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118712/8/2017
  

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting at 10:30 a.m. December 13 in Springfield.

NoNo
2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting at 10:30 a.m. December 13 in Springfield.

View the packet for the board meeting.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

State Board of Education Meeting
December 13, 2017
10:30 a.m.

100 N. First St., Springfield

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Resolutions and Recognition
    1. Illinois Teacher of the Year
  4. Presentations and Updates
    1. FY 19 Budget Development
      1. FY 19 Revenue Projections: Dan Long and Jim Muschinske, COGFA
      2. FY 19 Budget Development: Robert Wolfe, CFO
    2. IARSS Teacher Shortage Survey Results
  5. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: November 17, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition, and Supervision)
      2. Part 25 (Educator Licensure)
      3. Part 33 (Programs for the Preparation of Superintendents in Illinois)
      4. Part 252 (Driver Education)
    3. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 401 (Special Education Facilities under Section 14-7.02 of the School Code)
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Release of Migrant Education Program Request for Proposals
      2. Release of Migrant Education Coordination RFSP
      3. Advanced Placement Test Fee Program
      4. Approval of the Release of the Fiscal Year 2019 Broadband Expansion RFP
      5. Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Information Technology RFSP
      6. Student Information Systems Technology Support RFSP
    5. *Draft Annual Report
    6. End of Consent Agenda
    7. Illinois Charter School Commission Appointments
    8. Cut Score Recommendations for Redeveloped Licensure Tests
    9. Common Career Pathways Definition and Guidance
  6. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. ESSA Update
    4. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports
    2. Rulemaking Anticipated for FY 19
  9. Closed Session (as needed)
  10. Adjourn
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
118611/30/2017
  

​Applications now open for second cohort of competency-based education pilot

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the request for applications for the second cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program. School districts participating in the pilot will replace select high school graduation course requirements with a competency-based system of the district’s design.

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2017

​SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the request for applications for the second cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program. School districts participating in the pilot will replace select high school graduation course requirements with a competency-based system of the district's design.

Competency-based teaching and learning structures students' educational experience around the individual student's knowledge and interests, rather than seat time. In competency-based learning, students play the active role in determining the course of their education. Students advance as they demonstrate mastery of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge.

“This competency-based learning pilot might be the most exciting opportunity available to school districts right now," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “This pilot allows districts to redesign the high school experience totally around what students know and where they want to go. Competency-based learning recognizes students' individual starting points and allows them to pave a personalized pathway with no ceiling. I am excited about the innovations of the first cohort and ready to welcome a second cohort of pioneering districts." 

All Illinois school districts serving grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply to participate in the pilot. Districts interested in applying may access the application at www.isbe.net/competency. Applications are due to ISBE by February 16, 2018.

The ISBE website contains a library of research, program implementation plans, and descriptions of current pilot districts at https://www.isbe.net/competency.

Illinois Public Act 99-0674 (the “Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act"), passed unanimously by both legislative houses and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on July 29, 2016, established the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program as one of a number of strategies to prepare more students for meaningful career opportunities. ISBE consulted with the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education, representatives from higher education, and national experts in developing the pilot. 

The first cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program launched with 10 participating school districts in the spring of 2017. The 10 districts convened in September to study national best practices, build relationships, find points of connection, and begin moving their pilots from vision to action. 

Currently, no additional state funding is appropriated for participating pilot districts.

Communications
118511/20/2017
  

​Annual Thomas Lay Burroughs Award recognizes extraordinary local leadership

​ Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) board member Ruth Cross on Sunday presented Gregory Ignoffo of Leyden Community High School District 212 with the 2017 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the State's Outstanding School Board President. Ignoffo has been a member of the Leyden CHSD 212 School Board for 18 years, serving as its president for 12 years. 

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2017
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) board member Ruth Cross on Sunday presented Gregory Ignoffo of Leyden Community High School District 212 with the 2017 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the State's Outstanding School Board President. Ignoffo has been a member of the Leyden CHSD 212 School Board for 18 years, serving as its president for 12 years. 

ISBE created the Burroughs Award in 1991 in memory of the late ISBE Chairman Thomas Lay Burroughs. The award recognizes extraordinary local leadership, in particular in advancing student learning and educational excellence, expanding equal educational opportunities, and resolving major crises or difficulties. ISBE presents the award each November in Chicago at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

“Greg Ignoffo leads for the whole child, whole school, and whole community,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “He makes sure every student in his district receives what they need to prepare for college and career, whether that’s a computer, academic coaching, or the personal attention of a mentor. Greg clearly believes in his students as the engines powering a healthy and thriving future for his community.”  

Under Ignoffo’s leadership, Leyden CHSD 212 became one of the first three school districts in the country to implement Google Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education (now G Suite) in a one-to-one technology environment. The initiative secured a device for every student, but not all students had internet access in their homes. Ignoffo partnered with Sprint’s ConnectEd Initiative to secure free WiFi hotspots for all students in need and worked with his board to require that all new school buses purchased have WiFi, ensuring equitable access to digital learning for all students. 

“Every superintendent should have the good fortune of having a board president like Greg Ignoffo,” said former Leyden CHSD 212 Superintendent Dr. Kathryn Robbins. “A gifted communicator, listener, and decision-maker, Greg is generous with his time and expertise and has been instrumental in Leyden’s numerous successes through the years. He ensures that every student has the support, resources, and opportunity to pursue his or her passion, and he is enormously proud of their accomplishments.”

Nearly two-thirds of ninth-grade students enter Leyden CHSD 212 unprepared for the academic challenges of high school, according to Ignoffo’s nomination packet. Ignoffo led his board in working with the district’s administration and staff to devise and implement academic and social/emotional supports. The district’s student achievement and graduation rates have been rising, thanks to initiatives such as the Freshman Academy, a program for incoming ninth-grade students at risk of falling behind; a daily mentoring program; online credit recovery; and a summer program to help students succeed in taking Advanced Placement courses the following year. 

“Greg Ignoffo is a perfect example of what the leader of a high school board should be,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “He shows tremendous skills in conflict resolution as well as being a sincere local leader. When Greg asks, ‘What's best for our students?’ he truly means it and will stop at nothing to make sure that is the most important issue when making a decision.”

Ignoffo made stakeholder feedback and community engagement a priority in developing the plan for the $80 million renovation project for two high schools, including one nearly 100 years old. The renovations will include a new daycare and preschool facility that will provide a local daycare option for families and double as a learning lab for students to earn industry child care credentials.

