News Center – 2015
Nov. 24, 2015 -- ISBE presents award as part of statewide Year of the Volunteer program
Bettye Baker-Houston honored at November Board meeting
Members of the State Board of Education presented Bettye Baker-Houston with a volunteer award for her years of dedication to the Roseland-Rosemoor community on the far south side of Chicago. The award was presented at the Board’s November meeting as part of the ongoing Year of the Volunteer program.
Nov. 24, 2015 -- Meridian CUSD 223 school board president receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award
ISBE presents John Smith with statewide honor at education conference in Chicago
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) selected John Smith of Meridian Community Unit School District 223 as the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award, which annually honors an outstanding school board president in the state.
Nov. 5, 2015 -- High AP exam scores will guarantee college credit at Illinois’ public higher ed institutions
ISBE applauds Northern Illinois University for awarding credit retroactively to AP students before new law takes effect in 2016-17
As a result of House Bill 3428, signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner earlier this year, all public universities and public community colleges in Illinois must award college credit to students who submit scores of 3 or higher on College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exams starting next school year.
Nov. 4, 2015 -- School Security and Standards Task Force holding public hearings across state
Public feedback will help guide the task force’s recommendations for minimum school security standards
The School Security and Standards Task Force is asking community members to share their input on school safety issues during a series of public hearings to help guide its recommendations to the General Assembly, the governor, and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Oct. 30, 2015 -- 2015 Report Card released with new features to better reflect school climate and student progress
Changes underway to report the first Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) scores
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) continues to enhance its Report Card with new metrics and features available this year that show a more complete picture of school climate and students’ progress toward college and career readiness.
Oct. 23, 2015 -- ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer
Effingham volunteer recognized at October Board meeting
Kim Varner was honored by the State Board of Education for the month of October as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer” program. The initiative, established by a Senate resolution, aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”
Oct. 17, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education announces 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year
Kim Thomas of Peoria Public Schools District named 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year
The Illinois State Board of Education named Kim Thomas, a math teacher at Woodruff Career and Technical Center, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year. One of 10 finalists, Thomas was announced as this year’s top educator during Saturday night’s 41st annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.
Oct. 14, 2015 -- ISBE announces public hearings to guide FY 2017 budget development
Board to gather feedback, set spending priorities
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is holding a series of public hearings to gather feedback on spending needs and priorities as the agency begins to develop its fiscal year 2017 budget recommendations for prekindergarten-12 education.
Oct. 9, 2015 -- Encouraging daily attendance is more important than ever
ISBE shares federal guidance and toolkit to address chronic absenteeism
The Illinois State Board of Education is sharing valuable federal guidance, including a toolkit, to help school districts encourage daily attendance for all students.
Oct. 6, 2015 -- ISBE to honor top educators and school personnel at annual Those Who Excel banquet in Normal
State education officials will honor 250 of Illinois’ outstanding educators later this month at the 40th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators will be the 10 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named the top Illinois educator for 2016.
Oct. 2, 2015 -- ISBE receives $7 million grant for Illinois Statewide Longitudinal Data System
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) a $7 million grant to develop its Illinois Statewide Longitudinal P-20 Data System (SLDS).
Oct. 1, 2015 -- List of HealthierUS School Challenge Award Winners Grows in Illinois
Another 161 Illinois schools in the past year successfully completed the HealthierUS School Challenge, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. Since 2011, nearly 350 certifications have been awarded across Illinois for school programs and practices that promote healthy habits.
Sept. 30, 2015 -- Illinois wins competitive federal grant to expand high-quality public school options
The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Illinois is one of eight states selected to receive a State Educational Agency (SEA) grant from the federal government. This five-year, $42,286,226 award will support the development and growth of new, high-quality public school options, including charter schools, across the state.
Sept. 29, 2015 -- ISBE develops toolkit and new website to help explain upcoming PARCC exam results
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has developed a toolkit to help educators understand and explain what to expect from the upcoming district, school, and individual student results for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam.
Sept. 28, 2015 -- State Board’s Student Advisory Council convenes for the 2015-16 school year
Seventeen sophomore, junior, and senior high school students from across the state of Illinois were selected as members of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). The teens conducted their first meeting of the school year at ISBE offices in Springfield on Sept. 22 and 23.
Sept. 18, 2015 -- ISBE celebrates Year of the Volunteer
Jay G. and Kristina L. Dean of Westmont were honored by the State Board of Education for the month of September as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer” program. The initiative, established by a Senate resolution, aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”
Sept. 16, 2015 -- State Board approves threshold scores on new PARCC Assessment
During today’s meeting, the Illinois State Board of Education voted to approve the performance level threshold scores for the PARCC assessment given to students last spring. Performance level setting is a process that results in the recommendation of threshold scores for the five different PARCC assessment performance levels. Threshold scores give meaning to the scores students earn.
