We have spent the last several months working to select a new assessment contractor that will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Enhanced Regular State Assessments beginning in 2006.
The future tests will be designed to measure the Illinois Learning Standards and meet all state and federal testing requirements. We are committed to selecting the vendor that will provide the best system and the best value for the state.
I convened a special task force that met with me over the past year to make recommendations regarding the enhanced tests. We used their advice to write the specifications for the contract bids. I am proud of this broad-based involvement and I am now taking an additional step. We are convening a special meeting of the State Board on April 16, at which I have asked the bidders to make presentations outlining the basics of their proposed testing systems. I have invited a group of representative stakeholders, including many on the task force, to hear the presentations and ask clarifying questions. All of the invited attendees will be asked to complete comment forms after the meeting for our review prior to making a contractor recommendation to the Board.
The State Board Education Policy and Planning committee is tentatively scheduled to meet Monday, April 19, at which time they will discuss the vendor presentations and the written public comments. I anticipate that a recommendation will go to the Board at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 22.
While the meeting will be open to the public, seating will be limited. Therefore I encourage all of you to listen to the meeting which will be available through a live audio stream on our web site at www.isbe.net.
Date: April 16, 2004
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: State Board Room, 4th Floor
Illinois State Board of Education
100 N. First Street
Springfield, IL 62777
I am confident that this cooperative process will yield a positive end result.
Also in this week’s message:
The General Assembly is adjourned for a two week spring break however the Senate Education Committee will hold its third hearing on SB 3000 (the creation of the Department of Education) and SB 3001 (the changes to the School Construction Program) on April 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the Carbondale High School. I would encourage those in the area who have concerns with these issues to attend the hearing and make your concerns known to the Senate Education Committee.
Below is a link to the Official Committee Posting
Consolidated Grant Training to Serve ELL Students
Training opportunities for learning about the consolidated grant will be offered in April at the following locations: Harper College, Kane County ROE, ESC 4-Chicago Heights, Unity Point-Carbondale, DuPage ROE Professional Center. See our website for information on how to register for one of these training sessions. http://www.isbe.net/bilingual/pdfs/e030304.pdf
Bilingual/ESL Job Fair
Illinois Resource Center will hold a job fair for bilingual/ESL teachers and administrators on Saturday, April 24, 2004 at the Lodge McDonald's Office Campus in Oakbrook, Illinois. For more information call (847) 803-3112.