Leyden CHSD 212’s numerous awards and distinctions demonstrate Ignoffo’s continuous pursuit of improvement and excellence in serving students. Leyden CHSD 212 recently received prestigious AdvancED District Accreditation (2010, 2015), College Board National Advanced Placement District of the Year (2014), Chicago Tribune Top 100 Workplaces (2015, 2016, 2017), National School Board Association Magna Award (2015), Digital Content and Curriculum Award - Center for Digital Education (2014), and District of Distinction - District Administration Magazine (2015).
Communications
118411/14/2017
  

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will hold its regular business meeting at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in Chicago.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will hold its regular business meeting at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in Chicago.

The meeting will be in Conference Room 16-503 at the Thompson Center. ISBE will host its third and final public budget hearing in the same room immediately following the board meeting (at approximately 11 a.m.). Public participation in the budget hearing by teachers, parents, leaders, and advocates helps ISBE communicate the real needs of Illinois' students to the General Assembly. ISBE will issue fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations on behalf of pre-K through 12th grade educational service providers statewide to the General Assembly in January.   

View the agenda for the board meeting below. View the packet for the board meeting.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

State Board of Education Meeting
November 17, 2017
9:30 a.m.

Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, Conference Room 16-503

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Closed Session
  4. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: October 18, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 27 (Standards for Endorsements in Specific Teaching Fields)
    3. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 650 (Charter Schools)
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Request to Increase
      2. Early Childhood Grant Prevention Initiative Training and Technical Assistance: Birth to 3 Years Grant
      End of Consent Agenda
    5. Appeal for Institution Recognition for American Intercontinental University
  5. AFSCME Contract
  6. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. ESSA Update
    5. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports
  9. Adjourn

ISBE will host a public budget hearing in Conference Room 16-503 at the Thompson Center in Chicago immediately following the board meeting (at approximately 11 a.m.). ISBE encourages teachers, parents, leaders, and advocates to share their stories and budget requests to inform ISBE's fiscal year 2019 budget advocacy. All individuals – including those attending a hearing in person – should submit their comments and stories by completing a budget request form (available at http://www.isbe.net/budget) and emailing the form to isbeFY19@isbe.net.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
118311/3/2017
  

School-, district-, and state-level data available at www.illinoisreportcard.com​

​The 2017 Interactive Illinois Report Card launched today at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.

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2017
SPRINGFIELD – The 2017 Interactive Illinois Report Card launched today at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) originally published the data on Oct. 31 on the Classic Report Card site. The data have not changed, as the data verification window closed prior to the PDF report cards publishing on Oct. 31. 

Find additional data and information, including an assessments-only spreadsheet for all schools and districts, a glossary of Report Card terms, a FAQ, and a link to the Classic Report Card site at www.isbe.net/ilreportcarddata.

State-level data on the 2017 Illinois Report Card show students achieved gains in a number of indicators from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year. Student outcomes improved in English language arts achievement on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, the four-year graduation rate, college enrollment rates, Advanced Placement participation and success, the community college remediation rate, ninth-grade students on track to graduate, and eighth-grade students passing Algebra I.   

For state-level highlights and quotes from Illinois State Superintendent of Education, please see ISBE’s Oct. 31 press release on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Lists/News/NewsDisplay.aspx?ID=1182​.
Communications
118210/31/2017
  

Students and educators achieved growth under extreme financial uncertainty

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2017 Illinois Report Card at http://webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/getSearchCriteria.aspx. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The www.illinoisreportcard.com interactive website will go live on Friday, Nov. 3. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.

NoNo
2017
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2017 Illinois Report Card at http://webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/getSearchCriteria.aspx. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The www.illinoisreportcard.com interactive website will go live on Friday, Nov. 3. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.

State-level data on the 2017 Illinois Report Card show students achieved gains in a number of indicators from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year. Student outcomes improved in English language arts achievement on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, the four-year graduation rate, college enrollment rates, Advanced Placement participation and success, the community college remediation rate, ninth-grade students on track to graduate, and eighth-grade students passing Algebra I.   

“The 2017 Illinois Report Card demonstrates our students’ and educators’ tremendous capacity for growth,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We are making real progress. Our educators and educational leaders are diving into the data to uncover what’s working and to identify new strategies and partnerships to support the whole child. At the Those Who Excel banquet on Saturday, I had the opportunity to honor hundreds of extraordinary educators who are doing exceptional work. We have so much talent in our state. We need to accelerate the growth we’re seeing by facilitating connections and knowledge-sharing between schools and districts. 

“The strengths and opportunities apparent in the data show that our balanced accountability system is looking at the right measures. Educators know how students’ attendance and success at critical transition points like the third grade, the ninth grade, and the first year of college strongly correlate to future success. Accountability starts with focusing on the numbers that matter for students. Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act Plan uses data and local context to drive appreciative inquiry and inform more holistic supports. 

“Illinois’ educators and students worked incredibly hard under extreme financial uncertainty. Their passion and dedication is clear. The state is committed to exploring new ways to attract highly qualified and diverse professionals to answer the call to teach. With more equitable funding and our Illinois ESSA Plan in place, I believe we are on the right path to create the conditions for students to thrive.” 

The 2017 Illinois Report Card includes data for the first statewide administration of the SAT. All 11th-grade students took the SAT in the spring of 2017 as both a free college entrance exam and Illinois’ high school accountability assessment for math and English language arts. 

The new Illinois SAT Performance Levels, determined through an educator-led process, show how well Illinois students know the Illinois Learning Standards in math and English language arts. The four levels (Exceeds Standards, Meets Standards, Approaching Standards, and Partially Meets Standards) indicate different levels of mastery of the Illinois Learning Standards. Illinois educators use the Illinois SAT Performance Levels to see how well their curriculum and instruction align to the state’s learning standards. The Illinois Learning Standards and the Illinois SAT Performance Levels are intentionally rigorous to further the goal of reducing the number of graduates who need to take remedial courses in college.

State-level highlights from the 2017 Illinois Report Card include:

Academic achievement:

  • The spring 2017 statewide administration of the SAT established Illinois’ new baseline for high school student achievement: 39.8 percent of 11th-grade students achieved proficiency in English language arts and 36.4 percent achieved proficiency in math. Students will continue to have access to free, supplemental, online resources from Kahn Academy to improve their mastery of Illinois Learning Standards assessed by the SAT.
  • The percentage of third- through eighth-grade students meeting or exceeding standards in English language arts on the PARCC assessment increased from 36.5 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2017. 
  • The percentage of third- through eighth-grade students meeting or exceeding standards in math on the PARCC assessment decreased from 31.6 percent in 2016 to 31.2 percent in 2017. 

