Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hidden Violations

Scott Reeder a brilliant investigative reporter and Small Newspaper Group Springfield bureau chief. Sent us the following note. Although the information below pertains to Illinois I will follow-up to see if he has information pertaining to New Hampshire.

Jim and Cathy,

I remember a 1 ½ years ago you were interested in an investigation I conducted of teacher tenure in Illinois. I thought you might be interested in a sequel to the series that began running today.

I’ve been working on this national investigation for the last seven months. I filed open records requests with all 50 state departments of education and obtained lists of all teachers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked in the last decade. I inputted the data into spreadsheets and conducted an analysis to see how Illinois compares to other states.

Here are some key findings:

* Only Virginia revokes or suspends fewer teaching certificates than Illinois.

* No investigators are employed by the Illinois State Board of Education so reports of teacher misconduct are often not investigated or acted upon.

* Illinois teachers hired before 2004 have not had to undergo a state-mandated national criminal background check.

* Illinois physicians are 43 times more likely than the state’s teachers to have their license suspended or revoked.

* Illinois lawyers are 25 times more like than teacher to have their license suspended or revoked.

* None of the tenured Illinois teachers fired in the last decade have also lost their teaching certificate and certification officials are not notified when a school district disciplines an educator

The series can be viewed at: If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: (217) 525-8201.


We also recommend Scott's brilliant series about tenure for your reading pleasure. Although the series pertains to Illinois the basic premises pertain to any schools with tenure.

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