: minority children without minority teachers may not recognize education as a career path. Illinois has a teacher shortage



Say to paper & to a digital, full-maintenance policy updating service!

on top of and including a shortage of minority teachers. The pathways are imperfect as well. In Illinois teacher preparation programs, the most recent data available show 74 percent (10,142 of 13,797) of the individuals enrolled in Illinois teacher preparation programs were white, 11 percent Hispanic/Latino and 6 percent black. Intensifying

With a PRESS Plus subscription, we will clearly identify suggested updates (based on PRESS) for your unique district policies and incorporate board-adopted changes into your manual, saving your staff valuable time.

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the problem is that, since 2012, the number of students in Illinois teacher prepa ration prog ra ms dropped from 18,000 in 2012-2013 to under 14,000 in 2014-2015. The situation was exacerbated in Illinois

Policy Services

Contact Angie Powell at 217/528-9688, ext. 1154 or for more info.

in 2010. As James Rosborg noted



achievement … Next, same-race

may have also led to teacher short-

research at hand to again enhance

teachers are more likely to view

ages. African-American and His-

the field of education,” as stated in

students’ behaviors and prospects

panic parents and families value

the “Rigor to Reality” series.

in a positive light. … Finally, stu-

having teachers of color who can

NPR’s Perfect State Index plac-

dent behaviors and attitudes are

help mentor, guide, and serve as

es its hig hest pr ior ity on race,

also associated with teacher race.

role models. Sadly, black students

“because it often correlates with

Students assigned to a same-race

have but a few — if any — teachers

income, education, and, perhaps

teacher have significantly fewer

who can fill these roles. It is often

even religion.” For Illinois K-12

absences and suspensions, and

difficult for non-minority teachers

schooling to exist in a “more per-

are less likely to be chronically

to build relationships with black

fect state” of matching the diver-


students. In some cases, non-mi-

sity of its teacher population with

Add itiona l ly, a 2016 study

nority teachers are not afforded

that of its students, will take time,

demonstrates the importance of

the opportunity to work with black

effort, and change.

minority teacher recruitment and

peers who would be instrumental

retention. In “The Importance of

in assisting them in working with


Minority Teachers: Student Per-

black students.”

NPR’s “Most perfect index” article can be read here: www.npr. org/2016/01/29/464250335/ the-perfect-state-index-if-iowa-n-h-aretoo-white-to-go-first-then-who

ceptions of Minority Versus White Teachers,” researchers Hua-Yu


Potential for change

Sebastian Cherng and Peter F. Halpin

Nationally, closing the teacher/

said, “we find that students perceive

student diversity gap will require

minority teachers more favorably

“substantial patches to the teach-

than white teachers [and] there is

er pipeline,” according to “High

mixed evidence that race matching

hopes and harsh realities,” and even

is linked with more favorable student

then, it won’t be a quick fix. The


study offers suggestions aimed at

Another study indicates that

closing the gap (although strongly

black teachers, in this case ele-

suggesting there won’t be a perfect

me nt a r y s c ho o lt e a c her s , c a n

match for decades if ever): hiring

improve outcomes for black stu-

and retaining more minority teach-

dents. “The Long-Run Impacts of

ers, increasing the proportion of

Same-R ace Teachers,” by Con-

minority college students inter-

stance Lindsay, found having a

ested in teaching, and increasing

black teacher in the third through

college graduation rates for those

fifth grades “significantly reduced


the probability of dropping out of

Addressing the teacher short-

high school among low-income

age in general, the Illinois Council

black males by seven percentage

of Professors of Educational Admin-

points, or 39 percent.”

istration is seeking to “Increase the

IASB Field Services Director

overall candidate pool and strength-

Patrick R ice, leading a team of

en the overall professional quality

writers on a piece for Black His-

of the education workforce.” In

tory Month, said, “Reforms … may

doing so, it encourages “… leaders

have led to a third generation of

in the state of Illinois to look at the

racial, ethnic, and socio-economic

current regulatory rules and make

segregation in public schools, but

the proper adjustments using the

Illinois School Report Card: aspx?source=profile&Stateid=IL “High hopes and harsh realities: The real challenges to building a diverse workforce,” by Hannah Putman, Michael Hansen, Kate Walsh, and Diana Quintero published by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the National Council on Teacher Quality, August 2016. uploads/2016/08/ browncenter_ 20160818_ teacherdiversityreportpr_hansen.pdf Read more on the “From rigor to reality, revisited: State regulation and its impact on teacher, administrator ed candidates,” by James Rosborg in the March/ April 2016 and July/August 2017 issues of The Illinois School Board Journal: journal/j070817_04.cfm. Sources for national data asp?id=372 pdf/10.3102/0013189X16671718 racial-diversity/ state-racial-diversity-workforce.pdf uploads/2016/08/browncenter_ 20160818_teacherdiversityreportpr_hansen.pdf