College enrollment and preparation:

  • The four-year high school graduation rate increased from 85.5 percent to 87 percent. 
  • The percentage of students enrolled in college 12 months after graduating also increased from 67.8 percent to 69.5 percent. 
  • The percentage of students enrolled in college 16 months after graduating increased from 71.4 percent to 73.2 percent. 
  • The percentage of Illinois public high school graduates enrolled in Illinois community colleges taking remedial courses improved from 49.4 percent for the class of 2015 graduates to 46.8 percent for the class of 2016 graduates.
  • The number of students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades taking advanced course work (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual credit courses) increased from 154,290 in 2016 to 160,657 in 2017.
  • The number of students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades taking Advanced Placement courses increased from 112,156 in 2016 to 116,505 in 2017.
  • The number of Advanced Placement exams taken by the 12th-grade class at any point during high school increased from 155,180 in 2016 to 167,009 in 2017.
  • The percent of Advanced Placement exams passed remained stable, increasing slightly from 65.9 percent in 2016 to 66.4 percent in 2017 of all exams taken by the 12th-grade class.
  • The number of students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades taking International Baccalaureate courses increased from 4,466 in 2016 to 9,988 in 2017.

Student success:

  • The percentage of ninth-grade students on track to graduate increased from 82.4 percent in 2016 to 87.1 percent in 2017.
  • The number of eighth-grade students passing Algebra I increased from 28.4 percent in 2016 to 29.5 percent in 2017.
  • Concern: The rate of chronic truancy increased from 9.8 percent in 2016 to 10.8 percent in 2017. Chronic truancy measures the percentage of students who miss 5 percent or more of school days per year without a valid excuse.

Educator workforce:

  • The teacher retention rate increased from 85.8 percent in 2016 to 86.3 percent in 2017. 
  • The principal turnover remained stable, increasing slightly from 1.9 principals at the same school in six years in 2016 to two principals in 2017. 
  • Overall teacher diversity remained mostly unchanged. In the 2016-17 school year, 83.3 percent of Illinois teachers were White, compared to 48.5 percent of Illinois students.
  • The average teacher salary increased by $1,066 from $63,450 in 2016 to $64,516 in 2017.
  • The average administrator salary increased by $2,639 from $103,634 in 2016 to $106,273 in 2017.

Additional data and information, including a glossary of Report Card terms and FAQ, are available at www.isbe.net/ilreportcarddata​.
Communications
118110/28/2017
  

​State Board of Education honors top Illinois teacher and 234 other educational leaders at annual Those Who Excel banquet 

The Illinois State Board of Education named Lindsey Jensen the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year on Oct. 28 at the 42nd annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Jensen teaches English, including Advanced Placement English, Shakespeare, American literature, drama, and composition, for 11th- and 12th-grade students at Dwight Township High School in Dwight Public Schools District 230. 

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2017
Normal — The Illinois State Board of Education named Lindsey Jensen the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year on Oct. 28 at the 43rd annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Jensen teaches English, including Advanced Placement English, Shakespeare, American literature, drama, and composition, for 11th- and 12th-grade students at Dwight Township High School in Dwight Public Schools District 230. 

ISBE honored a total of 235 classroom teachers, educational leaders, and support personnel at the banquet at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

“Lindsey Jensen exemplifies teacher leadership,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Leadership to me means taking responsibility for things you care about. Lindsey Jensen does just that. Students leave her classroom with an expanded understanding of their own potential. We are privileged to have this extraordinary educator represent the state as our 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.” 

Colleagues and students described Jensen as infusing the best of research-based instructional practices with high expectations and infectious positivity. Jensen’s many contributions to her school community include helping to redesign the English curriculum and organizing students and faculty in philanthropic events to raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics. Jensen also supervises student teachers, coaches her colleagues, volunteers as an adviser for students’ extracurricular clubs and activities, and serves her professional association.

“I believe education equals empowerment,” said Jensen. “Teachers are in the business of human beings, and teaching requires becoming part of students’ lives and making connections that no other professional experiences.” 

Jensen’s teaching career began 12 years ago as a teacher’s aide in a junior high behavioral disorder classroom. Jensen, now in her ninth year as a high school English teacher, still calls upon her special education experience. Jensen presents content in different ways – including through singing – and gives students the opportunity to show what they know in different formats. 

“Her teaching style goes beyond wanting students to earn good grades in her classes,” said Dwight Township High School student Rebecca Ruder, who submitted a letter in support of Jensen’s nomination for Teacher of the Year. “She wants her students to really understand the material and leave the course being proud of what they have learned and the literature they have produced.”

Jensen received a Bachelor of Science in speech communication from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in teaching in secondary education from Oakland City University. She is earning her doctorate in teaching and learning from Illinois State University. 

“Lindsey is more than a teacher of English – she is a teacher of people,” said Erik Borne, a fellow educator at Dwight Township High School who submitted a letter in support of Jensen’s nomination for Teacher of the Year. “[Her students] know she is truly concerned not only about their academic success but also their emotional and social well-being. She inspires her students to want to be their best, and as someone who has been teaching almost 20 years, I can honestly say that I have had no colleague inspire me more than she.” 

As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Jensen will have an opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise outside the classroom. Jensen will be available beginning in the spring of 2018 to speak at teaching workshops, education conferences, and community meetings. Jensen will represent Illinois at the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with Voya Financial. 

A photograph of the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year Lindsey Jensen is available for download online at https://www.isbe.net/PublishingImages/TOY_Lindsey_Jensen.jpg​.



CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
117910/13/2017
  

Public hearings on the budget scheduled in Springfield, Chicago, and Mount Vernon

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued a call for budget requests to inform ISBE's fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations for pre-K through 12th grade educational service providers statewide. ISBE will host public budget hearings in Springfield, Chicago, and Mount Vernon to hear in person from educators, parents, families, and community and business leaders about the programmatic and financial needs of Illinois' public schools. All individuals – including those attending a hearing in person – should submit their comments and stories by completing a budget request form (available at http://www.isbe.net/budget) and emailing the form to isbeFY19@isbe.net

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2017

​SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued a call for budget requests to inform ISBE's fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations for pre-K through 12th grade educational service providers statewide. ISBE will host public budget hearings in Springfield, Chicago, and Mount Vernon to hear in person from educators, parents, families, and community and business leaders about the programmatic and financial needs of Illinois' public schools. All individuals – including those attending a hearing in person – should submit their comments and stories by completing a budget request form (available at http://www.isbe.net/budget) and emailing the form to isbeFY19@isbe.net. 

ISBE board member Kevin Settle will host the hearings. ISBE will issue fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations on behalf of pre-K through 12th grade educational service providers statewide to the General Assembly in January. 

“This is not for ISBE's budget as an agency; this is for the financial needs of students and schools statewide," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We encourage teachers, parents, leaders, and advocates to send in requests and to participate in the budget hearings. Your participation in the budget process helps ISBE communicate the real needs of Illinois' students to the General Assembly. We rely on your stories and testimony to advocate for your children and communities." 

