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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the reauthorization of the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the country’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan measure into law on December 10, 2015. ESSA tasks individual states to create a plan to ensure every child is learning and on the path to college and career.​


Public Comment on ESEA Waiver Request for Title I, Part A, Section 1003 School Improvement​

Public comment is invited on a proposed waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education and its subgrantees from the following federal statutory and regulatory requirements on Title I, Part A, Section 1003 School Improvement of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

  1. Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1225[b]), the Tydings Amendment.

    Specifically, this request seeks to extend the period of availability of Title I, Part A, Section 1003 School Improvement funds awarded in federal fiscal years 2019 and 2020 from September 30, 2022, until September 30, 2024.

  2. Carryover Limitation in Section 1127(b) of the ESEA.

    Specifically, this request seeks to waive the 15% Title I, Part A carryover limitation on Section 1003 School Improvement funds from September 30, 2022, until September 30, 2024.

The draft waiver request may be viewed herePDF Document. Please submit any public comments on this waiver request to essa@isbe.net by July 19, 2022.

State Plan Amendment Submitted to ED

One of the conditions Illinois accepted to receive the 2021 full waiver of accountability, including the 95 percent testing requirement, was a requirement to issue new summative designations using data from school year (SY) 2021-22 (the current academic year). The multi-measures accountability system will not work as approved with spring 2022 and 2021 prior data. This amendment:

  • Adjusts the calculation and/or scoring rules for some indicators,
  • Delays the implementation of the meta-indicators,
  • Establishes criteria under which schools designated in 2022 could exit support status early, and
  • Makes various non-substantive updates to the text of the plan to reflect changes in implementation since the plan was approved in 2017.

Illinois submitted the following amendment to its State Plan to the US Department of Education on January 31, 2022.

 Accountability 2022

Accountability - Adjustments Necessary to Issue New Designations in 2022

  • ELA & math proficiency: Use the SY2020-21 (2021) data to set new targets by grade span (i.e., 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 11) for all students enrolled in SY2020-21 in grades K-12. Use SY2022-23 (2023) data to set new targets for all students who enter kindergarten in SY2021-22 and after. 
  • Science proficiency: Substitute participation rates for proficiency rates in 2022. Participation rates of 95% or higher receive 100 points. Participation rates below 75% receive 0 points. The remaining 100 points are distributed proportionally between 95% and 75% .
  • English Learner Progress to Proficiency: Add an additional year to the timeline of all students who were ELs in SY2020-21, and score a student using the higher of 2022 - 2021 (prior) or 2022 - 2020 (prior). Exclude all students who were newly identified as an EL in SY2020-21 from the calculation.
  • Student Growth: Use the higher of either a cohort reference or baseline referenced student growth percentile.
  • Chronic absenteeism: Award bonus points that incentivize improvement to chronic absenteeism. If the 2022 rated declined from 2021 by more than 7.5%, award 25% bonus. If 2022 declined from 2021 between 5.01% and 7.5%, award 20% bonus. If 2022 declined from 2021 between 2.51% and 5%, award 15% bonus. If 2022 declined from 2021 between .01% to 2.5%, award 10% bonus. If the 2022 rate of chronic absenteeism did not decline from 2021, consider its proximity to the rate of chronic absenteeism in 2019. If 2022 is no more than 5% greater than the rate in 2019, award a 5% bonus.
  • Composite 4-, 5-, and 6-year graduation rate: No changes.
  • Climate survey: No changes.
  • 9th graders on track: No changes.
  • Meta-indicators (i.e., College and Career Readiness, P-2, Elementary/Middle, Fine Arts): Delay till 2025
  • Option to exit status early: Schools eligible for early exit include:
    • Schools missing a pre-identified amount of data (e.g., with assessment rates for all or one or more student demographic groups below 70%).  Schools will be exited if 2023 rates of participation are ≥95% and the 2023 designation is commendable or exemplary.
    • Newly identified schools whose 2019 index score was ≥70.5 if an elementary school, ≥74.5 if a high school (e.g., schools in the top 30% of the state). Schools will be exited if the 2023 designation is commendable or exemplary; otherwise, they remain in status based on their 2023 designation.
    • Schools that have had a 30% or more change to the enrollments of the all student or one or more student demographic groups from 2019 (e.g., 2019 enrollment ± 2019 enrollment*.3).  Schools will be exited if changes to enrollments from 2022 to 2023 are within the 30% margin and the 2023 designation is commendable or exemplary; otherwise, they remain in status based on their 2023 designation.

Review the Changes

Join the Conversation

We also encourage you to attend one of the open forum webinars to learn where the conversation is nationally, review Illinois' specific challenges and potential options, and take the opportunity to ask questions or communicate concerns. Audience participation is encouraged through chat and through interactive polling. There are two identical sessions held each month. Information will be added and updated each month, so feel free to sign up for multiple sessions.​

Register for an upcoming live sessionGo To Meeting Link

  • Monday, December 20, 10-11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, December 21, 2-3 p.m.
  • Monday, January 10, 2-3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 11, 10-11 a.m.​​

 ESSA History

ISBE wanted to develop a state plan that reflected the ideas of those who are closest to the work and so sought out the voices, values, and vision of stakeholders and practitioners. The participation of diverse educators, communities, and advocates made the Illinois ESSA Plan durable.

The Illinois ESSA Plan represents the belief of ISBE and our stakeholders that the students with the greatest needs deserve the greatest share of our public education resources. Grounding our work in the practice of equity will ensure that we provide all students with the supports they need to succeed from pre-K through high school and onto purposeful lives.

This page tracks the development of the plan itself. For information about Illinois' active Support and Accountability System, visit Support & Accountability. For information specifically about Site-Based Expenditure Reporting, visit the Site-Based Expenditure Reporting webpage.

ESSA: Where have we been, where are we now?

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