Bill Text: IL HJR0002 | 2017-2018 | 100th General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Creates the Underrepresented Groups in Academia Task Force within the Board of Higher Education to examine strategies to grow underrepresented groups in institutions of higher education and to ascertain the viability of increasing the number of laboratory schools in the State and creating State-owned and operated trade schools.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-3)

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-31 - Adopted Both Houses [HJR0002 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2017-HJR0002-Introduced.html

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2 WHEREAS, Illinois has 122 4-year colleges and universities
3offering bachelor's degrees; and
4 WHEREAS, Illinois is currently the 5th most populous state
5in the United States with, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,
6approximately 12,800,000 residents; and
7 WHEREAS, The U.S. Census Bureau has surmised that Illinois
8is comprised of a diverse demographic population comprised of
9the following ethnicities: 62% non-Latino White; 17% Latino;
1015% Black; and, 6% Asian; and
11 WHEREAS, The diversity of Illinois' population promotes
12the opportunity for students to meet and learn about and from
13people of all backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives; and
14 WHEREAS, The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 88% of
15Illinoisans 25 years of age and older have obtained at least a
16high school diploma or its equivalent and 32% of that same
17demographic have obtained bachelor's degrees or higher; and
18 WHEREAS, The Board of Higher Education (hereinafter "BHE")
19found in its 2015 Report to the Governor and General Assembly
20on Underrepresented Groups in Illinois Higher Education

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1(hereinafter the "Report") that "the main findings specific to
2enrollment among underrepresented groups from 2010 through
32014 center on the drastic decrease in African American
4undergraduate enrollment (15.8% total decrease) and a
5corollary increase in Hispanic undergraduate enrollment (16.9%
6total increase)"; and
7 WHEREAS, In its Report, the BHE further noted that
8"unfortunately, far too many high school graduates are not
9prepared for college in essential areas like math, reading and
10science. According to the 2014-2015 Illinois State Board of
11Education's Illinois Report Card, just a quarter of high school
12graduates are college-ready in all four core subjects per ACT
13benchmarks"; and
14 WHEREAS, The BHE is responsible for the development and
15implementation of the strategic courses of action for
16sustaining and improving higher education; and
17 WHEREAS, The BHE made specific recommendations in its
18Report to address the issues with the drastic decrease of
19certain underrepresented groups in Illinois academia and the
20unreadiness of such students to meaningfully compete in the
21halls of Illinois institutions of higher learning; and
22 WHEREAS, Two of the BHE recommendations in its Report

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1address and are specifically tailored to: (1) increasing the
2enrollment of underrepresented groups in Illinois institutions
3of higher learning and (2) improving the preparation and
4readiness of high school students for their matriculation into
5institutions of higher learning; and
6 WHEREAS, According to the BHE in its Report, to promote
7enrollment increases in the underrepresented groups, a task
8force is necessary to conduct an in-depth analysis and study in
9order to triangulate results from surveys, focus groups, and
10key stakeholder communities and to develop a plan of
11remediation addressing the associated decline of such student
12groups; and
13 WHEREAS, According to the BHE, to improve college
14readiness, it is essential that Illinois effectively address
15and accelerate its work in the re-design of the high
16school-to-college transition; to do so, BHE opines in its
17Report that the State should incorporate alternative
18strategies of "speeding up" learning for more advanced high
19school students and, alternatively, strategies of "catching
20up" high school students who are less advanced, as necessary;
22 WHEREAS, The Oxford English Dictionary defines a
23"laboratory school" as "an institution affiliated to a college

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1or university, combining both a teacher-training college and a
2school in which innovative or experimental teaching methods are
3researched and applied"; and
4 WHEREAS, In that same vein, Merriam-Webster's dictionary
5defines a "laboratory school" as "a school operated by a
6college or university and used especially for student teaching
7and the demonstration of classroom practices"; and
8 WHEREAS, The State of Illinois has 9 public universities on
912 campuses throughout the State; of those 9 public
10universities, there exists a dearth of laboratory schools to
11foster the necessary policies and strategies identified by the
12BHE in its Report; therefore, be it
15CONCURRING HEREIN, that there is created a Underrepresented
16Groups in Academia Task Force within the Board of Higher
17Education; and be it further
18 RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall be composed of the
19following members, to serve without compensation:
20 (1) a member appointed by the Speaker of the House;
21 (2) a member appointed by the Minority Leader of the
22 House;

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1 (3) a member appointed by the President of the Senate;
2 (4) a member appointed by the Minority Leader of the
3 Senate;
4 (5) a member appointed by the Governor;
5 (6) a member appointed by the Chairperson of the State
6 Board of Education;
7 (7) a member appointed by a group representing
8 principals in the State;
9 (8) a member appointed by a group representing
10 African-American attorneys in the State;
11 (9) a member appointed by a group representing Latino
12 attorneys in the State;
13 (10) a member appointed by a group representing
14 attorneys concerned with the protection of American civil
15 liberties;
16 (11) a member appointed by a group representing a
17 federation of labor organizations; and
18 (12) 9 members, each appointed by a different board of
19 trustees of a State institution of higher education; and be
20 it further
21 RESOLVED, That a vacancy in the membership of the Task
22Force shall be filled in the manner in which the original
23member was appointed; and be it further
24 RESOLVED, That the Task Force is charged with the following

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2 (1) perform an in-depth study and analysis to create
3 strategies to sustain and grow Illinois's underrepresented
4 group populations in institutions of higher learning;
5 (2) develop transparent and common placement criteria
6 so that students, teachers, and parents understand what is
7 required in high school to ensure enrollment in
8 credit-bearing college courses;
9 (3) determine the feasibility of an increase in
10 laboratory schools to support the high school-to-college
11 transition for students;
12 (4) ascertain the viability of the creation and
13 construction of State-owned and operated trade schools in
14 Chicago, Rockford, Springfield, and the Metro-East area
15 for non-college bound high school students, with an
16 emphasis on the enrollment in those trade schools of
17 students from underrepresented groups;
18 (5) ascertain the cause and effect of the drastic
19 decrease of Black students enrolling in institutions of
20 higher learning; and
21 (6) ascertain the cause and effect of the drastic
22 increase of Latino students enrolling in institutions of
23 higher learning; and be it further
24 RESOLVED, That the Board of Higher Education shall provide
25any necessary administrative support; and be it further

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1 RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall elect a chairperson
2from its membership and shall have the authority to determine
3its own meeting schedule, hearing schedule, and agendas; and be
4it further
5 RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall submit a report
6concerning its assigned tasks to the Governor and General
7Assembly no later than December 31, 2018.