The public budget hearings for fiscal year 2019 will take place in:

  • ​Springfield – Wednesday, Oct. 18, immediately following the Board meeting (approximately noon) in the Board Room at ISBE (100 N. First St.)
  • Mount Vernon – Wednesday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center (401 North 30th St.)
  • Chicago – Friday, Nov. 17, immediately following the Board meeting in Conference Room 16-503 at the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St.) 

ISBE makes its budget recommendations on behalf of students and communities across the state based on the following principles:

  • Alignment to the Board's Goals,
  • Advocacy for the needs of children across the state as identified from requests from the field, and
  • Recognition of the need for universal and differentiated support to meet the unique needs of each and every child in the State of Illinois in a public system. 

Find information on past budgets at http://www.isbe.net/budget.

Communications
118010/13/2017
  

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in Springfield and Chicago on October 18.

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2017

Agenda announced for Illinois State Board of Education meeting October 18 via video conference

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in Springfield and Chicago on October 18.

ISBE will host a public budget hearing in the Board Room in Springfield (100 N. First St.) immediately following the meeting (at approximately noon). Public participation in the budget hearing by teachers, parents, leaders, and advocates helps ISBE communicate the real needs of Illinois' students to the General Assembly. ISBE will issue fiscal year 2019 budget recommendations on behalf of pre-K through 12th grade educational service providers statewide to the General Assembly in January.   

View the packet for the meeting.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

State Board of Education Meeting

October 18, 2017

9 a.m.

 

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Resolution Honoring Nell Wiseman
  4. Presentations and Updates
    1. P-2 Indicator Subcommittee Update
  5. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: September 13-14, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 100 (Requirements for Accounting, Budgeting, Financial Reporting, and Auditing)
      2. Part 375 (Student Records)
      3. Part 425 (Voluntary Registration and Recognition of Nonpublic Schools)
    3. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Request for Proposals Early Childhood Block Grant – Prevention Initiative 0-3, Preschool for All 3-5, and Preschool for All Expansion 3-5
      2. Request for Proposals for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants
      3. Healthy Community Investment Grants
      4. Amended Contract for American Institutes for Research (AIR)
      End of Consent Agenda
    4. SAT School Day Performance Levels and Threshold Scores
    5. Qualified Zone Academy Bond Remaining Authorizations from 2015 Allocation
    6. New Waiver Procedures
  6. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. ESSA Update
    5. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)  
  9. Closed Session (as needed)
  10. Adjourn

ISBE will host a public budget hearing in the Board Room in Springfield (100 N. First St.) immediately following the meeting (at approximately noon). ISBE encourages teachers, parents, leaders, and advocates to share their stories and budget requests to inform ISBE's fiscal year 2019 budget advocacy. All individuals – including those attending a hearing in person – should submit their comments and stories by completing a budget request form (available at https://www.isbe.net/budget) and emailing the form to isbeFY19@isbe.net.

Communications
117810/11/2017
  

State Board to name 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year at annual banquet for top educators Oct. 28​

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today the statewide recipients of the 2017-18 Those Who Excel awards. The Those Who Excel awards honor outstanding classroom teachers, educational leaders, and support personnel for their invaluable contributions to their schools and communities.  

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2017
NORMALThe Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today the statewide recipients of the 2017-18 Those Who Excel awards. The Those Who Excel awards honor outstanding classroom teachers, educational leaders, and support personnel for their invaluable contributions to their schools and communities.  


State education officials will honor 235 outstanding Illinois educators at the sold-out 43rd annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year Banquet. Honorees will include the 10 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom the State Board will name the top Illinois educator for 2018. Find a complete list of this year's recipients at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/2017-those-who-excel-recipients.pdf

“It's a great time to be an educator in Illinois," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Those Who Excel award recipients show us how educators can unite communities and change students' lives. These educators showcase the dynamic work happening in schools across Illinois –from the high school principal helping students run their own technology business to the middle school teacher harnessing her own story of fortitude to inspire leadership in her students. Their efforts make the difference for students. I cannot thank our educators and educational leaders enough." 

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates for Those Who Excel recognition. A committee of peers, organized by ISBE, chooses the award winners. The committee includes representatives from statewide education organizations, as well as former award winners. 

ISBE will honor the outstanding educators at the banquet on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The 235 honorees will receive recognition on three levels – Recognition, Merit, and Excellence – and across multiple categories, including classroom teacher, school administrator, and student support personnel. 

The 2018 Teacher of the Year will serve as Illinois' ambassador for the teaching profession during the 2017-18 school year and will represent Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by VOYA Financial. Ricardo “Ricky" Castro, who teaches English as a second language, language arts, and Spanish at Elk Grove High School in Township High School District 214, served as Illinois' 2017 Teacher of the Year and ambassador for teaching during the 2016-17 school year. 

“It has been an honor to share how teachers today are everyday leaders who foster the social development, self-actualization, and academic growth needed to thrive in a diverse democratic country," said Castro. “I have been humbled throughout the year as I have observed the dedication, compassion, and excellence that Illinois teachers continuously display."  

For more information on ISBE's Those Who Excel program, please visit https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Those-who-excel.aspx

Communications
11779/28/2017
  

Selective annual award from U.S. Department of Education recognizes schools for academic excellence

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools, naming 16 Illinois public elementary, middle, and high schools among recipients of the prestigious award. The diverse Illinois schools from 14 different districts have enrollments ranging from 206 to 3,836 students and from 8 percent to 60 percent eligibility for free or reduced-priced meals.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools, naming 16 Illinois public elementary, middle, and high schools among recipients of the prestigious award. The diverse Illinois schools from 14 different districts have enrollments ranging from 206 to 3,836 students and from 8 percent to 60 percent eligibility for free or reduced-priced meals.

“Congratulations to the leaders, educators, students, families, and staff at our 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I spend a lot of time visiting schools across the state. The creativity, aspiration, and deep care and commitment I see inspires me. These schools have earned this prestigious award, and the State Board is incredibly proud of their efforts."