Sept. 11, 2015 -- ISBE Announces Finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the 10 finalists for the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year, who will be named during the “Those Who Excel” banquet in October. The state’s annual educator recognition program will acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of more than 250 educators and school personnel from throughout the state and honor one individual as the Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Sept. 10, 2015 -- ISBE and Illinois PTA will present a Back-to-School Webinar for parents on Sept. 23
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA are hosting a Back-to-School Webinar for parents at 7 p.m. Sept. 23. State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D., and Illinois PTA President Matthew Rodriguez will discuss statewide education initiatives and how parents and schools can work together to help their students thrive.
Sept. 3, 2015 -- Illinois continues to see strong minority and low-income participation on AP exams
Illinois minority and low-income student participation in Advanced Placement exams continues to exceed the national average, with students showing record gains on these rigorous, college-level tests.
Sept. 1, 2015 -- ISBE announces more than 200 Illinois schools to participate in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
Students across the state will have access to free fruits and vegetables this school year through a federal program that aims to make these food groups part of students’ daily diet for life. More than 200 schools are participating in the federally funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in school year 2015-16.
Aug. 26, 2015 -- Illinois students’ ACT score ranks highest among states that administer the ACT statewide
Illinois students are tied for the highest composite ACT score among the 13 states that administer the ACT test statewide. The Class of 2015 achieved an average composite score of 20.7, tying with Colorado’s graduating class and showing steady progress in meeting ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks, according to “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015.”
Aug. 24, 2015 -- ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer
Members of the State Board of Education honored Sandy Noel of Oak Park as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer” program. The initiative, established by a Senate resolution, aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”
Aug. 13, 2015 -- Illinois Teacher of the Year challenges his students at the Illinois State Fair
Steve Elza, the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and 10 of his current and former students from William Fremd High School in Palatine will demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in automotive technology this weekend by participating in an engine teardown in the Governor’s Tent at the Illinois State Fair.
Aug. 11, 2015 -- ISBE kicks off new school year with ‘Hot Topics’ website for parents and community members
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has created a comprehensive online resource to keep parents and community members up to date on the latest initiatives shaping learning, instruction, and achievement in the classroom during the upcoming school year.
July 29, 2015 -- State education and health agencies issue reminder for immunizations as students prepare for new school year
As students are preparing to head back to school, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. There is a new school-entrance immunization requirement for the upcoming school year.
July 28, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education Recognizes Award Winning Career and Technical Students
The Illinois State Board of Education recognized nearly 90 students from across Illinois for their performance in National Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Competitive Events at the 2015 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Conference in Washington, D.C.
July 1, 2015 -- Math Splash Conferences offer deep dive into engaging mathematics instruction
Educators and parents have the opportunity this summer to dive deeper into engaging model math units during a series of Math Splash Conference events designed to make challenging math skills and concepts come alive for students. The two-day conferences will allow participants to immerse themselves in the state’s new math curriculum models and gain valuable instructional skills and insights.
June 25, 2015 -- ISBE issues Child and Adult Care Food Program eligibility guidelines for new fiscal year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered annually by ISBE.
June 18, 2015 -- State Board, IFT and IEA recognize more than 30 exemplary educators for their performance
Teachers from across the state honored for their expertise and commitment to specific content areas
The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA), will honor 33 educators whose professional education organizations selected as the best in their field of expertise during the 2014-15 school year. The educators, all of whom earned awards for teaching a specific subject, from mathematics to physical education, were recognized during a luncheon today at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.
June 17, 2015 -- ISBE to rebate school districts for National School Lunch Program expenses
About $2.4 million available for warehousing and delivery services
Members of the State Board of Education today approved the rebate of up to $2.4 million to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The funds will cover warehousing and delivery service expenses.
June 10, 2015 -- Nearly 800 Illinois students in Class of 2015 graduate with the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy
First year for new credential to be noted on academic transcript and diploma
Nearly 800 students from across the state are projected to receive the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy on their academic transcript and diploma this spring, the first year the distinction will be noted on transcripts and diplomas. The new credential is awarded to graduates who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
June 4, 2015 -- Successful first year of PARCC testing complete
School district feedback played crucial role in smooth test process, future changes to test format
Illinois schools have successfully concluded the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, with students completing nearly 2.9 million testing sessions online.
May 26, 2015 -- ISBE to kick off Summer Meals program
Ensuring low-income students are well fed while school is out
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is making sure children are not forgotten over break by providing access to nutritious meals through the Summer Meals program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. School districts, local government entities and nonprofit organizations serve as summer food sites to ensure children have free, healthy meals and snacks all summer long.
