By Edward Munster
(February 12, 2024) — Many of our readers know that I believe that decisions are best made by local officials rather than at the state or federal level. The State Legislature passed Public Act 23-167 requiring each school district to implement a comprehensive reading curriculum model or program for grades K-3.
Each district must choose one of the several curricula which have been approved by the State Board of Education. This act does allow the State Board of Education to give a waiver to districts whose K-3 reading performance is above average so that they can continue to use their present curriculum; however, if districts meet the reading performance standard they must still apply for a waiver and approval is not automatic.
When I learned that there was a proposal to make the waiver automatic for districts that meet the performance goal I felt that would improve the situation and urged our legislators to support it.
I did check with our RSD #17 Board members and learned that our school district met the performance standard, that their waiver had been approved and in fact, that our curriculum has been adopted as one of the approved curricula for other schools to follow.
Congratulations to RSD #17 on this noteworthy success.