Illinois' 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

  • Central Intermediate School (Central SD 51)
  • Charles J. Caruso Middle School (Deerfield SD 109)
  • Copeland Manor Elementary School (Libertyville SD 70)
  • H.H. Conrady Junior High School (North Palos SD 117)
  • Kipling Elementary School (Deerfield SD 109)
  • Lemont High School (Lemont Township HSD 210)
  • Mary Morgan Elementary School (Byron CUSD 226)
  • McClure Junior High School (Western Springs SD 101)
  • Neuqua Valley High School (Indian Prairie SD 204)
  • Olive-Mary Stitt School (Arlington Heights SD 25)
  • Poe Elementary Classical School (City of Chicago SD 299)
  • Prairie Elementary School (Kildeer Countryside SD 96)
  • Rogers Elementary School (Waterloo CUSD 5)
  • Romona Elementary School (Wilmette SD 39)
  • Solomon Elementary School (City of Chicago SD 299)
  • Thomas Dooley Elementary School (Schaumburg CCSD 54)

View photographs and brief descriptions of the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The U.S. Department of Education began the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 1982 to bring public attention to exemplary schools in the United States and to facilitate communication and the sharing of best practices within and among schools. The coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

All 16 of Illinois’ award-winning schools received the “Exemplary High Performing Schools” designation. To qualify, the schools had to achieve in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when ranked by student performance on the most recently administered English language arts and math state assessments or by student performance on state assessments in combination with other student performance measures, such as attendance and/or graduation rates. The state may nominate a school only once within a five-year period.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will honor the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-7.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11769/27/2017
  

College Board releases non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement, SAT, and PSAT results

The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement:

“The Advanced Placement data released by the College Board show increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and in the percentages of students performing well. The State Board committed to increasing access to AP classes and exams, especially among underrepresented student groups. School teams across the state embraced this goal. The data show what is possible when we commit to equity – to establishing high expectations for all students and to providing all students the different levels of support they need to meet our high expectations.

“The economic and civic success of our state depends on all students from all backgrounds having access to college and being prepared to thrive in college – whether or not they choose college as their next step in life. Many colleges and universities count AP exams as class credit, helping students achieve a degree more affordably and more quickly.

“The PSAT assessments help educators and educational leaders see students' progress during high school and identify students who need greater supports. The State Board is very glad this year to be able to reimburse all schools for one PSAT assessment per student in the ninth and tenth grades during the 2017-18 school year. Students also now have access to free supplemental educational resources through Kahn Academy to help them master the standards assessed by the PSAT and SAT."

The reports released by the College Board include results from the following assessments.

Advanced Placement –Results of students in any grade who enrolled in an AP class and took an AP exam during the 2016-17 school year. The data show:

    • Increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and the percentages of students performing well (scoring a 3 or higher).
    • Black students make up 17.3 percent of the Illinois student population, but only 8 percent of AP participation.

SAT – Results of students in the 12th grade during the 2016-17 school year who voluntarily took the SAT during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year (NOT the results of the spring 2017 statewide SAT accountability assessment administered to students in the 11th grade during the 2016-17 school year). The data show:

  • A performance gap between American Indian, Hispanic, and Black students and their Asian and White peers.
  • A performance gap between students who used fee waivers and students who did not.

PSAT – Results of students in the ninth, 10th, and 11th grades who voluntarily took the PSAT during the 2016-17 school year. The data show:

  • A performance gap between American Indian, Hispanic, and Black students and their Asian and White peers.
  • A performance gap between English Learners and their native English-speaking peers.
  • A dip in the average scores for all student groups, as the number of students taking the PSAT has increased significantly.

View the College Board reports on the ISBE website:

Learn more about the 2017-18 school year PSAT reimbursement on the ISBE website on the PSAT Reimbursement page.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11759/21/2017
  
The council provides the State Board with diverse student perspectives on education issues
Eighteen sophomore, junior, and senior high school students from across Illinois met for the first time as the State Board’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2017-18 school year. The teens convened at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offices in Springfield on Sept. 13 and 14. Members of SAC provide student perspectives on the state’s education issues and have a front-row seat as the State Board formulates policy.
NoNo
2017

SPRINGFIELD - Eighteen sophomore, junior, and senior high school students from across Illinois met for the first time as the State Board’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2017-18 school year. The teens convened at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offices in Springfield on Sept. 13 and 14. Members of SAC provide student perspectives on the state’s education issues and have a front-row seat as the State Board formulates policy.

“Feedback from our stakeholders and the field informs all of the State Board’s initiatives and decision-making,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Student Advisory Council provides ISBE with insights into the priorities and perspectives of Illinois’ students. I hope this opportunity inspires our civic-minded students to continue participating in government and educational leadership beyond high school.”

The 2017-18 SAC includes 12 new members and six returning members. The members of this year’s SAC are:

(*Indicates Returning Student)

Each year, the members of SAC select a topic to research in depth and present to the State Board. In previous years, the SAC has examined mental health resources in schools, best practices for recognizing vocational education, grading scales for school districts, the effects of cyber bullying, the effects of mandatory physical education on high school students and district budgets, and the dropout crisis.

“The members of the Student Advisory Council bring diverse and unique voices to the State Board’s discussions,” said State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “I look forward to hearing from this year’s new and returning SAC members on ways to better our education system. These young people share a strong work ethic, an ability to think creatively, and a commitment to prioritize the work of the council within their already busy schedules. I encourage every Illinois high school student interested in public service to look into applying for SAC for next year.”

Applicants to the SAC undergo a competitive review process. Those selected exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work well in groups, think creatively, and come up with innovative solutions to policy challenges. Most have an avid interest in public service and education policy. The State Board reviews dozens of applications each year. The State Board established the SAC in 1975. All sophomores, juniors, and seniors who attend an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply. ISBE will make applications for next year’s SAC (school year 2018-19) available in the spring of 2018.

For more information on SAC, visit the SAC page.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11749/14/2017
  

​Final state-, district-, and school-level results will appear on the Illinois Report Card at the end of October

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the preliminary state-level results for the 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. Illinois now has three years of PARCC data and can begin to look for trends and patterns that will help guide instructional and resource decisions to better serve all students. 

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the preliminary state-level results for the 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. Illinois now has three years of PARCC data and can begin to look for trends and patterns that will help guide instructional and resource decisions to better serve all students. 

“The preliminary state-level data show that we have built a solid foundation from which to attain equity and excellence for all students," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois educators have achieved a significant accomplishment in embracing the new Illinois Learning Standards, implementing the related instructional shifts, and adapting to the PARCC assessment over the past three years. I am pleased with the work we are committed to doing together to serve Illinois children." 

The data verification process with school districts is ongoing. Final state-, district-, and school-level results will appear on the Illinois Report Card (www.illinoisreportcard.com) at the end of October. The preliminary aggregated data available now may differ from the finalized data on the Illinois Report Card. 

“With the approval of the Illinois ESSA Plan, assessment results are one of many indicators that will inform a system of balanced accountability for all students moving forward," said Smith. “Test scores should never be used as a sole indicator informing school interventions or personnel decisions. A single test will never fully capture the impact of a great teacher or the extraordinary benefits of a great school on a child's development. Data from multiple sources drives our efforts to build the capacity of every school to serve each child fully." 

ISBE will continue to work toward making these data available to educators and school leaders as quickly as possible to improve the timeliness and utility of the assessment results. 

The difference in the solid and patterned bars in the chart below indicate the difference in the nature of the results: 2015 and 2016 results are final, and 2017 results are preliminary.