Our schools have an equity problem: What should we do about it? By Danielle Gonzales and Ross Wiener


hat is educational equity,

poverty is at its lowest since the

whereby all students have

ESEA was enacted.

Much has changed even since the passage of ESSA. The last year

equal access to opportunities for a

In 1960, 85.7 percent of public

brought not only a new president and

high-quality education? What does

school students were white. Today,

a new U.S. secretary of education,

it look like when it’s successful, and

according to estimates from the

but also a documented increase in

what does it take to achieve it? These

National Center for Education Sta-

racial tension and hate crimes, sever-

questions have been driving our work

tistics, the majority of public school

al high-profile police shootings, and

at the Aspen Institute’s Education &

students are students of color. More

a number of state legislative bodies

Society Program for the past several

than half of public school students

that have or are considering “bath-

years, and even more so for the last

also qualify for subsidized meals

room bills” affecting transgender

18 months, as the result of a shift in

because of low family income. In

individuals’ ability to use the bath-

the federal role in public education

2014, 20 percent of school-age

room that matches their identity.

and concerns from the state leaders

children were in families living in

And the stubborn persistence of

with whom we work.

poverty, and children of color are

disparities in student opportunities

For most of the last half-century,

more than twice as likely as their

and outcomes remains.

the role of the federal government

white counterparts to be poor. By

What would true education equi-

has been to protect “the education

any objective measure, inside and

ty look like? One thing is certain:

of disadvantaged children,” as artic-

outside schools, public education

State leaders would need to play

ulated in the original Elementary and

has not served these students ade-

a key role. Even before ESSA was

Secondary Education Act of 1965

quately or equitably.

enacted, states had primary authori-

(ESEA). The bipartisan passage of

These challenges have an effect

ty for education as enshrined in each

the Every Student Succeeds Act

on students’ academics. The 2015

state’s constitution. As the federal

(ESSA), in 2015, maintains several

average reading scores of black and

role recedes, this generation of state

components of earlier versions of the

Latino U.S. students on the Program

education leaders will write a crucial

ESEA, but it also gives more flexibili-

for International Student Assessment

chapter, with profound implications

ty and responsibility to state leaders

fall below the U.S. average and are

for equity and broader implications

to define accountability and deter-

comparable with some developing

for our country and society. They

mine the interventions and supports

countries. And in 2013, students

will redefine state education policy,

for underperforming schools.

from high-income families were eight

as federal rules become less pre-

Just as our federal education

times more likely to have a bachelor’s

scriptive and federal political cover

laws have changed and evolved, so

degree by age 24 than their peers


too have our nation’s demographics.

from low-income families, according

Defining a clear state role in edu-

It is significant that the federal role is

to a 2015 report from the Pell Insti-

cational equity is not a small task.

downsized just as economic inequal-

tute for the Study of Opportunity in

To do this, we must get past talking

ity is at its highest and mobility from

Higher Education.

about and around equity and address


Danielle Gonzales is the assistant director for policy at the Washingtonbased Aspen Institute’s Education & Society Program. Ross Wiener is the institute’s vice president and the executive director of the Education & Society Program.


it directly. This is among the first rec-

and in the leadership of education

public education. We heard support

ommendations in our recent report,

reform organizations.

for charters, choice, and vouchers;

“Leading for Equity,” which was pub-

Inequity, education leaders told

and we heard concern that those

lished in partnership with the Coun-

us, is reflected in the presence of

policies can drain resources from

cil of Chief State School Officers, or

inexperienced or ineffective teach-

traditional public schools.

