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2008 Archive

December 31, 2008 -- Bicentennial envelope design contest winners announced
A new memento of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday has been signed, sealed and delivered.
The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (IALBC) today announced the winners of the Bicentennial Envelope Design Contest, and announced that packages of envelopes featuring the winning designs may be purchased at several locations prior to and during the February 2009 Bicentennial.

December 9, 2008 -- Illinois 5th in nation with more than 700 achieving highest teaching credentials in 2008
3rd year in a row Illinois attains national ranking
The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for having the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2008. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings today as part of the National Board Certification Day. This is the third year in a row that Illinois has been ranked among the top ten states for the number of new teachers achieving the profession’s highest credential.

December 2, 2008 -- ISBE announces $7.5 million to support fast-growing districts
36 districts receiving additional funds to cover needs of growing student populations
The Illinois State Board of Education announced that for the second year in a row it will distribute $7.5 million in grants to some of Illinois’ fastest growing school districts. Unique accommodations must be made in districts with populations on the rise, such as broom closets becoming offices, gymnasiums doubling as cafeterias and administrators scrambling to hire new staff. The fast growth grants will go to 36 school districts to help offset demands...

November 25, 2008 -- State Superintendent to Serve on Presidential Transition Task Force
Illinois School Chief to Help Set National Education Priorities
Illinois’ State Superintendent of Education Dr. Christopher A. Koch will serve on the Council of Chief State School Officers Presidential Transition Task Force. The task force will identify high priority issues the next U.S. Secretary of Education should address in his/her first 100 days. Dr. Koch will serve alongside seven other state chiefs selected to ensure a geographically and politically diverse group...

November 23, 2008 -- Berwyn South School Board President named recipient of the 2008 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award
Illinois State Board of Education honors 20-year district school board member
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) presented Joanne Zendol, school board president of Berwyn South School District 100, with the 2008 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award Sunday during an annual state education conference in Chicago...

November 3, 2008 -- More schools promote healthy eating habits through expanded fresh fruit & vegetable program
Schools statewide receive nearly $1.2 million to increase fruit & vegetable offerings; More students have access to healthy eating choices
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 39 new schools have joined the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, joining 29 schools already participating and will share nearly $1.2 million to buy additional fresh fruits and vegetables...

October 21, 2008 -- 136 struggling schools making significant improvement
35 schools and 11 districts make AYP for second year to move off academic improvement status
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that nearly 50 schools and districts are being removed from improvement status as a result of their student performance, attendance rates and graduation rates. The schools and districts met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years by meeting the standards of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)...

October 20, 2008 -- ISBE names 15 outstanding scholars to Student Advisory Council
Selected high school students offer valuable insight to State Board
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 15 outstanding sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Illinois have been selected to represent their peers on the ISBE Student Advisory Council for 2008-2009. The new council will come together and begin in their new roles during this week’s October State Board meeting...

October 18, 2008 -- Cicero elementary teacher named 2008-2009 Illinois Teacher of the Year
Former lawyer turned teacher is new ambassador for state’s teachers
Linda Smerge, a second grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Cicero, has been named Illinois Teacher of the Year. The Illinois State Board of Education chose Smerge from 9 finalists at the 34th annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet. Smerge will spend 2009 as an education ambassador speaking with educators about her experiences and representing Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program...

October 15, 2008 -- Chicago 3rd grade teacher earns national recognition for “awe inspiring” impact on students
Cameron Elementary teacher selected for Milken National Educator Award
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Milken Family Foundation announced today Chicago Public Schools Teacher Ronelle Robinson has been selected for the Milken National Educator Award. Robinson, a third grade teacher at Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School will receive $25,000 as part of the award...

October 15, 2008 -- Chicago principal earns national recognition for making students active participants in their own education
Pershing West Elementary School principal receives Milken National Educator Award
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Milken Family Foundation announced today that Chicago Public Schools principal Cheryl Watkins has been selected as a Milken National Educator. Watkins, the principal at Pershing West Elementary School, will receive $25,000 as part of the award...

October 12, 2008 -- Illinois joins American Diploma Project, Moves to Tighten Academic Standards and Better Prepare Students for College and the Workforce
Illinois among first states to look at international standards in review of what students need to know for success after graduation
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with the Illinois State Board of Education, announced today that Illinois is joining more than 30 other states in the American Diploma Project (ADP) in better positioning itself to prepare students for college and the workforce...

