By Terry Dean
A new state law will change how state school report cards are presented to the public. Signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Jan. 24, House Bill 605, sponsored by Oak Park state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, revamps the annual state report cards.
Along with reporting standardized test results, report cards will now be required to include information on students’ overall progress and their school environment.
“Parents have a right to know how their child’s school is performing. It’s also important for us to be able to track vital information about student progress so we can determine what policies and practices are working…,” Lightford said in the press release concerning HB 605, scheduled to take effect in 2013.
The law also requires school districts to present its report card to its school board, post it on their websites and in local newspapers, and send it home to parents upon request. Both of Oak Park’s public school districts, however, already follows those practices voluntarily. Report cards are released officially each October, though local school districts can release their information earlier if they chose to.