2017 Preliminary Percentage of Illinois Students Meeting or Exceeding Expectation on PARCC Exams by Grade and Year - ELA

2017 Preliminary Percentage of Illinois Students Meeting or Exceeding Expectation on PARCC Exams by Grade and Year - MATH

Communications
11739/8/2017
  

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced the following schedule for its board retreat in Springfield on September 13 and 14.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced the following schedule for its board retreat in Springfield on September 13 and 14.   

View the packet for the meeting.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet.

State Board of Education Meeting
100 N. First St., Springfield

September 13, 2017
Noon

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Introduction of 2017-18 Student Advisory Council
  3. Strategic Plan Update
    1. Celebration of Where We Are and Review of Where We've Been, Including Five Key Areas of Focus (Finance System, Quality, Autonomy, Competency, and Community)
    2. Review of Goals in Keeping with ESSA Language and Commitment
    3. Review of Language (Vision, Mission, and Goals) to Ensure Inclusiveness
  4. Every Student Succeeds Act
    1. ECE and the K-2 Indicator
    2. Full-day Kindergarten
    3. College and Career Readiness
    4. IL-EMPOWER

September 14, 2017
8:30 a.m.

AGENDA

  1. Reconvene/Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Public Participation
  3. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: August 16, 2017
    2. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition, and Supervision)
      2. Part 23 (Standards for School Support Personnel Endorsements)
      3. Part 25 (Educator Licensure)
      4. Part 30 (Programs for the Preparation of Principals in Illinois)
      5. Part 75 (Agriculture Education Program)
    3. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Abstinence Education RFP
      2. High School Accountability Assessments Culminating in a College Entrance Exam RFSP
    4. *Waiver and Modification Process
    5. *Fall 2016 Waiver Report
    6. *NASBE Annual Conference Voting Delegate
      End of Consent Agenda
  4. Legislative Agenda for 2017 Veto Session & 2018 Spring Session
  5. Remaining Qualified School Construction Bond Authorization
  6. PARCC Preliminary Statewide Results
  7. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Budget Update
    3. Standards-Setting Methodology for SAT Performance Levels
    4. Other Items for Discussion
  8. Closed Session (as needed)
  9. Semi-Annual Review of Closed Session Minutes
  10. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  11. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports
  12. School Funding Bill
  13. House Bill 656
  14. House Bill 5729
  15. Teacher Shortage
  16. Adjourn
Communications
11728/31/2017
  
Governor Bruce Rauner today signed into law SB 1947, a new funding formula for Illinois public schools. 
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2017
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner today signed into law SB 1947, a new funding formula for Illinois public schools. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement: 

“The Illinois State Board of Education is proud to have supported the historic work of the General Assembly and the Governor’s funding reform commission. Our Board Chairman, James Meeks, deserves special recognition for his years of relentless leadership and advocacy that set the foundation for this new agreement. I would like to thank my staff for working through the multiple proposed models to produce the numbers that made approving a more equitable funding formula possible.

“Illinois’ educators and local educational leaders have shown remarkable resourcefulness and dedication to their students and communities throughout this process. We are celebrating progress today. The evidence-based funding formula takes a historic step toward equity and ensuring every student gets the resources they need for academic excellence and postsecondary success. When the students in the greatest need receive the most support, the entire state benefits. I believe equity in education funding in Illinois is an important step to ensuring our long-term economic and civic success.” 

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is moving forward with preparations to implement the evidence-based funding (EBF) formula, including verifying the necessary data elements with school districts. 

ISBE will work as quickly as possible to issue vouchers to the Illinois State Comptroller so that her office can make payments. The estimated timeline for school districts to receive payments is about one week from today. 

ISBE will not have final EBF calculations for a few months. Therefore, initial payments to school districts will be the preliminary base-funding minimum amounts based on final fiscal year 2017 distributions. This means districts will receive hold harmless payments until ISBE completes the EBF calculations. Each district’s preliminary base-funding minimum amounts can be viewed at www.isbe.net/ebf2018.

Districts will receive payments on the 10th and 20th of each month from September through June in FY 2018 In future years, the schedule will remain the same as General State Aid was previously distributed – 22 payments in total distributed August through June. 

The EBF formula requires ISBE to go through a data-verification process with school districts to ensure all of the data incorporated into the formula is accurate. ISBE will post a final database of all school districts’ data elements and EBF allocations on the ISBE website.
Communications
11718/30/2017
  

​The U.S. Department of Education today approved the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan. 

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2017
SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Department of Education today approved the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan. 

Equity is the grounding principle for the Illinois ESSA Plan. Every student must receive the support they need to achieve academic excellence and postsecondary success. Equity requires that those students with the greatest need must receive the greatest support. The Illinois ESSA Plan embraces the Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community approach, recognizing that students come to their schools from interconnected learning environments. The plan crystallizes Illinois’ commitment to address the needs of the whole child: to integrate supports for students’ cognitive growth, social and emotional development, and physical well-being through the reinforcement and expansion of cross-agency and public-private-philanthropic partnerships. 

“Illinois is committed to supporting the whole child in transforming learning opportunities for all students in our state,” said Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We want every child to feel well known and well cared for in our schools and to receive the individual support they need for academic excellence and postsecondary success. The Illinois ESSA Plan gives us the opportunity to foster collaboration and partnerships in order to build educators’ and leaders’ capacity for improved student outcomes. ESSA is about knowing students, schools, and districts better, so we can provide better support. We appreciate the partnership with the U.S. Department of Education throughout the ESSA process, and we look forward to our continued efforts on behalf of each and every child.” 

The approved plan incorporates the robust and ongoing stakeholder and practitioner feedback gathered through more than 3,500 online comments and 100 in-person forums and meetings.
 
View the approved plan on the ISBE website at: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/ESSA.aspx​

The Illinois ESSA Plan transitions the state to a system of balanced accountability. The plan gathers and examines multiple indicators of school quality and student growth to inform differentiated levels of support for schools and recognizes each school’s unique local context. 

The Illinois ESSA Plan advances ambitious long-term goals for all students to attain by 2032: 90 percent or more of third-grade students are reading at or above grade level; 90 percent or more of fifth-grade students meet or exceed expectations in mathematics; 90 percent or more of ninth-grade are students on track to graduate with their cohort; and 90 percent or more of students graduate from high school ready for college and career. 

Two additional goals identify the importance of where the work occurs and who serves as the cornerstone of a child’s learning: all students are supported by highly prepared and effective teachers and school leaders; and every school offers a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. 

The Illinois ESSA Plan goals align with a larger state goal whereby 60 percent of Illinois residents earn high-quality degrees and career credentials by 2025. 

IL-EMPOWER, the next generation of Illinois’ multi-tiered system of support for schools, will serve as an infrastructure for providing differentiated capacity development for schools. IL-EMPOWER will build the capacity of Illinois’ educators, educational leaders and school communities to improve student outcomes. 