CCSSO, in February. To develop this

ers or a revolving door of substitutes

And then we asked for ideas about

report, which identifies 10 priority

in the classrooms of low-income

how to upend inequity. To facilitate

areas and 68 discrete actions state

students and students of color.

these discussions, we used a com-

leaders can take to address inequity,

Inequity is kids of color not having

mon definition of equity, used by the

we interviewed dozens of education

access to rigorous, relevant, and

National Equity Project: “Educational

leaders at the school, community,

culturally sustaining curricula or

equity means that each child receives

district, state, and national levels,

advanced courses. We heard about

what he or she needs to develop to

who represent broad demographic

dangerous schools and dilapidated

his or her full academic and social

and political diversity.

facilities, computers, books, and

potential.” We agree: Equity is about

We asked school leaders to

gym equipment. Many described a

giving every student what they need,

define and describe equity and

patent unfairness inside our public

not giving every student the same.

i n e q u it y i n t h e i r ow n t e r m s .

institutions, which they defined

In thinking about this work, it

There was no one answer. Equity

a s im mora l, demea n ing of ou r

is also important to acknowledge

is weighted student-funding for-

democratic values, and ultimately

that our schools and administra-

mulas; students having the social

undermining of our shared econom-

tive offices are full of committed

capital to have someone review

ic prosperity and growth.

and hard-working leaders giving

their college applications ; and

There was also disagreement.

it everything they’ve got. We need

students having school access to

We heard from some leaders who

them to continue that. We also need

recreational facilities and health

thought a focus on students of color

to support them.

care. Equity is having people of

and low-income students was detri-

We are excited to have been a

color represented in political office

mental to the universal mission of

part of these conversations so far and look forward to continuing the dialogue, so that together we can make sure that every student truly succeeds in education and in life. We hope to encourage a larger conversation — one that includes more voices. It’s true that ESSA provides opportunities for us to try new approaches to getting equity right, but it is not enough. We all must do more. Editor’s Note This commentary first appeared in “Education Week” on May 31, 2017 and was reprinted with permission from the authors. Learn more about the Aspen Institute’s Education & Society Program at education-and-society-program/.




continued from page 28

Delbert Hack man, 98, died

Virginia Larsen, 84, died Janu-

Oronzo Peconio, 67, died January

December 24, 2017. He served on the

ary 26, 2018. She previously served

14, 2018. He was serving as president

Havana CUSD 126 Board of Education

on the Sycamore school board.

of the Fenton CHSD 100 Board of Edu-

for 18 years.

Paul Edwin “Pud” Leesman, 91,

cation in Bensenville. Superintendent

Thomas Michael Patrick Han-

died December 31, 2017. He served on

James Ongtengco said, “Oronzo was

nigan, 73, died December 17, 2017.

the Hartsburg-Emden Board of Edu-

not only a warm and caring human, he

He formerly served as treasurer of

cation for 15 years, eight as president,

was a fine board member and leader. He

the Illinois Association of School

and then served 20 years as an elected

was a Bison and bled Orange and Blue”

Boards (2003-2005), following a

representative on the Regional Board

Samuel C. Rinella Jr., 89, died

stint as an at-large officer of the

of School Trustees for Logan, Mason,

January 7, 2018. He formerly served

Lake Division of the Association. An

and Menard Counties.

as school board president for Quincy

attorney, he had previously served on

Richard A. “Dick” Liebig, 94,

Public Schools, and later as the board

the Fremont Board of Education for

died January 12, 2018. He was a past

president of the Catholic Boys High

five years and, subsequently, on the

president and a longtime member of

School, now Quincy Notre Dame.

Mundelein High school board for 20

the Quincy school board.

Allan W. Rosenberg, 71, died Jan-

years (1985-2005). He served several

Nancy McGaw Lindquist, 90,

uary 7, 2018. He was a former member

years as board president. Hannigan

died January 3, 2018. A resident of

of the Hawthorn District 73 Board of

was actively involved in the Munde-

Rockford, Nancy served on the school


lein community, serving on multiple

board for over 35 years, and previous-

Kenneth G. Russell, 98, died Jan-

business and community boards. One

ly taught in the public schools there.

uary 23, 2018. He was a member of the

of his greatest honors was winning

Irene Lillian Luck, 90, died

a Those Who Excel award from the

January 15, 2018. She served her

Roger C. “Doc” Stephens, 86, died

State Board of Education in 1996 for

community as a Glenview CCSD 63

January 25, 2018. A veterinarian, he

outstanding contributions to schools.

school board member, and as a Park

was a past president of the Mendon

He also was extremely proud of a Spe-

Ridge-Niles District 64 teacher.

