Entries by wpengine

TIF Troubles

Mathematica has published research on the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), which is basically a federal merit pay program. It looks like TIF hasn’t failed, but it hasn’t really succeeded either. Students affected by the program made unsubstantial gains in reading, and statistically insignificant gains in math. Perhaps the reason lies in implementation. Teachers weren’t fully […]

Sparking Education

“The children of South Africa deserve an education that best serves their needs without any compromise.” SPARK Schools are private schools that aim to provide affordable, high quality education options to South African children. SPARK Schools recognize that when education is in crisis, the only thing that matters is serving children. Read more about the […]


It’s true – teachers are the most important single factor in a student’s education. Study after study shows that having a high-quality teacher can increase academic performance, college enrollment and college persistence rates, and even lifetime income. A low-quality teacher can have the opposite effect, dragging down students’ scores and self-confidence, making them less likely […]


OCI would like to congratulate Lasalle Language Academy for winning a National Blue Ribbon for Exemplary High Performing Schools. Lasalle is a diverse magnet school, serving 30 percent Black students, 32 percent White students, and 20 percent Latino students. 82 percent of their students test at grade level. More students should be able to choose […]


Pope Francis visited Our Lady Queen of Angels, a school in the Partnership for Inner City Education network, while he was in New York. USA Today explored some of the financial challenges Catholic schools face. But innovative models employed by groups like the Partnership for Inner City Educationand Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education may […]

Noble Efforts Rewarded

Congratulations to Noble Network for being 1 of 12 charter networks in the nation to win part of a $157 million DOE grant to expand high quality charter schools. Illinois children deserve more schools like Noble throughout the traditional, charter, and private sectors. The network serves 90 percent low income kids. 96 percent of their […]

Illinois Kids Campaign Roadshow Across Illinois

This month, the Illinois Kids Campaign visited more than 35 communities across Illinois to celebrate the new school year, and to share the message that “Now is the time to Invest In Kids!” Thousands of parents, guardians, and community members rallied behind the campaign and showed their support by contacting their legislators. Our work will […]

The New Normal?

Preliminary results of a new standardized test taken by Illinois students – PARCC – were recently released. The numbers are sobering. In math, only 17 percent of high school students met state expectations – none exceeded. In English Language and Literacy, only 36 percent elementary school students, on average, met or exceeded state standards. Compared […]

Missed Lessons from the Big Easy

New Orleans is seen throughout the country as the exemplar city for publicly funded education. But so much of the NOLA story still goes untold. New Orleans’ primary claim to fame is its massive reduction in failing schools since Hurricane Katrina. In 2004, 60% of New Orleans students – some 40,000 children – went to […]

Share the Illinois Kids Campaign – it’s Easy!

People throughout Illinois are talking about the Illinois Kids Campaign, but we rely on our friends and supporters to help spread the word and encourage others to take action. Here are two easy ways that only take a few moments: Facebook & Twitter Start an Invest In Kids conversation online. Sample messages are provided below. […]