September 30, 2008 -- Illinois State Board of Education announces FY 2010 Budget Hearing in Chicago
The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that its Finance and Audit Committee will host a Fiscal Year 2010 (FY 2010) Budget Hearing on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, in Chicago...

September 26, 2008 -- Governor Blagojevich Announces Illinois Innovation Talent Program
New program partners state, business and high schools to promote innovation-centered education
Recognizing the need for students to become globally competitive, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced a public-private partnership to work with 23 Illinois high schools on a pilot project designed to promote innovation-centered education and to increase student achievement in math, science and engineering. Illinois Innovation Talent creates a unique learning environment where students work as teams alongside industry, government and community experts to solve real-world problems... 

September 25, 2008 -- ISBE honors more than 150 outstanding individuals for their service to education
34th year agency to honor contributions to education at Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year Program
More than 150 award recipients will be singled out for their outstanding service to education at the 34th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet. One hundred and sixty-two outstanding teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel and community members will take center stage Saturday, October 18, when they are honored by the Illinois State Board of Education. The highlight of the awards banquet will include the announcement of Illinois Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009...

September 17, 2008 -- State testing trends show continued improvement by Illinois elementary students
Illinois grade school students are showing academic improvement according to statewide testing results released today...

September 9, 2008 --Illinois State Board of Education announces FY 2010 Budget Hearing in Normal
The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that its Finance and Audit Committee will host an FY 2010 Budget Hearing on Tuesday, September 16, 2008, in Normal...

September 4, 2008 --Statewide Task Force on Ensuring Success in Schools to Hold Public Hearing in Springfield
The Ensuring Success in Schools Task Force will hold a public hearing on September 11, 2008, to hear public comments on resources available for students who are either young parents or the victims of sexual or domestic abuse...

August 28, 2008 -- Signed, sealed, delivered
Commission launches Bicentennial envelope design contest
The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is pushing the envelope.
The Commission today launched a statewide envelope design contest with categories for kindergartners through adults, with the winning designs to be featured on special limited-edition envelopes to be sold before and during the February 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial...

August 26, 2008 -- Record number of Illinois students take AP tests; minority test takers increase in all groups
Participation by Puerto Rican, Mexican American and other Hispanic students sees double digit increase
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that a record number of Illinois high school students took Advanced Placement (AP) tests in 2007-2008. More than 60,000 public and non-public juniors and seniors took AP exams – an increase of 8.1 percent over 2007 - according to a report released by the College Board...

August 22, 2008 -- End of summer means more than 2 million kids hit the streets and head back to school; ISBE, IDOT urge drivers to give ‘em a brake
Agencies team up to remind motorists about the need for extra caution around schools and stopped buses
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are working together to remind drivers that the end of summer also means the start of school and that they will soon be sharing the roadways with more than 2 million students...

August 13, 2008 -- Class of 2008 shows gains in every subject area on the ACT college entrance exam
Students improve composite scores in English, mathematics, reading and science from 2007 to 2008; 5-year trend shows continued improvements
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the class of 2008 has made increases in all subject areas tested on the ACT from 2007 to 2008...

July 31, 2008 -- ISBE & IDPH remind parents about back-to-school immunizations
Importance of immunizations highlighted in August during National Immunization Awareness Month
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reminding parents during National Immunization Awareness Month to be sure their children’s immunizations are up-to-date as more than two million students statewide start heading back into the classroom in August...

July 17, 2008 -- Commission announces special events for Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial PDF File
Events are planned throughout Illinois to commemorate Lincoln’s 200th Birthday in February 2009
The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission today announced a series of events throughout Illinois in the coming months to mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 2009...  

July 16, 2008 -- ISBE working to increase literacy for children and families
More than $2.4 million in federal grants awarded to 17 educational partnerships; Money used to help high-risk, low-income families
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced more than $2.4 million in family literacy grants awarded to 17 educational partnerships involving school districts, regional offices of education, higher education institutions and community organizations around the state...

July 10, 2008 -- Illinois schools encourage healthy eating under federal fresh fruit & vegetable program
25 schools receive a total of $250,000 to encourage students to eat more fruits & vegetables; Students will have access to more healthy eating choices – inside and outside the classroom
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 25 schools statewide will receive more than $250,000 to buy additional fresh fruits and vegetables for students during the 2008-2009 school year. The federally funded Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP) is designed to increase the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables by students...

