Saturday, January 25, 2020
US flag

Illinois has a new state superintendent

The Illinois State Board of Education announced on April 15 that Tony Smith would start serving the people of Illinois as their new superintendent of education beginning on May 1. He’ll replace Christopher A Koch, who has been the state superintendent of education since 2006.

Chris Koch, left (ISBE), and Tony Smith (Oakland Unified School District)

Mr Smith is currently the executive director of the W Clement & Jessie V Stone Foundation, which makes grants that support children’s development and education. Prior to that position, he served as superintendent for the Oakland Unified School District in California.

“The Board selected Tony Smith for his proven track record of accomplishment and leadership in education,” state board Chairman James Meeks said in a press release. “We know that Dr Smith will move forward to improve and expand on the agency’s initiatives to improve teaching and learning on behalf of the more than 2 million kindergarten through 12th-graders in Illinois public schools.”

Mr Smith is a 48-year-old native of Oak Park; he and his wife, Kathleen, live in River Forest with their two daughters.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.