May 21, 2015 -- PARCC test will be shorter, easier to administer beginning next school year
PARCC states vote to simplify test administration and shorten test time while ensuring reliable results
The new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment will return next year with a shorter, simpler format to improve the testing process for both students and educators. The exam was originally divided into two parts that measure different types of knowledge and skills. The PARCC Governing Board voted to consolidate the two testing windows into one and reduce total test time for most students by 90 minutes beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
May 20, 2015 -- 2015 R&D STEM Learning Exchange Challenges showcase event
Students from 17 Illinois high schools to demonstrate solutions to real-world Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) problems
High school students from around the state will gather today to showcase their solutions to Research & Development STEM Learning Exchange Challenges presented to them early in the spring semester. Led by the Illinois Science and Technology Institute (ISTI), students have been collecting data, conducting experiments and working with industry professionals to develop their Challenge solutions.
May 14, 2015 -- Governor Rauner, Secretary White and State Superintendent Smith encourage students to use free online reading and math resources during summer break
‘Find a Book’ Search Tool Aims to Fight Summer Learning Loss
Governor Bruce Rauner, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith today encouraged all students across Illinois to access free online tools designed to promote reading, maintain math skills and inspire summer learning. State leaders agree that Illinois’ 2 million public school students can make the most of summer vacation with good books and a plan to continue learning.
May 14, 2015 -- ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer
Local volunteers recognized at monthly State Board meetings
State Board Members are honoring school volunteers as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer,” an initiative established by a Senate resolution. The initiative aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”
May 11, 2015 -- Illinois leads nation in Latino student participation on AP exams
Traditionally underserved populations continue to make strides as more Latino and low-income students test to gain college credit
Illinois continues to lead the nation in eliminating the equity gap for Latino students taking Advanced Placement tests, providing more minority high school students access to these challenging, college-level courses with each graduating class. The latest AP data shows that the percentage of Latino Class of 2014 graduates who took AP exams during high school exceeded the total percentage of Latino graduates statewide for the third consecutive year.
April 29, 2015 -- Applications Available to Serve on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council
High schoolers from across Illinois represent student interests
High school students eager to learn about state education and policy decisions can apply for one of 13 open positions on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council. Students who are entering the coming school year (2015-16) as a sophomore, junior or senior in an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply by May 29.
April 27, 2015 -- Second part of the new PARCC exam begins this week
Students will take the End-of-Year portion of the PARCC assessment through late May
The testing window for the second portion of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment starts this week, concluding Illinois’ inaugural administration of this new state-of-the-art exam focused on real-world application and college and career readiness.
April 22, 2015 -- Illinois school earns federal Green Ribbon Award
U.S. Department of Education recognizes a Mt. Prospect school for environmental and wellness initiatives
A Mount Prospect Middle School earned federal recognition today under a program that celebrates schools’ efforts to cut utility costs, develop healthy living practices and offer environmental education. River Trails Middle School is among 58 schools, 14 districts and nine colleges and universities to garner the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Award.
April 21, 2015 -- State Board, IASA and IPA recognize more than 25 outstanding administrators for their leadership
Superintendents and principals from across the state honored for their expertise in leading districts and schools to student success
Illinois education leaders are taking time out at noon today (Tuesday) to honor some of the state’s top school district superintendents and principals. The Illinois State Board of Education will host the inaugural recognition event at the Executive Mansion for 26 exemplary school leaders.
April 20, 2015 -- Illinois community colleges approve use of PARCC for class placement
Students who earn certain scores on new PARCC assessment will be placed directly into credit-bearing classes
Illinois community college presidents have agreed to start using the state’s new elementary and high school assessment results to determine a student’s readiness for college-level courses. This decision means students who earn certain scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam can be placed directly into classes that earn credit toward their college degree without spending extra time and money on other placement exams or remedial courses.
April 15, 2015 -- State Board of Education names Dr. Tony Smith new State Superintendent of Education
Longtime educator and former Oakland, California, superintendent selected to lead Illinois’ K-12 education agency
The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday named longtime educator and administrator Dr. Tony Smith as the 28th Illinois State Superintendent of Education at its regular April meeting. Smith currently works as the executive director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, which annually awards more than $5 million in grants that support children’s development and education.
April 7, 2015 -- ISBE Chairman Meeks challenges ESL community to find a reading mentor for every third-grader
Six-week challenge begins April 11
Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks challenged the East St. Louis community to volunteer their Saturday mornings reading with third-graders to improve the students’ skills and prepare them for academic success. The “Read to Succeed” challenge begins Saturday, April 11, and will run for six consecutive Saturdays through May 16.
