A strong supporting member of that community is a committed group
of educators, both public and private. After all, part of raising a
generation involves a wider education of the world around us.
In recent years, public education has focused on preparing students
for standardized tests, aiming for excellent test scores. This was
followed up by the introduction of Common Core Standards, a
state-by-state set of standards for what knowledge and methods
students should know by the end of each grade level.
Change is happening. You may find it insightful to read New Holland
Middletown Superintendent Todd Dugan's story of how this rural
community elementary school has embraced new alternative education
methods of teaching that peak interest in deeper learning through
the use of current technology.
The same could be said of Lincoln and Mount Pulaski elementary
schools, which are focusing on bringing technology skills into the
classrooms with fun and creative uses.
You might note the same influences in the three new course offerings
combining sciences, assessment and technology coming to LCHS.
And area students can broaden their academic experiences through
summer programs, as close as Springfield, or online courses offered
by Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
Change is happening, and more now than in decades through the uses
Whatever the future holds, there will likely continue to be a change
in approaches to education, due to the possible placement of new
It is likely that there will be a push for changes in where students
are educated, as new voices in the federal government push for
increased choices for parents looking to pick a good school for
their children. While the federal government cannot set a
curriculum, they certainly can shake things up for education.
At the moment, it seems safe to say that we will see a renewed
emphasis on private school vouchers and charter schools. For those
who do not know, a charter school is an independently funded school
that is still publicly accessible, much like a for-profit college.
There are fourteen public schools in Logan County working with
kindergarten students through high school seniors. There are also
three private schools in the county. We spoke to officials at
several schools in the county, asking them to share what they would
like the community to see, and what they are thinking as they look
Lincoln Community High School has three new exciting practical
course offerings this year: a Forensic Science class (detailed in
this magazine), a Renewable Energy course, and a new Food Science.
Students have recently requested courses for next year and all of
the new courses drew many requests.
On a related note, LCHS is celebrating the hard work and dedication
of a member of their teaching staff. Kathy Stoyak, a Spanish teacher
at the school and head of the foreign language department, who will
be entering her last year teaching in the fall. Stoyak has been
instrumental in helping the school achieve a Seal of Bi-Literacy. We
have details to share in this magazine.
[to top of second column]
On the topic of choices for alternative education, we spoke with a
family regarding the option of home-schooling. What does it mean to
teach children at home, and what kind of work goes into such a
When it comes to resources, a local company has developed
exceptional tools that engage students and families to achieve
academic success. See the story on Academic Development Institute,
whose programs serve communities nationwide.
We spoke to college officials in the area, as well as people who
work with the financial aspects of paying for school. What are the
ways in which parents can save for their child's college today, and
what can they do to get help?
As we move forward, we have to remember that a good education can
come from a wide variety of sources, some of which may be
unexpected. We must also remain aware of what is going on in
education as we progress into the future, and there is no better way
to start than to look around at the education systems that are close
to us as we examine the bigger picture. If personal choice is going
to be the driving force, then that is all the more reason to make
sure we make the right choices in educating the next generation.