My name is Rory Hoskins. I have never been a full-time teacher, but my wife (Monique) has taught in the Proviso area for 12 years. She is currently a member of the Illinois Education Association. Monique also taught at Proviso West High School for seven years, during which time, she was a member of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. I have been a substitute teacher, and I am in regular contact with school administrators in our community. Moreover, we have three of our children in grade schools. Our experiences have shown me that teachers and principals cannot do it alone.
As a father of four, I regularly attend school assemblies and chaperone school trips. Monique and I have taken our son from pre-school through the k-8 public school system, and have seen him admitted to one of the state's most exclusive college preparatory schools. We appreciate the important role that fathers have in their child's education. In the years since we first enrolled our oldest child in school, I have attended no less than 80% of parent assemblies at our kids' schools, and as your state representative, I will make every effort to attend local school board meetings in each community that is part of the seventh legislative district. I will support legislation that accomplishes the following:
1. Provides funding to modernize our school facilities
2. Supports the fair treatment of educators and teachers' rights to bargain collectively
3. Support the development of state funded universal pre-school programs.
Hoskins Statement Concerning Education Policy
Students are affected by decisions made at a number of levels in any single community. Public School students in the seventh district should attend schools in modern facilities that are conducive to learning. This includes settings administered efficiently and where students are physically comfortable. Schools reflect the communities whose children attend them. As your representative, Rory Hoskins will advocate for funding to modernize our school facilities. Schools should be air-conditioned. Moreover, payroll allocations should reflect the importance of the compensated personnel to the over-all mission of the school system. Modernizing our schools can contribute to the re-vitalization of our communities.
Teachers cannot be made scapegoats for the state's fiscal woes. While some reforms to our state's public pension systems may be in order, taxpayers should be aware that teachers contribute to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and are ineligible for Social Security. Taxpayers should also be aware that while many teachers have paid into the Social Security system prior to becoming teachers, their membership in TRS precludes any Social Security benefits. Their only retirement is their TRS pension. As your state representative, Rory Hoskins will be a strong advocate for the fair treatment of educators and will support teachers' rights to bargain collectively.
Hoskins has reviewed legislative proposals that address tenure, continuing education requirements, school board member training recommendations, as well as policies to address both hiring and reductions in force. Teacher compensation increases should reflect the extent that a teacher helps the district to achieve its goals. However, teacher compensation based solely on student performance on standardized tests is the wrong policy. School districts should work with teachers to improve evaluation methods that feature consequences for teachers who perform poorly and do not respond to mentoring or professional development opportunities. Our school districts should expect teachers to provide a quality student experience. Recently, some education policy makers have suggested that Illinois should update its learning standards. These standards reflect our values and are indications of what we believe school children should learn by the time they graduate from high school. Educators should be involved in every aspect of discussions concerning learning standards.
Our collective goal should be to have public schools where parents want to send their children, and where children feel good about attending. Hoskins has observed that too many children attending Proviso schools are graduating without adequate preparation for the competitive environment found in our state's top colleges and universities. However, much of the achievement gap has occurred by the time children reach second grade. Hoskins believes that state government should support universal pre-school programs, so it is available to parents who want the services.
Hoskins' Record of Working with Schools
Rory Hoskins has a record of working with local public schools, administrators, board members, and other stakeholders to provide resources that have helped to improve how services are delivered to children.
In Forest Park, Hoskins recruited consultants from Loyola University Chicago who convened meetings that included officials from the Village, its park district, the school district, police department, library officials and business leaders to discuss how the community could better address the needs of its school students. Hoskins also leveraged his relationship with then-Lieutenant Governor Quinn to create a unique opportunity for students to receive laptop computers and to participate in a learning program that allowed the students to dialogue with same-age peers attending school in Ireland.