In preparation for full implementation in the 2018-19 school year, the Illinois State Board of Education will continue the process of testing and learning with Illinois’ educators and education leaders to strengthen the ESSA Plan throughout the 2017-18 transition year. 
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11708/24/2017
  

​Illinois has third-highest number of schools awarded recognition by the American School Counselor Association

​Thirteen Illinois schools have earned a prestigious national designation for their outstanding counseling programs. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) awarded the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation, which lasts for five years, during a special ceremony at the ASCA’s annual conference in Denver, Colo. Illinois now has 20 RAMP-designated schools, the third-highest number among all states.

NoNo
2017

SPRINGFIELD – Thirteen Illinois schools have earned a prestigious national designation for their outstanding counseling programs. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) awarded the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation, which lasts for five years, during a special ceremony at the ASCA’s annual conference in Denver, Colo. Illinois now has 20 RAMP-designated schools, the third-highest number among all states.

ASCA Awards 2017 

ASCA awards the RAMP designation to schools that have implemented comprehensive, data-driven school counseling programs aligned with the criteria in the ASCA National Model and achieved improved student outcomes.

"Congratulations to Illinois’ 2017 RAMP-designated schools," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "Effective and comprehensive school counseling helps schools support the needs of the whole child. The collaborative and dedicated efforts of these school communities are showing what’s possible when students receive the individual support they need to achieve academic excellence and postsecondary success."

The 2017 RAMP designation criteria for improved student outcomes include high rates of college and career readiness, grade point average growth, decreased office disciplinary referrals, decreased disciplinary recidivism, increased rates of students passing classes, increased rates of enrollment in Advanced Placement courses, and increased rates of attendance during the 2016-17 school year.

"Our program goals are always created in direct response to school data, but most often revolve around academics, attendance, and behavior," said Danielle McDermott, an eighth-grade counselor at Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook. "We achieved RAMP status because we are continually reviewing data, evaluating how effective we are, and comparing that to how much more effective we could be."

Josh Nobilio, a student services coordinator at RAMP-designated Crystal Lake South High School, reported that the targeted interventions of his school’s comprehensive counseling program improved the ACT scores of students who participated by 2.75 points from the fall practice test to the official test in the spring. The scores of students who did not receive targeted interventions grew less than 2 points in the same time.

"We wanted to take a data-driven approach, provide a full curriculum to all students, and provide targeted interventions for the students that were not meeting expectations," said Nobilio.

​​​ 2017 Recognized ASCA Model Programs (RAMP) in Illinois

SchoolDistrictCity
Batavia High SchoolBatavia Public School District 101Batavia
Brooks Middle SchoolValley View Community Unity School District 365Bolingbrook
Cary-Grove High SchoolCommunity High School District 155Cary
Crystal Lake South High SchoolCommunity High School District 155Crystal Lake
Downers Grove South High SchoolCommunity High School District 99Downers Grove
Glenbard North High SchoolGlenbard High School District 87Carol Stream
Glenbard West High SchoolGlenbard High School District 87Glen Ellyn
Jane Addams Middle SchoolValley View Community Unity School District 365Bolingbrook
Maine West High SchoolMaine Township High School District 207Des Plaines
Niles West High SchoolNiles Township High Schools District 219Skokie
Rotolo Middle SchoolBatavia Public School District 101Batavia
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science CenterChicago Public Schools District 299Chicago
Willowbrook High SchoolDuPage High School District 88Villa Park
​​

For more information on school counseling in Illinois and a complete list of current Illinois RAMP schools, visit www.ilschoolcounselor.org.

Assessment and AccountabilityAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11698/21/2017
  
2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 28

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the 10 finalists for the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year. ISBE will name one individual from the 10 finalists as the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year during the “Those Who Excel” banquet in October. The state’s annual educator recognition banquet and program will acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of more than 230 educators and school personnel from throughout the state.

NoNo
2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the 10 finalists for the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year. ISBE will name one individual from the 10 finalists as the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year during the "Those Who Excel" banquet in October. The state’s annual educator recognition banquet and program will acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of more than 230 educators and school personnel from throughout the state.

"The Those Who Excel program honors and celebrates some of Illinois’ most exemplary teachers at every level," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "Every student deserves to feel like they belong. Our 10 Teacher of the Year finalists are outstanding representatives of educators who continuously go above and beyond to make students feel well known and well cared for. Their level of commitment, their passion, and their dedication is evident in their strong relationships with students, colleagues, and families within their communities."

A selection committee composed of administrators, teachers, educational service personnel, student support personnel, and past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners reviewed 234 Teacher of the Year nominations this year.

Ricardo "Ricky" Castro is the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Ricky teaches English as a second language, language arts, and Spanish at Elk Grove High School in Township High School District 214.

"Through my experiences as the Illinois Teacher of the Year, it has become more evident to me that teachers today are daily leaders that foster the social development, self-actualization, and academic growth needed to thrive in our diverse and democratic society," Castro said. "It has been such a great opportunity to honor and recognize teachers as they provide a daily example of what it means to serve others in one of the most life-changing professions any individual could ever join."

ISBE will announce the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year during the Those Who Excel banquet on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The Teacher of the Year will represent Illinois at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Program.

Here are this year’s finalists:

  • Valarie Berger teaches family and consumer sciences at West Leyden High School, located in Franklin Park, in Leyden High School District 212.
  • James Connelly is an industrial technology teacher at Morton West High School, located in Berwyn, in J. Sterling Morton High School District 201.
  • Teresa Eden is a Title 1 reading teacher at Monroe Center Grade School, located in Monroe Center, in Meridian Community Unit School District 223.
  • William Farmer teaches biology and chemistry at Evanston Township High School, located in Evanston, in District 202.
  • Lindsey Jensen teaches English at Dwight Township High School, located in Dwight, in Dwight Public Schools District 230.
  • Erin Miller is a fourth-grade teacher in a self-contained classroom at Brimfield Grade School, located in Brimfield, in Brimfield Unit District 309.
  • Jamie Nash-Mayberry teaches social studies at Shawnee High School, located in Wolf Lake, in Shawnee Community Unit School District 84.
  • Angie Noble is a third-grade teacher at Jerseyville East Elementary School, located in Jerseyville, in Jersey Community Unit School District 100.
  • Faith Skinner teaches math in sixth grade at Emily G. Johns School, located in Plano, in Plano Community Unit School District 88.
  • Morgan Teske is a special education teacher in grades 9-12 at East High School, located in Rockford, in Rockford Public School District 205.

For photos of the finalists, please contact Ann Muraro-Lacopo at the ISBE Office of Communications at (217) 782-4648.

