Center for Performance

Illinois 5Essentials Survey

Illinois 5Essentials Survey: Organizing Schools for Improvement updated

From January 11 to March 11, 2016, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will conduct its fourth annual survey of learning conditions, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. The 5Essentials Survey, a diagnostic tool developed by researchers at the University of Chicago, provides schools with fine-grained data on five leading indicators for school improvement: Effective Leaders, Collaborative Teachers, Involved Families, Supportive Environment and Ambitious Instruction.

Twenty years of University of Chicago research has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to make substantial gains in reading and math.

All district schools, including alternative schools that fall under the district’s domain, are required by legislation to participate in the survey at least every other year. In 2016, districts participating in Race to the Top and districts that did not participate in the 2015 survey were required to participate by ISBE. All districts had the option to participate and were strongly encouraged to do so.

Survey results will be released in Spring 2016 to principals and superintendents. A summary of the 5Essential results will be reported publicly on the State School Report Card website at Detailed survey reports will also be publicly released.

The 5Essentials Indicators

The Illinois 5 Essentials Survey identifies five indicators that lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains.

The five indicators that positively affect school success are:

5Essentials Survey
  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environments
  • Ambitious Instruction

Research derived from the Five Essentials for School Success has proven that schools strong on at least 3 of the 5Essentials are 10 times more likely to improve student outcomes.

Learn More

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey Resources webpage.

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Survey Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Click Here for the Illinois State Board of Education’s report on approved survey alternatives for 2015, per Public Act 98-0648. You may also download folders of information (.zip) on the approved alternatives below:

Click Here for UChicago Impact’s Illinois 5Essentials Survey external webpage.

Please direct any questions to