CUSD 4 school board, and a member

cial Achievement Award presented

George L. Martens, 85, died Jan-

by the University of Dayton Alumni

uary 18, 2018. He previously served


on the Forreston school board.

Burlington Central school board.

of the Mendon Lions Club. James L. “Jim” Story, age 79, died January 27, 2018. Retired from Lock-

Paul Adam Heimrich, 94, died

Ronald Metzger, 64, died Janu-

port Township High School where he

December 20, 2017. He previously

ary 23, 2018. He served on the Jamai-

was a dedicated teacher and coach for

served for 10 years on the Freeburg

ca school board from 1997 to 2013,

33 years, he also served on the Lock-

CHSD 77 Board of Education.

including a stint as board president.

port Township High school board for

Arnold K. Hinrichs, 90, died

Allan O. Miller, 90, died Janu-

December 4, 2017. He had served on

ary 10, 2018. He served the Belleville

Judith Ann Thomson, 78, died

the Armstrong THSD 225 Board of

community with two terms on the

January 7, 2018. Thomson was the first


local school board.

woman elected to the Northwestern

12 years.

Ralph M. Johnson, 88, died

Carl W. “Bill” Nickerson, 97,

December 8, 2017. He formerly

died December 4, 2017. His commu-

served as a school board member for

nity involvement included serving as

Rudy Wilson, 82, died December

15 years in Maine Township District

school board president for Evergreen

4, 2017. He was the first black member

207 (Park Ridge). His 37-year career

Park ESD 124.

of the Edwardsville school board, even-

CUSD 2 Board of Education, serving one term.

in education was spent in Skokie/

Charles Nolte, 89, died Jan-

tually becoming board president, and

Morton Grove District 69, where he

uary 6, 2018. He was formerly a

serving a total of 18 years. Wilson was

was a teacher, principal, and super-

Brussels school board member for

also a professor in the education depart-

intendent of schools.

over 30 years.

ment at SIUE.



GREENASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture/construction services. Deerfield – 847/317-0852, Pewaukee, WI – 262/746-1254; website:; email: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Archi­tects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; email:

A Directory of your IASB Service Associates IASB Service Associates are businesses which offer school‑related products and services and which have earned favorable repu­tations for quality and integrity. Only after screening by the Service Associates Executive Committee is a business firm invited by the IASB Board of Directors to become a Service Associate.

Appraisal Services

INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — Building and fixed asset appraisals for insurance and accounting purposes. Oak Brook – 630/575-0280


ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning and design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration with a specialization in K-12 facilities. Springfield – 217/522-3355 ARCON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service firm specializing in educational facilities with services that include architecture, construction management, roof and masonry consulting, landscape architecture, and environmental consulting. Lombard – 630/495-1900; website:; email: BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. — Consulting engineers. Schaumburg – 847/352-4500; website: BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur – 217/429-5105; Champaign – 217/3569606; Bloomington – 309/828-5025; Chicago – 312/829-1987 BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers, and asbestos consultants. Rockford – 815/968-9631; website: CANNONDESIGN — Architecture, Interiors, Engineering, Consulting. Chicago – 312/332-9600; website:; email: CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities, and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO – 573/874-9455; website: CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and Engineers. Aurora – 630/896-4678; website: www.cordoganclark. com; email: rmont@cordogan DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture, and engineers. Peoria – 309/282-8000; Elgin – 847/695-5840 DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodeling, O&M and owner’s rep services. Itasca – 847/7424063; website:; email: DLR GROUP — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago – 312/382-9980; website:; email: ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake – 847/223-4804; Chicago – 312/463-0551; Mokena – 708/614-9720; website:; email: FANNING HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Oak Brook – 847/292-1039 FARNSWORTH GROUP — Architectural and engineering professional services. Normal – 309/663-8436 FGM ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago – 312/942-8461; Oak Brook – 630/574-8300; O’Fallon – 618/624-3364; St. Louis, MO – 314/439-1601; website: 26

