You will note that this week’s message is a short one. I’ll do my best to not take advantage of the situation, and instead keep my traditional opener in a similar vein.
For this spring semester, an intern from the Department of Political Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be working with me full time at the agency. As well, I am acquiring an Educational Leadership student from the University of Illinois at Springfield who needs to accumulate clinical hours. Given my previous life as a professor, where I was responsible for coordinating internships, I know how hard it can be to find meaningful placements for students in a variety of educational settings. Hence, I am glad to take these students on, and I hope that their time here provides some important learning as they study the administrative life. And we all know I can use the help!
On a related note, I spent a good part of the day Friday meeting with friends at Western Illinois University and speaking at their administrative roundtable. In talking with Dean Bonnie Smith-Skripps and her staff, I know it is getting more and more difficult to find placements for student teachers and administrative interns. This week, I will meet with folks from Aurora University and Northern Illinois University, and I’m guessing I will hear the same information from them. That troubles me, and I hope we don’t get into a situation where we have teacher preparation programs competing for a dwindling number of clinical practice slots in our schools.
I know none of us needs one more thing on our plates. But I view it as a professional obligation—indeed a commitment that defines being a professional—to do everything I can to help “bring up” our future educators for Illinois. I hope you share my feeling and can continue to extend yourselves in the same way. Given the logistics of coordinating university and school programs, liability concerns, contractual issues and an array of other factors, I know it is not easy to host student teachers and administrative interns. But each side—higher education and the schools—can gain a great deal in the process. Please do everything possible in your schools and districts to help us grow the next generation of teachers and administrators we will need to keep Illinois schools second to none.
Have a great week.
State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)
Also included in this week’s message:
Finance and Audit Committee budget hearings
The Illinois State Board of Education Finance and Audit Committee will hold FY 06 budget hearings on two days. Meeting are scheduled at the following times and locations.
§ Friday, January 28, 2005, 10 a.m. to Noon - Hamilton-Jefferson County Regional Superintendent's Office, 1714 Broadway Street, Mt. Vernon, Illinois
§ Monday, January 31, 2005, 1 to 3 p.m. - James R. Thompson Center (9th floor), 9-040, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago, Illinois
Corrections windows announced for 2005 State Assessment
To help schools and districts more fully prepare for data corrections for the 2005 state assessments, we have posted a detailed schedule of critical activities and dates at www.isbe.net/assessment. It is imperative for school personnel to be available to assist us in the correction process during the dates specified.
Weekly news clips
Some of last week’s articles include:
News clips may be accessed at: http://www.isbe.net/news/2005/newsclips/050121.htm