Illinois Loop
Your guide to education in Illinois
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The Illinois Loop website is no longer updated on a a regular basis. However, since many of the links and articles have content and perspectives that are just as valid today, we are keeping this website online for parents, teachers and others researching school issues and solutions.
Broken links:If you encounter links that no longer lead to the desired article, it's still often possible to retrieve them. Most of the linked items include a sentence or more from the original. Copy a section of that text, and type it into Google surrounded by quotes. More often than not, Google will find the article at a revised location.

 

Best Sources For Even More Info

    To really learn about what is happening to schools today, you can choose from some excellent books that are available. We have an extensive list of suggestions in a separate page for books on education.

    There are also many, many excellent websites available, offering everything from overview articles to umbrella national organizations. Here are some suggestions ...

News Updates

    There are many developments every week in grassroots activities as well as in political action and legislation. Here are some free sources for regular updates. You can easily join up or drop off these lists at any time.

  • Get on the Loop!
    For direct e-mailed reports on education news news on education in Illinois and the U.S., click here to get information on news from the Illinois Loop!

  • Education Intelligence Agency: weekly updates on education news, with a strong, primary focus on teachers' unions and the inner workings of school districts, prepared by Mike Antonucci This is a powerful, insightful source with unique stories and features (and a biting sense of humor!) Enthusiastically recommended -- click on the blue envelope in the lower right to be added to the weekly "communique".

  • SchoolReformers Insider Update: A weekly report of highlights and links to the most important developments in education reform, prepared by David Kirkpatrick for the SchoolReformers group of the Henry Hazlitt Foundation.

Blogs on Education Reform

Other Websites on Illinois Schools

  • Elmhurst: Marcia Tsicouris publishes a website, "A Parent's Voice", collecting several of her well-written POVs about the Elmhurst district and education in general.

Special Education

Personal Websites, and Article Collections

Organizations -- Education Issues

    First, a warning! Some organizations with words like "reform" or "quality" in their names have little interest in either reform or quality. As an object lesson, here's one report from the highly respected Education Intelligence Agency:
    NEA? Never Heard of It.
    Communities for Quality Education (CQE), the new advocacy organization created, run and funded by the National Education Association and its affiliates, now has new digs on DC's trendy Dupont Circle and its own web site (www.qualityednow.org). But you'll search in vain for any mention of the union or the union officers and employees who comprise CQE's board ... The "About Us" section identifies no one. The "frequently asked questions" are not, except for the one about how CQE will be funded. The answer, however, is "with the help of individuals and organizations that share our goals and our priorities." The "Contact Us" page contains no names, and the words "union" or "NEA" do not appear on any page.
    With that warning made, now let's list some organizations that do want to see improvements in schools! This list is presented for your convenience in seeking additional information and resources and in researching additional perspectives and points of view. While we generally find most of the topics at these sites to be interesting and helpful, we do not necessarily endorse everything you may find there.

  • No Child Left Behind: Official website from the U.S. Department of Education
  • NCLB Resources: list of organizations supporting education reform
  • NCLB - information for Illinois

  • The Heartland Institute - School Reform News: Edited in Chicago, School Reform News is a leader in getting information about school reform and school choice direct to the people who need it most, parents, school board members and legislators. Both the printed monthly magazine (subscription is free) and the website emphasize factual, information-rich articles rather than opinion pieces.

  • Center for Education Reform: a national, non-profit advocacy organization to provide support and guidance to parents, teachers, community and civic groups, policymakers and grassroots leaders, and all others working to bring fundamental reforms to their schools.

  • Education Consumers Clearinghouse

  • Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
  • Fordham: Links on education and reform

  • SchoolReformers
  • School Reformers -- Activist Toolbox

  • The Heritage Foundation -- Education

  • Link Institute: A non-profit organization committed to promoting and supporting schools with rigorous academic content and virtue-based character education. Link Institute advocates the implementation of two specific programs that it regards as models of excellence in the areas of content and character. They are the Core Knowledge Sequence produced by the Core Knowledge Foundation in Charlottesville, VA as a baseline K-8 curricular guide and Core Virtues, a literature-based character education program written by Dr. Mary Beth Klee, that complements the Core Knowledge Sequence.

  • Public Agenda: Education -- an excellent site for understanding public views and opinions on education issues.
  • Town Hall: Education Issues Library

  • Core Knowledge Foundation

  • Hillsdale Academy

  • National Heritage Academies

  • The Textbook League: much info about errors in textbooks, with a complete index

  • Northwest Professional Educators: "NPE [is an advocate] for higher standards, accountability, and common sense education policies which place students as our highest priority and which reflect local community standards established by parents, teachers, and school boards. We promote an academic experience which develops students' wisdom, knowledge, skills, and confidence to become good people and citizens with a strong work ethic."

  • National Council on Teacher Quality: a nonprofit organization that aims to foster public understanding and acceptance of a commonsense approach to teacher quality that measures teacher success in improved student achievement. NCTQ assists interested states and districts in crafting sound teacher policies. Past issues of TQ Bulletin, the Teacher Quality Clearinghouse (a collection of news and research on teacher quality), and further information on NCTQ are available at the NCTQ website. This website has extensive information organized by topical areas, including:
    • Teacher Preparation and Certification
    • School Staffing
    • Teacher Pay
    • Evaluating and Improving Teacher Performance
    • Accountability


  • National Association of Scholars (NAS): "An organization of professors, graduate students, and college administrators committed to rational discourse, rigorous standards in teaching and research, and academic freedom."

  • Foundation for Individual Rights In Education: "FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to free speech, individual liberty, religious freedom, the rights of conscience, legal equality, due process, and academic freedom on our nation's campuses."

  • Landmark Legal Foundation: pursues legal investigation and action, particularly in regards to dubious political activities of national teacher unions. The website includes a long list of articles and reports on the NEA and legal battles.

State and Local Organizations of Broad Interest

Organizations -- Parent Choice

Stats and Data

Books on Education

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