HURST-ROSCHE, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Hillsboro – 217/532-3959; East St. Louis – 618/3980890; Marion – 618/998-0075; Springfield – 217/787-1199; email: JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee – 815/933-5529; website: JMA ARCHITECTS — Full service professional design firm specializing in K-12 educational design, construction management, strategic/ master planning, health/life safety compliance, building commissioning, and interior space design. South Holland – 708/339-3900; website:; email: THE GARLAND COMPANY — Complete building envelope solutions to extend the life of existing building assets (walls, roofing, waterproofing, sealants, and floors) Facility Asset Management programs and US Communities Vendor. Cleveland, OH – 815/922-1376; website: KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia – 630/406-1213 LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, and Technology. Rockford – 815/484-0739, St. Charles – 630/444-2112; website:; email: snelson@ LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and educational planners who specialize in creating effective student learning environments. Gurnee – 847/622-3535; Oak Brook – 630/990-3535; Chicago – 312/258-9595; website: PCM+DESIGN ARCHITECTS — Provide a full range of architectural services including facility and feasibility studies, architectural design, construction consulting and related services. East Peoria – 309/694-5012 PERFORMANCE SERVICES, INC. — An integrated design and delivery engineering company serving the design and construction facility needs of K-12 schools. Schaumburg – 847/466-7220 PERKINS+WILL — Architects. Chicago – 312/755-0770 RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford – 815/398-1231; website: SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design, and asbestos consultants. Springfield – 217/585-9111 STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating, and building enclosure/roofing consulting. Chicago – 312/464-1444 TRIA ARCHITECTURE — An architectural planning and interior design firm that provides services primarily to School Districts in the Chicago-Land area with an emphasis on service to their clients, as well as their communities. Burr Ridge – 630/455-4500 WIGHT & COMPANY — For over 77 years, Wight & Company has provided design and construction services for the built environment. As a pioneer of integrated Design & Delivery, we’ve worked with our clients to create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people’s lives and enhance the environment; Darien – 630/969-7000; website:; email: WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights – 618/624-2080 WOLD ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS — Specializing in PreK-12 educational design including master planning, sustainable design, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, quality review, cost estimation and management. Palatine – 847/241-6100

Building Construction

CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build, and general contracting services. Morton – 309/2669768; website:


F. H. PASCHEN — A General/Construction Manager with extensive experience in new construction and renovation of educational and institutional facilities in the public/private sectors. Chicago – 773/4441525-3535; website: FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison – 630/628-8500; website: HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. — Full service Construction Management and General Contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea – 618/277-8870 PEPPER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Construction management and general contracting services. Barrington – 847/381-2760 POETTKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Specializing in Construction Management, Design/Build, Construction Consulting Services, and Energy Solutions for education clients. Breese – 618/526-7213; website: ROSS CONSTRUCTION, INC. — A full-service construction management firm specializing in educational institutions. Marion – 618/993-5904 S.M. WILSON & CO. — Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail, and industrial clients. St. Louis, Mo – 314/645-9595; website:; email: TRANE — HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook – 630/734-6033

Computer Software, Supplies, Services

SONITROL GREAT LAKES — Verified electronic security. Northbrook – 847/205-0670; website:


The Concord Consulting Group of Illinois, Inc — A team of highly skilled professionals specializing in the fields of Project Management, Cost Management, Development Services, Cost Segregation, Real Estate Advisory Services, and Insurance services; Chicago – 312/424-0250

Environmental Services

ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — Facility Management Systems, Automatic Temperature Controls, Access Control Systems, Energy Saving Solutions; Sales, Engineering, Installation, Commissioning and Service. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign: toll-free 866/ALPHA-01; website:; email:

RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Westmont – 800/244-4242; website:; email:

Financial Services

AMERICAN FIDELITY ASSURANCE COMPANY — Specializing in Section 125 compliance, 403(b) plan administration, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, dependent audits, and health care reform. Fairview Heights – 855/822-9168 BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights – 618/2064180; Chicago – 312/281-2014; email: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Chicago – 312/638-5250; website:; email: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington – 309/829-3311; email: GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria – 309/685-7621; website:; email: ICE MILLER, LLP — Nationally recognized bond counsel services. Chicago – 312/726-7127 KINGS FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INC. — Municipal bond financial advisory service including all types of school bonds; school referenda, county school sales tax; tax revenue forecasts/projections. Monticello – 217/762-4578 MATHIESON, MOYSKI, AUSTIN & CO., LLP — Provides audit, consulting and other related financial services to Illinois school districts, joint agreements and risk pools. Wheaton – 630/653-1616 SIKICH, LLP — Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville — 630/364-7953 SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago – 312/346-3700; website: www.speerfinancial. com; email: STIFEL — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; referendum and legislative assistance. Edwardsville – 800/230-5151; email: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago – 312/364-8955; email:

