IEA’s Klickna hides the truth about ESSA.


Talking about the new federal education law to Springfield’s public radio reporter Dusty Rhodes, IEA President Cinda Klickna said, “You know I think overall, we’re really happy with it. As always, as we move into the implementation, we’re going to have to be paying attention to consequences and ramifications that are in there that weren’t quite understood at the beginning, Even though there will still be tests, they won’t be used in the punitive way they’ve been used for the past decade.”

I had to read that again.

Either Klickna is ignorant of what the law does or she is hiding the truth.

The use of student performance measures, including tests, are currently used to punish teachers throughout the state.

The punishment is a part of Illinois law. PERA, the Performance Evaluation Reform Act, was passed and signed by Governor Quinn. It was proposed to the legislature by a commission headed by the IEA’s own Executive Director, Audrey Soglin.

Nothing in ESSA changes what PERA requires. In fact, ESSA strengthens the powers of the state and state legislatures in enacting teacher evaluation laws and regs.

I asked a national NEA leader about this.

My assessment of the situation in Illinois was confirmed.

It was also confirmed by local union leaders throughout Illinois, most of whom have already set up their PERA committees or are in the process now.

All school districts in Illinois must be in compliance with PERA by 2016.

ESSA will have no impact on it.


8 Replies to “IEA’s Klickna hides the truth about ESSA.”

  1. Klickna and Swanson two of the worst ever IEA Presidents. Klickna says what? “we’re going to have to be paying attention to consequences and ramifications that are in there that weren’t quite understood at the beginning” Is she hiding the truth or just plain incompetent? The IEA leadership doesn’t seem to be working effectively for active or retired members.

    1. Curtis,
      I think you give Klickna and Swanson too much credit. As awful as she is and he was, let us not forget Bob Haisman, who when he was President of the IEA, signed off on the disastrous pension ramp. When he describes himself as a “pension warrior,” he must mean that he waged war on our pensions.

  2. I am a retired AFT member and got this message from Randi Weingarten:
    “And in the end, they forged a bill that will help us end the era of top-down accountability and usher in a new era of shared responsibility.
    Sign our thank-you card to the House and Senate leaders who helped fix No Child Left Behind.”
    And today Mark Kirk sent this: “This legislation increases funding for charter school grants to $333 million, an increase of $90 million over last year, enhancing accountability and expanding access to high-quality charter school education. With tens of thousands of names on Illinois charter school waiting lists, it’s essential we expand successful charter schools to meet the needs of these students.”

    Randy: What exactly are we thanking our legislators for?

  3. When the IEA (CEC) takes $2 million in cash from Bill Gates ( and then holds TURN conferences trying to implement Gates’ educational reform ideas through our locals (, one has to ask who our fearless union leaders are working for. We’re certainly not going to “take back our profession” in this manner. And now we see one reason why debate on IEA’s support for CCSS has been stymied by our union leaders. The billionaire’s influence has bought him our union.

  4. Bob Haisman was a true leader. He led the IEA in its downward spiral and was subsequently followed by Swanson and Klickna. The “pension ramp” was sold to us by Haisman who gloried at the attention at being allowed to sit-at-the-table with the sell-out legislators. Wrapping himself in a union flag and shouting banalities worked to gain votes for Haisman who was trusted to be honest and forthright in support of teachers. Haisman led the betrayal of teachers for personal position as he played the role of “warrior” while selling us out. He has no shame.

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