July 9, 2008 -- Governor Blagojevich announces State working to 'bridge technology gap' for students
Nearly $5 million in federal grants awarded to 16 districts; money used for technology upgrades and training
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced nearly $5 million in technology grants have been awarded to 16 districts around the state, for the 2008-2009 school year. The Illinois Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grants are designed to make sure all students have both the access and ability to use emerging technologies inside the classroom...

July 1, 2008 -- Illinois receives additional flexibility to help schools meet federal NCLB requirements 
One of 6 states accepted into new U.S. Dept. of Education pilot program; flexibility targets low-performing schools earlier with tailored resources
. Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch announced today that Illinois has been chosen to participate in a federal pilot program to provide additional flexibility and tools to assist schools in meeting federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements...

June 30, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich signs Preschool for All legislation; provides opportunity for early childhood education for thousands of Illinois kids
Illinois leads the nation in providing preschool access for all three- and four-year-olds
.Surrounded by families, early childhood education advocates, elected officials and preschool students today at Reba Early Learning Center in Evanston, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation that continues the state’s historic early childhood program...

June 25, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois team to take part in national conference on early childhood education
Illinois one of 14 states to be represented at two-day symposium at Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that a bipartisan team of Illinois educators, legislators and foundation leaders will be participating in a national conference on early childhood education at Harvard University this Thursday and Friday...

June 20, 2008 -- Two Illinois high school students to compete in national automotive skills competition
ISBE & IDOT congratulate two Willowbrook High School graduates for winning statewide competition
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) applaud two Illinois high school seniors for earning a spot in the 2008 national Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition next week in Dearborn, Mich...

June 6, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich and State Board of Education encourage participation in summer food programs
Programs fill nutritional gap for children; Summer Food Service Program Week highlights awareness and need throughout the state and the nation
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are encouraging all students to take advantage of free, nutritious meals and snacks available this summer at more than 1,600 summer food service program sites, statewide. This announcement is being made during Summer Food Service Program Week, which runs through Sunday, June 8th...

June 2, 2008 -- ISBE & DHS honor schools, students and communities that won statewide healthy lifestyles challenge
32 elementary and middle schools took the Move & Crunch Challenge for Principals which stresses educating the entire student - mind and body
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) today honored three elementary schools for winning the state's first Move & Crunch Challenge for Principals...

June 1, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich and Illinois State Board of Education urge safety for students while enjoying summer vacation
IDNR, IDOT and ISP share in stressing proper adult supervision, to prevent unintentional injuries and leading cause of death in children
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are encouraging school administrators, parents and community members to keep safety in mind as more than two million Illinois public school students begin their summer vacations...

May 13, 2008 -- Annual summit focuses on bringing Bilingual parents and educators together for success
Bilingual Parent Summit to focus on parental leadership, educational opportunities and community partnerships
The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that more than 500 parents and education professionals will focus on ways to help parents and districts alike better serve bilingual students at the Third Annual Statewide Summit for Bilingual Parents on Saturday, May 17, in Oak Brook...

May 4, 2008 -- Illinois recognizes teachers and says 'thank you' during Teacher Appreciation Week - May 4 - 10
National Teacher Day, Tuesday; highlights important work that teachers do everyday on behalf of students across the state
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is joining with the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) in urging students, parents, administrators and communities to honor the state's more than 130,000 full-time and part-time public school teachers in our classrooms during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4- 10 and on National Teacher Day, Tuesday, May 6...

April 29, 2008 -- Science and Math teachers take center stage at annual Capitol Showcase
Professional development opportunities with Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) help teachers grow and improves student achievement
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) joined dozens of classroom teachers, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and experts from higher education from throughout Illinois at today's Capitol Showcase for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) program...

April 17, 2008 -- State Board of Education honors graduates of bilingual teaching program committed to teaching high need schools
Graduates earning master's degree; Majority switching careers - former photographer, options trader and social worker now training to be teachers
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today honored another 12 graduates of the federally-funded Bilingual Transition to Teaching Project (BTTT) with a board resolution...

April 12, 2008 -- ISBE & IDOT honor Work Zone Safety contest winners
12 students' work to be shown in 10,000 Work Zone Safety Calendars across Illinois; caps off National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 7-11
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are highlighting the importance of safety in road construction work zones across the state by honoring 12 student winners in the 2008 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest. The awards luncheon today in Springfield capped off a national weeklong campaign to raise awareness about the importance of safety in work zones during National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 7 - 11...