April 6, 2015 -- First PARCC test administration off to a smooth start
Students will take the second portion of the two-part PARCC assessment starting in late April and early May
Schools across the state report a strong start for the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment and praise the new exam’s utility, technological features and ability to engage students.
March 19, 2015 -- Illinois school finances continue to show impact of economic downturn and fewer state education dollars
ISBE analysis shows 64 percent of school districts expected to deficit spend
Illinois school district finances continue to show the strain of operating with fewer funds from federal, state and local sources, according to an annual statewide review of financial data by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The number of districts earning ISBE’s top financial rating dropped again this year while those districts that are projected to deficit spend this school year increased to 550 (or 64.2 percent) of all districts.
March 16, 2015 -- Illinois Green School Award Recipient Named
Mt. Prospect school earns state recognition for being green
A Mount Prospect Middle School’s commitment to environmental education and health and wellness practices earned state recognition under a program that celebrates schools’ efforts to “go green” -- and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. River Trails Middle School garnered the state’s Green Ribbon award and is among 87 nominees across the nation to compete in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools awards program. Winners will be announced next month.
March 12, 2015 -- ISBE announces poster contest winners to help celebrate annual Illinois Arts Education Week
Annual arts celebration begins March 16
Next week marks the 33rd annual Illinois Arts Education Week, a celebration reflecting and highlighting the importance of fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “Art is Timeless.”
March 6, 2015 -- Illinois students are 'Pumped for PARCC'
Videos help schools engage students in fun and creative ways to prepare for success on the new state assessment
Schools across Illinois are proving that test preparation doesn’t have to be stressful for students as they prepare to participate in the state’s new assessment for the first time next week. Educators have collaborated with kids to make fun, informative videos and popular music parodies to help students rest up, eat well and keep their minds sharp and ready for success on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.
March 2, 2015 -- Schools set to give state’s new assessment to third- through eighth-graders and high school students
PARCC assessment measures how well students are prepared for next grade and, ultimately, college and careers
Schools across Illinois are ushering in a new assessment system designed to better gauge how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school. Starting March 9, most third- through eighth-graders and some high school students across the state will begin taking the first of a two-part assessment completely aligned to the new internationally benchmarked Illinois Learning Standards.
February 24, 2015 -- ISBE’s PARCC Primer events help districts prepare families for state’s new assessment this spring
Family PARCC nights use sample test questions, practice tests and fun activities to familiarize parents with the new exam
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Parent Teacher Association (PTA) teamed up to give families a firsthand glimpse of the state’s new assessment system for third through eighth graders and high school students. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), set to debut next month, is designed to demonstrate how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school.
January 29, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education seeks sponsors/sites for summer food programs
Programs ensure low-income students are well fed when school is out
The thermometer might suggest otherwise, but summer is on its way and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) wants to make sure every child enjoys access to nutritious meals during the summer break. School districts, local government entities and nonprofit organizations are eligible to host children for free healthy meals and snacks as a summer food site sponsor and/or site.
January 27, 2015 -- Two Illinois schools to be recognized as National Distinguished Schools
Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 recognized for academic success
The Illinois State Board of Education today announced that two Illinois schools with a high percentage of children in poverty will be honored for their academic gains next month during the National Title I Association’s annual conference. Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 will be among schools across the nation honored for serving students in poverty and achieving academic success.
January 21, 2015 -- ISBE recommends nearly $730 million increase in education funding
Board members acknowledge fiscal challenges facing state, but urge lawmakers to fully fund General State Aid commitment, increase funding for early childhood programs
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today approved a fiscal year 2016 budget recommendation that seeks an additional $729.9 million from the current year to fully fund General State Aid (GSA). Board members acknowledged the reduction in revenue and increased spending pressures facing the state, but noted the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education budget would still be 5 percent less than FY 2009, when adjusted for inflation.
January 21, 2015 -- Grant Park School Board President honored at ISBE meeting
ISBE honors David Dickson, the 2014 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award Recipient, for his leadership and dedication
The Illinois State Board of Education today honored Dave Dickson of Grant Park CUSD 6 who was named the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award. The award annually recognizes outstanding school board presidents in the state. Dickson has served five years as president of his local school board and more than eight years on the board.
January 6, 2015 -- ISBE-developed guidance helps schools and teachers implement new math standards
Math models receive positive feedback and accolades
Illinois districts are piloting state-developed model math units to help students master concepts at each grade level as schools implement internationally-benchmarked learning standards that emphasize depth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The nationally-recognized units are the first of their kind, developed by a statewide team of educators following legislation that called for more math resources and support.
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