For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Statewide ESSA listening tour to make two stops in Chicago

Statewide ESSA listening tour to make two stops in Chicago

CHICAGO – The third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan will make two stops in Chicago. Through the listening tour stops, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will continue collecting feedback from all stakeholders on Illinois' draft plan to implement the new federal education law. Chicago Public School District 299 and Schurz High School will host the first Chicago stop on Monday, Nov. 28. Representative Camille Y. Lilly will host the second Chicago stop on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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 ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at  

WHAT: Listening tour stops to collect feedback from all stakeholders on the draft ESSA State Plan

WHEN/WHERE:   5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28
Schurz High School
3601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Hosted by Chicago Public School District 299

5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6
Austin Town Hall
5610 W. Lake St., Chicago
Hosted by Representative Camille Y. Lilly

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

ISBE plans to submit its draft of the Illinois State Plan to Governor Bruce Rauner for feedback in January. The next 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.