CTS GROUP — Dedicated to assisting K-12 education meet the challenge of providing healthy, safe, and educational appropriate learning environments. St. Louis, MO – 636/230-0843; Chicago – 773/633-0691; website:; email: rbennett@

WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Rosemont – 630/560-2120

ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca – 630/773-7201; email: smcivor@

NELS JOHNSON TREE EXPERTS — full service tree maintenance and plant health company. Evanston– 847/475-1877

GCA SERVICES GROUP – Custodial, janitorial, maintenance, lawn and grounds, and facility operations services. Downers Grove – 630/629-4044 GRP MECHANICAL CO., INC. — Renovating buildings through energy savings performance contracting to provide the best learning environment. HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Doors, and Mechanical Services. Bethalto – 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting, and security. St. Louis, MO – 314/548-4136; Des Plaines – 847/770-5496; Maryland Heights, MO – 314/548-4501; email:; IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington – 309/828-4259 ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSORTIUM — Sells electricity and natural gas to school districts, colleges, and universities. Dekalb – 815/7539083; website:; email: ENGIE SERVICES U.S. — Turnkey partnership programs that enable K12 school districts in Illinois to modernize their facilities, increase safety, security and efficiency, reduce operations costs, and maximize the lifespan of critical assets. Chicago – 312/4987792; email:

Grounds and Maintenance

Human Resource Consulting

BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. — Human resource, safety and risk management, and insurance consulting. Effingham – 217/3423042; website:; email:


THE SANDNER GROUP — Insurance program management, marketing & claims services for workers’ compensation, property & liability. Chicago – 800/654-9504 MEEMIC INSURANCE — For over 66 years, Meemic has offered auto, home, and umbrella insurance products tailored specifically for the educational community. Auburn Hills, MI – 856/495-9041

Office Equipment

FRANK COONEY COMPANY, INC. — Furniture for educational environments. Wood Dale – 630/694-8800

Superintendent Searches

ECRA Group & HYA — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Schaumburg – 847/318-0072




Achievements Mary McDade,

first black person elected to public

board of education

a judge for the Illi-

office in Peoria. The awards commit-

of Algonquin-based

nois Third District

tee also stated, “Long before there

Community Unit Dis-

Appellate Court

was a phrase ‘school-to-prison pipe-

trict 300, including a

(Ottawa), recently

line,’ she was taking a stand against

term as the board’s

received the Martin

unwarranted school expulsions; she

vice president, was

Luther King Jr. Commemorative

kept on taking stands after she left

recently chosen as Maple Park’s top

Leadership Award from Peoria’s

the school board, but she eventually

law enforcement officer. Stiegemei-

King Holiday Committee. “Her life

found new stages.” McDade, who is

er’s previous job was as chief of the

has been wrapped up in housing,

now completing the end of her sec-

South Beloit Police Department, but

education, jobs, and justice,” the

ond 10-year term on the court, was

he is known in the Fox Valley for his

committee’s comments stated. Fifty

Illinois’ first black female appellate

34-year tenure in the Carpenters-

years ago, McDade became the first

court judge outside of Cook County.

ville police department, including

African-American elected to Peo-

Dean Stiegemeier, who spent

considerable time spent as deputy

ria’s board of education; she was the

nearly six years ser ving on the

chief of police.

In memoriam Carlyle V. Alexander, 93, died

Richard John Brashler, 94, died

Dr. Douglas A. Drake, 99, died

December 29, 2017. He formerly served

January 5, 2018. He formerly served

December 25, 2017. He formerly

on the Bryce Ashgrove school board

on the Geneva school board, including

served on the Belvidere school board

with the Iroquois Special Education

a time as president.

for 14 years, including three years as


Donald Alfred Callaby, 88, died


Michael Glen Bailey, 70, died

January 5, 2018. After retiring as

Eldred “Eldie” Ehlert, 81, died

December 8, 2017. He previously served

an educator in 1990, he served on

Wednesday, January 24, 2018. He had

as president of the Wilmington CUSD

the school board of Big Hollow SD

served on the Meredosia school board.