April 4, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich announces bipartisan Illinois team selected to participate in national early childhood discussion
Illinois is one of 14 states to be represented at two-day symposium at Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that a bipartisan team of Illinois educators, legislators, and foundation leaders has been selected to participate in the National Symposium on Early Childhood Science and Policy, to be held at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday, June 26 and Friday, June 27...

March 20, 2008 - Illinois school districts showing improved financial health; Nearly 70% receive top financial recognition
Governor Blagojevich and State Board's commitment to improved funding for schools paying off; $5.9 billion increase in school funding 
The Illinois State Board of Education's (ISBE) annual financial profile of the state's public schools shows a growing number of schools making financial improvements. Through Governor Blagojevich's commitment to increased education funding ISBE's advocacy on the behalf of schools, nearly 70 percent of the states' districts are in the highest category, receiving financial recognition, while only 3 percent are on the financial watch list...

March 19, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois leads nation in providing early childhood education through Preschool for All
National report applauds Illinois effort to provide 3-and 4-year-olds with access to high quality education
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois is being recognized as a national leader for being the first state committed to serving all three-year olds with quality preschool, according to a report published by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) of Rutgers University...

March 17, 2008 -- ISBE and Department of Agriculture team up to celebrate state's largest employer - agriculture
National Agriculture Week - March 16 - 22

Highlights importance of agriculture and agriculture education
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are joining students, farmers, producers and agricultural associations from across the state in celebrating the importance of agriculture and agriculture education in Illinois during National Agriculture Week, March 16 - 22...

March 11, 2008 -- Art students take center stage at State Capitol Arts Education Week ceremony
Event recognizes 2008 arts education poster contest winners; encourages communities to celebrate Illinois Arts Education Week, March 10-16
Dozens of students from throughout Illinois showcased their talents in the Rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol as part of the 26th annual Illinois Arts Education Week...

March 3, 2008 - 360,000 online sample tests taken as nearly 1 million students prepare for annual ISAT testing
Nearly 3,000 tests per hour being accessed during the school day
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that more than 360,000 interactive Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) practice tests have been accessed online as students get ready for statewide testing...

February 19, 2008 - ISBE & DHS team up on new statewide program to promote healthy lifestyle for schools, students and communities
Move & Crunch Challenge for Principals stresses educating the entire student, mind and body; Elementary schools can still participate in program 
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Human Services are teaming up to challenge Illinois principals and school communities statewide to 'Move' and 'Crunch' towards a healthier lifestyle...

February 12, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico sign agreement to strengthen educational ties between Mexico and State of Illinois
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a partnership agreement with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico to strengthen the bilateral, educational, and cultural cooperation between the educational systems of Mexico and the State of Illinois...

February 11, 2008 -- Vice Chair of ISBE appointed to serve on national education board
Lockport resident will serve two-year term on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Boards of Education
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced that State Board Vice Chair Dr. Christopher J. Ward has been appointed to a two-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)...

February 6, 2008 -- ISBE brings national figure in to call attention to education of homeless teens
Carissa Phelps shares her struggles from homeless teen to UCLA Law and MBA graduate
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) highlighted the issue of homeless youth today during the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Annual Statewide Conference in Chicago...

January 31, 2008 -- ISBE and NIU announce 2007 Illinois Honor Roll; Nearly 1,200 schools singled out for academic excellence
Annual list recognizes continued academic achievement; 97 schools on the list fourth & fifth consecutive year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) announced today that 1,177 schools made the Illinois Honor Roll and are being recognized for their continued academic progress...

January 25, 2008 -- ISBE announces $7.5 million to assist fast-growing districts
43 districts receiving additional funds to cover needs of growing student populations
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced $7.5 million in fast growth grants that will be distributed to 43 districts around the state for the 2007-2008 school year...

January 15, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich announces free college prep testing program for high school freshmen and sophomores
New tools to help school districts improve academic performance and help students prepare for college
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the launch of a new voluntary testing program aimed at improving student achievement at the high school level...

January 4, 2008 -- Gov. Blagojevich takes action to give schools a $560 million state funding increase
Governor uses amendatory veto to correct problem in BIMP bill and give school districts immediate reimbursement for special education staff
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today took action on a Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP) that will give Illinois schools a $560 million increase in state funding...