For Immediate Release
Monday, November 14, 2016

Third statewide listening tour to gather feedback on ESSA State Plan

ISBE to make eight stops in Chicago, Jacksonville, Aurora, Forest Park, Crystal Lake, Galesburg, and Decatur

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced eight stops on a third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan. Through the listening tour, ISBE, in collaboration with Regional Offices of Education, will continue collecting feedback from all stakeholders on Illinois’ draft plan to implement the new federal education law.

ISBE developed the draft ESSA State Plan based on stakeholder feedback received at two previous statewide listening tours and hundreds of comments submitted online. Explore the plan on the ISBE website at ISBE staff will present the second draft of the plan to the State Board on Nov. 18, as well as post the updated draft online. 

“As we learned from the release of the Illinois Report Card, the majority of the generations of students entrusted to us are not prepared for college or career. Reversing that tide requires participation and collaboration,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I encourage parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, and leaders from business and our local communities to seize this opportunity to provide input and come together in charting Illinois’ path forward.”

The third statewide ESSA listening tour includes stops in Chicago, Jacksonville, Aurora, Forest Park, Crystal Lake, Galesburg, and Decatur. In addition to submitting comments in person during the listening tour, all stakeholders are encouraged to send comments via email to ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at

The third statewide ESSA listening tour stops are listed below. All meetings will take place from 5-7 p.m.

Date District Location
Monday, Nov. 28Chicago Public
School District 299
Schurz High School
3601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Monday, Nov. 28Jacksonville School
District 117
Jacksonville High School
1211 N. Diamond St., Jacksonville
Thursday, Dec. 1Indian Prairie
School District 204
Indian Prairie School District Crouse
Education Center
780 Shoreline Dr., Aurora
Monday, Dec. 5Proviso Township
High School District 209
Proviso Math and Science Academy
8601 West Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park
Tuesday, Dec. 6Chicago Public School District 299 Austin Town Hall
5610 W. Lake St., Chicago
Wednesday, Dec. 7 Crystal Lake School District 47 Bernotas Middle School
170 N. Oak St., Crystal Lake
Wednesday, Dec. 7Galesburg School
District 205
Silas Willard Elementary School
460 Fifer St., Galesburg
Thursday, Dec. 8Decatur Public
School District 61
Eisenhower High School
1200 S. 16th St., Decatur

ISBE plans to submit its third draft of the Illinois State Plan to Governor Bruce Rauner for feedback in January. The final draft will be presented to the State Board on Feb. 22. ISBE then will submit its finalized Illinois State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education in March. ISBE opted to submit the plan in March instead of July in order to ensure that Illinois school districts receive the final approved plan by the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, reauthorizing and amending the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replacing the most recent version of the law, called No Child Left Behind. Illinois’ ESSA State Plan embraces the significant opportunity ESSA presents to better serve all students. By considering what educating “the whole child” means and designing supports and programming that take into account every student’s unique strengths and needs, the State Plan aims to equip all students to succeed in college and career. The new law takes effect in phases over the next two school years. For more information regarding ESSA, please visit