Governor Rauner continues to take action on bills that were passed by the legislature this past spring, including two more that were supported by the Illinois PTA.

Multiple Measure Index Bill

House Bill 2683, the Multiple Measure Index Bill, now known as Public Act 99-0193, was signed into law on July 30, 2015 by Governor Rauner.

As a result of Public Act 99-0193, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will develop a system of reward standards for student performance and school improvement for all school districts and their individual schools for those schools that meet specified criteria.

For schools, the ISBE will implement a system of rewards for those schools and school districts that recognizes:

  • High-poverty, high-performing schools that are closing achievement gaps and excelling in academic achievement;
  • Schools that have sustained high performance;
  • Schools that have substantial growth performance over the 3 years preceding the year in which recognition is awarded;
  • Schools that have demonstrated the most progress compared to other schools in Illinois in closing the achievement gap.

The student performance segment will focus on student outcomes and closing the achievement gap within each school district and its individual schools using a Multiple Measure Index and Annual Measurable Objectives set forth in this statute. This will include the school’s performance in terms of both academic success (including measures of college and career readiness) and equity (including the academic growth and college and career readiness of each school’s subgroups of students).

This was one of several bills endorsed by Illinois Vision 20/20. The Illinois PTA is a supporter of Illinois Vision 20/20, including the vision that Illinois adopt a differentiated accountability model that focuses on continuous improvement, recognizes the diversity of struggling schools, and eliminates achievement gaps across the state. The Illinois PTA platform includes support for the use of a growth-based accountability model when reporting student assessment and the measurement of school success as required by federal mandate and in conjunction with state mandated assessments.

Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act

Additional safety protections for young athletes are now law: Senate Bill 7, the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act, is now Public Act 99-2455, signed by Governor Rauner on August 3, 2015. With the enactment of this law, Illinois youth will be further protected should they experience a concussion by providing post-concussion screening and treatment prior to returning to play in both scholastic and park district organized athletics.

Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 3,900,000 sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the USA annually. Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of a head injury leaves a young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death.

Even with recognized return-to-play standards for concussions and head injuries, some affected youth athletes are prematurely returned to play. This statute updates the safety protocols currently in place to better prevent these injuries and to further ensure the appropriate treatment and oversight of concussion of youth athletes.

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