209U Board of Education and served on

38, including service as board pres-

Myron Edward Erdman, 89,

the Wilmington Library Board.

ident. He previously spent 35 years

died January 17, 2018. He served

Crystal Ann Bedwell, 56, died Jan-

as a teacher, business manager, and

nine years on the Fairbury-Cropsey

uary 4, 2018. She was a former mem-

assistant superintendent in the Lake

school board.

ber of Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170

Zurich area, where he was affection-

Violet Frances Fletcher, 99, died

school board. Bedwell donated and vol-

ately nicknamed “Cashbox Callaby.”

January 3, 2018. She was a former

unteered in her community schools and

Vince E. Cruthis, 94, died Decem-

member of the Collinsville CUSD 10

for many other community purposes

ber 6, 2017. He previously served on

and gave time and financial assistance

the Bond Co CUSD 2 school board.

Board of Education. John M. Floyd Jr., 56, died

Sue Darby, 81, died December

December 17, 2017. He was a past

5, 2017. She had served on the East

president of the Limestone-Walters

Charles Donnelly Boak, Jr., 85,

Aurora USD 131 school board and for-

CCSD 316 school board.

died January 4, 2018. He previously

merly taught seventh-grade science

Donald F. Gal lup, 86, died

served on the Johnsburg CUSD 12

for 21 years in the West Aurora school

December 17, 2017. He previously

Board of Education for 27 years.


served on the Leaf River school board.

to many underprivileged students and their families.

Continued on page 25 28



Talking about equity: Why now, and is it board work? By Dean Langdon


cross the nation, schools are

Heather W. Hackman, a pro-

paying more attention to

fessor and consultant (hackman-

equity. Some say it’s about resourc-

Equity is about the entire on social

es — who has greater access and

educational system and

justice issues, will be a featured

why? That may be true, but it’s only part of the problem. It’s easy for school boards to view the solu-

the lens through which we view it.

speaker at The Equity Event. She says, “This is about going beyond awareness, drilling down into the

tion as pull-out programs, extra

system and structures that are in

activities, or special events. After

place that cause harm and leave

all, that’s how most problems are

discussion. Consider joining us on

problems untouched. We have to

fixed in our school districts — hire

April 28 in Lisle for this unique event

be willing to have honest conver-

the right people, provide them with

for Illinois school board members

sations about equity issues. Every

resources, approve the curriculum,

and superintendents. We’re plan-

district can engage and work their

and tell them to get working!

ning a day of keynotes and panels,

way into these concepts at the

Equity, however, is different

all designed to help you identify and

local level.”

and it is the work of the board.

understand inequities in your district

So, why equity? Because it

Equity is about the entire educa-

and what you can do to address them.

impacts all of your students and

tional system and the lens through

You will learn the various equity

therefore your community. Why

which we view it. What practices

issues in public education, consider

now? Because as we look at the

are so embedded in our system that

your approach as members of the

haves and the have nots, the gaps

we overlook them as being a hurdle

board, and hear how Illinois dis-

have never been wider. W hy the

to minority students? What poli-

tricts are addressing equity in their

board? Because you govern your

cies have inadvertently provided

communities. This event is free to

entire school system and you rep-

a roadblock to the very students

attend, but advance registration is

resent all the kids. And as repre-

we intend to help? What programs

required. Participants can register

sent at ive s of you r com mu n it y

(even those viewed as successful)

now at

— it’s time to get working.

continue to operate “because we’ve always done it that way?” An equity lens will provide a new focus on board work by considering current policies and practices for all children. The Equity Event, a new event presented this year by the Illinois A s sociation of S chool B oa rd s, is intended to help you start the

ADVANCING PUBLIC EDUCATION IASB Service Associates provide quality products and services for schools. Membership is by invitation only. A list of Service Associate firms is on the IASB website and in this Journal.

Dean Langdon, IASB associate executive director for Board Development, answers the question in this issue of the Journal.


2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 Address Service Requested

. . . y l l a e r Tell us what you think. No,nt to know! w e wa The Illinois Association of School Boards announces its upcoming

• Member Survey • Superintendent Survey, and • Administrative Professionals Survey.

April 2

These online surveys will open on for board members, superintendents, and administrative professionals that serve their school boards. All input will help IASB assist the Association in developing programs and offerings to meet the needs of school boards and those that work most closely with them.

Please! Help us make this project a success and watch your email for the link to participate.

The Illinois School Board Journal, March/April 2018  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.

The Illinois School Board Journal, March/April 2018  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.