First, let me apologize for not getting an opener ready
for last week’s message. I appreciate those who checked to see that all was OK
with me. I came in late from
As alluded to last week, I do want to take a moment to speak to the National Education Summit on High Schools sponsored by the National Governors Association and Achieve, Inc. that was held that weekend of February 26-27.
The primary call coming from the meeting was for an
improved standards-assessment-accountability framework for high
schools—something we have had a much better handle on in
However, the difficulty and subtlety of such comparisons was not something that received much attention at the meeting. Neither, unfortunately, did the social-cultural milieu of the typical American high school. There was some implication (not dominant certainly, but present nonetheless) that if we can just find the right mix of high standards and testing tools, that will ameliorate the number of kids we are losing at the ninth-grade level and beyond. Anyone who’s spent any time in a high school knows better than that.
One theme coming from the summit that I do think has relevance centers around the belief—which I share—that all students should graduate ready for some sort of post-secondary educational experience, be it the traditional four-year college, a community college, an apprenticeship or training program, or something else. All high schools need to be thoughtful about how they “reach down” to freshmen and sophomores to get that post-secondary planning started early.
There was also some political overlay to the
As time goes on, I may have a bit more to say on this. For now, we’ll all want to watch carefully to see how, and if, this high school initiative develops.
Have a great week!
State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)
Also in today’s message:
The Illinois State Board of Education and Northern
Illinois University (NIU) announced the Illinois Honor Roll schools for the
2003-2004 school year last week in
The Honor Roll roster includes elementary, middle, and high schools, each of which made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
For a list of the honorees and their accomplishments please go to www.isbe.net/news/2005/mar3_05.htm
Residency and homelessness
The Accountability Division has received numerous phone calls regarding the educational rights of the homeless. Many students who do not fit the stereotype of a homeless person are in fact homeless. Examples would be a student whose family is temporarily living with friends or relatives, students living in a shelter or students separated from their families. Parents of homeless students may enroll students without many of the customary proofs of residency that are often requested. For information on this topic please contact the Accountability Division at 217-782-2948 or visit ISBE’s Homeless Education page at www.isbe.net/homeless/default.htm
Superintendents will soon receive an email broadcast asking their districts to verify the Operating Expense Per Pupil (OEPP), Per Capita Tuition Charge (PCTC), Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) and the School District Financial Profile Report.
Included in the broadcast will be a cover letter,
instructions and definitions to assist with the verification process. When the
broadcast is sent these reports will be available on the IWAS website. The
reports are generated from the School District Annual Financial Report (ISBE
Form 50-35) for the year ending
The email broadcast will be the only notice provided to
the district. Please contact ISBE if an email is not received by
Any questions regarding this notification or
verification process should be directed to Debbie Hemberger in School Business
and Support Services at 217-785-8779. Any questions regarding IWAS please
Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) grants
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has
announced more than $250,000 in educational grant awards for 25 teams of
ISBE intends to fund 25 programs consisting of school teams of educators and administrators from eligible middle grade and/or high schools that serve high concentrations of low-income students and demonstrate a pervasive need for access to advanced placement incentive programs.
For additional information, please contact the Curriculum and Instruction Division at 217-557-7323.
ISAT and IMAGE testing begins
For most schools and districts ISAT and IMAGE testing begins next week. We have received numerous calls and have posted the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on our Web site – www.isbe.net/assessment
If you have questions about administering the test, please do not hesitate to call us at 866-317-6034 or 217-782-4823.
The second step in the SchoolHouse data collection process is to enter your enrollment counts as of the first day of testing for grades 3, 5, and 8. The window is open from February 28-March 28 so those counts can be entered. These counts should reflect the number of grade 3, 5, and 8 students in total and in each subgroup for a home school—regardless of whether they are scheduled to take ISAT, IMAGE, or IAA, and regardless of whether they are scheduled to test at their home or receiving school. This should be done as soon as possible in order to assist in accurate data. To enter these enrollment counts, log in to www.ncsschoolhouse.com using the User ID and Password that was mailed to the district superintendent, and click on the Demographics tab.
For more information, please see our Web site, www.isbe.net/assessment/htmls/schoolhouse_data.htm
Invitation to comment on rules
One set of proposed amendments released for public comment by the State Board of Education at its February meeting has been posted on the agency’s web site at www.isbe.net/rules; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments”. Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 350 (Secular Textbook Loan)
The proposed amendments respond to two separate issues.
1. Section 18-17 of the School Code authorizes either a parent/guardian or a student to request the loan of a textbook under the Secular Textbook Loan Program. The rules implementing this provision, however, have stipulated the content of that request in such a way that it appears only a parent can request the loan of a textbook. Rather than stipulating the content of the request form, the proposed amendments would require that school districts establish procedures for parents/guardians and students to use when requesting the loan of a textbook and that information about the process be provided to parents in writing (e.g., student handbook, newsletter, flyer).
2. The rules set forth the deadlines by which applicants can request the purchase of textbooks through the loan program. Using the April 15 deadline currently in the rules, applicants found that the textbooks they ordered were sometimes not received by the start of the school year. Additionally, problems arose for the agency when vendors could not be paid by the end of the fiscal year for books ordered in that fiscal year.
Deadline for Public Comment:
The Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program has been
extended for two more years as a result of the passage of the Working Families
Tax Relief Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-311). The implementing regulations provide that
For additional information please go to www.isbe.net/finance/pdf/QZAB_bond_program.pdf
Those Who Excel banquet – date and location change
Please note that this year’s Those Who Excel banquet
will be held Saturday, April 16, at the Holiday Inn Select in
Enhancing Chemistry: A conference for chemistry teachers
The Illini Union
1401 W. Green
For more info & to register please visit http://www.conferences.uiuc.edu/enhancingchem
Much work completed in developing Student Information System in Illinois
To better respond to the new requirements of No Child
Left Behind (
The use of individual student records will:
An overview of the SIS plans, schedule and other details are at http://www.isbe.net/sis/.
To access highlights of this week’s news clips please visit http://www.isbe.net/news/2005/newsclips/050304.htm