For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Decatur to host final stop on State Board’s statewide ESSA listening tour

ISBE to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan

DECATUR – Decatur Public School District 61 will host the final stop on the third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, Thursday, Dec. 8. Through the listening tour stop, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with Decatur Public School District 61 and Regional Office of Education #39, 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 second draft of the plan on the ISBE website at

“As we learned from the release of the Illinois Report Card, the majority of the generation 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."

In addition to submitting comments in person during the listening tour, all stakeholders are encouraged to send comments via email to All public comments on the current draft plan are due to ISBE by Dec. 27. ISBE has compiled and posted the comments received thus far at  

WHAT: Listening tour stop hosted by the State Board of Education, in collaboration with Decatur Public School District 61 and Regional Office of Education #39, to collect feedback from all stakeholders on the draft ESSA State Plan

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8

WHERE: Eisenhower High School, 1200 S. 16th St., Decatur

View the full statewide schedule for the third ESSA listening tour at 

ISBE will submit its draft ESSA State Plan to Governor Bruce Rauner for feedback Feb. 1. The next draft will be presented to the State Board March 15. ISBE then will submit its finalized ESSA State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education April 3. (ISBE has updated its submission timeline in response to the U.S. Department of Education's final regulations released Nov. 28.)

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 to take into account every student's unique strengths and needs, the State Plan aims to equip all students to succeed in college and career.