FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Board reviews Academic Watch List;
will vote Thursday
Illinois school accountability laws require
schools to be included on an Academic Watch List after placement
on the Academic Early Warning List if they have not made Adequate
Yearly Progress for two consecutive years. The State Board
of Education today reviewed the Academic Watch List, consisting
of 52 schools in five districts.
Following today’s review, the Board will
vote tomorrow on adopting the 2002 Academic Watch List.
“These schools are finding it very difficult to bring
student achievement up to established targets,” said
State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller. “We
are recommending their placement on the watch list so we can
work with the school communities to provide structured support
that will improve student achievement.”
“Further, the list is an important accountability tool
required by state law so that taxpayers can be informed about
how our Illinois schools are doing,” Schiller said.
By law, schools are placed on the Academic Early Warning
List when less than 50% of their test scores meet or exceed
state standards for two consecutive years. Schools are expected
to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), defined as the incremental
amount it takes to have 50% of students meet state standards
in five years. Schools that make AYP and still remain under
50 per cent stay on the list; those that exceed 50% earn removal
from the list. Two consecutive years on the AEWL without making
AYP leads to placement on the Watch List.
To be placed on the 2002 Academic Watch List, schools would
have been on the 1998 Academic Early Warning List and failed
to make AYP on the 2001 and 2002 state tests. No AEWL was
issued in 1999 or 2000, while the state transitioned to tests
of student achievement of the Illinois Learning Standards.
For each school on the Academic Watch List, the State Superintendent
will appoint a School Improvement Panel to assist the school
in the development and implementation of a revised School
Improvement Plan for the 03-04 school year. The School Improvement
Panel has the authority to approve and disapprove all actions
of the board of education that pertain to implementation of
the revised school improvement plan. The revised School Improvement
Plan for the 03-04 school year is developed in consultation
with school staff (and the local school councils in Chicago),
and then approved by the school board. The locally approved
plan is submitted to the State Superintendent for approval.
“This academic watch list is comparable in some ways
to the financial watch list the state board compiles each
year. As more and more Illinois districts face financial
crisis, more and more districts will find it difficult to
maintain quality instructional programs,” said Board
Chairman Ronald J. Gidwitz.
“These tools are important because they help us raise
these issues before the citizens of Illinois, who have the
final word in how the state’s financial resources are
directed to public schools.”
A list of schools on the 2002 Academic Watch List in county
order is available on the following website: http://www.isbe.net/pdf/02watchlist.pdf.