Assessment and AccountabilityAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11688/15/2017
  

​Communities, families, and educators will better understand students’ developmental needs, supporting long-term success

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that the state will obtain and report consistent measures of developmental readiness for all kindergarten students starting in the fall of 2017. The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) will guide kindergarten teachers through observations of students as they go about their normal daily routines of playing and schoolwork.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that the state will obtain and report consistent measures of developmental readiness for all kindergarten students starting in the fall of 2017. The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) will guide kindergarten teachers through observations of students as they go about their normal daily routines of playing and schoolwork.

Children enter kindergarten with a wide variety of early learning experiences, from home care, child care, private preschool, and Head Start to learning English or requiring special education services. KIDS will deepen the state’s understanding of where children have and do not have access to high-quality early learning opportunities. KIDS will help communities and service providers across sectors understand what children need for success in school.

KIDS"Children begin developing critical competencies and skills in the first five years of life,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The path toward college and career readiness truly starts with the path toward kindergarten readiness. Preparing children for success in school is a whole community responsibility. KIDS will help schools, families, and communities to bridge learning and connect supports for children in their critical early years.”

ISBE has piloted KIDS across the state since 2012, engaging more than 50,000 children. Three-hundred and eighty unique school districts have entered KIDS data into KIDSTech in the last five years. (KIDSTech is a server-based computer support system for entering data and producing reports.) View case studies from the KIDS pilots in

“We used to be very mastery-focused, like, ‘Here’s the skill you have to master,’” said Kristina Davis, assistant superintendent for learning in West Chicago Elementary School District 33, which will begin its sixth year of administering KIDS this fall. “But in kindergarten, every child comes in with a different experience, so now our focus is on each individual child’s target, rather than a district target.”

KIDS facilitates observations to measure children’s knowledge in language, literacy, math, social and emotional development, and in skill-building competencies such as curiosity, creativity, and perseverance. The 14 State Readiness Measures, spanning four developmental domains, are strong predictors of a child’s long-term educational success.

“In a district like ours where we’re under-resourced and the kids are lacking exposure to a lot of things and experiences, KIDS has been really important for educators and great for our kids,” said Davis.

The state requires all districts to use the KIDS tool to observe students on 14 measures within the first 40 days of students’ attendance, but districts do have the option to collect additional measures and to conduct additional rounds of observations. Many pilot districts have chosen to expand their use of KIDS. Teachers have found the information about their students to be critical to their instructional decision-making and to communicating with families about how to support children’s development at home.  KIDS is the result of years of planning and collaboration among child development specialists, early childhood advocates, educators, elementary teachers and administrators, and ISBE. Key partners include Advance Illinois, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Steans Family Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and the W. Clement and Jesse V. Stone Foundation. 

ISBE launched a webpage with resources, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and other information for teachers, administrators, and families at KIDS.

 

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11678/14/2017
  

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the eligibility guidelines for students to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The policy took effect at the start of the 2018 fiscal year on July 1, 2017. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the policy for each fiscal year to reflect any changes in the federal poverty guidelines.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the eligibility guidelines for students to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The policy took effect at the start of the 2018 fiscal year on July 1, 2017. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the policy for each fiscal year to reflect any changes in the federal poverty guidelines.

The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are funded by USDA and administered by ISBE. Free and reduced-price meals ensure access to nutritious meals and snacks for families unable to pay the full price.

"Healthy students are better learners",said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "Many of our students count on these nutritious meals to fuel them to reach their full potential. Our vision for schools is that they support students’ cognitive growth, social and emotional development, and physical well-being. ISBE is very proud to administer school nutrition programs in Illinois."

The following chart lists the household size and income criteria that determine students’ eligibility to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. USDA’s Fiscal Year 2018 Income Eligibility Guidelines are also on the ISBE’s website at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/IEG-18.pdf.

Income Eligibility Guidelines: Effective from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018

Free Meals 130% Federal Poverty Guideline and Reduced-Price Meals 185% Federal Poverty Guideline 

USDA provided the following information for families and guardians seeking free or reduced-price meals for students:

Children from households that meet federal guidelines are eligible for free or reduced-price meal services. Complete one application per household for all children that attend the same school district.

All meals served must meet the U. S. Department of Agriculture meal requirements. However, if a child has been determined by a doctor to have a disability and the disability would prevent the child from eating the regular school meal, this school will make substitutions prescribed by the doctor. If a substitution is needed, there will be no extra charge for the meal. If you believe your child needs substitutions because of a disability, please contact the school for further information.

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meal services, households must complete the application as soon as possible, sign it, and return it to the school. Additional copies of the application form are available in the principal’s office in each school. Households should answer all applicable questions on the form. An application which does not contain all the required information cannot be processed and approved by the school. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants may be eligible for free/reduced-price meals and are encouraged to complete an application for meal benefits.

The required information is as follows:

SNAP/TANF HOUSEHOLDS: If the school provided you a letter that stated your child(ren) is eligible for free meals via the direct certification process, you do not have to complete this application to receive free meal benefits. Households that currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for their child(ren), only have to list the child(ren)’s name and at least one SNAP or TANF case number and sign the application. If at least one SNAP/TANF case number is provided for any household member, then all children listed on the application are categorically eligible for free meals. Applications listing LINK card numbers cannot be used for free or reduced-price meals.

ALL OTHER HOUSEHOLDS: If a household’s income is at or below the level shown on the income scale, children are eligible for either free or reduced-price meal services. Households must provide the following information:

  • The names of all household members;
  • The last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member signing the application, or indicate if the adult does not have a Social Security number;
  • The amount of income each household member received last month, how frequently it is paid, and where it came from (wages, child support, etc.); and
  • The signature of an adult household member.

The information on the application may be checked by school or other officials at any time during the school year.Households may apply for benefits at any time during the school year. Households that are not eligible now but have a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, or a household member becomes unemployed, should fill out an application at that time. Homeless, migrant, runaway youth, Head Start and foster care children, are categorically eligible for free meals. Please follow instructions and return form to school. Households that do not agree with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss it with the school. Households also have the right to a fair hearing.

###

Civil Rights Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA; its agencies, offices, and employees; and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/how-file-program-discrimination-complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. Fax:   (202) 690-7442; or
  3. Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Communications
11668/11/2017
  

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in both Chicago and Springfield on Wednesday, August 16.

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2017

Agenda announced for Illinois State Board of Education meeting August 16   

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in both Chicago and Springfield on Wednesday, August 16.   

View the packet for the meeting at https://www.isbe.net/Documents_Board_Meetings/08-16-2017-Packet.pdf

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

August 16, 2017

9 a.m.

Chicago Location:ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor
 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago
   
Springfield Location:ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor
 100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Swearing-in of Susie Morrison, Board Member
  3. Public Participation
  4. Resolutions and Recognition
    1. Ben Martindale, Chief Educational Officer, North Chicago School District 187
  5. Presentations & Updates
    1. KIDS Update (Advance Illinois)
  6. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: June 14, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 650 (Charter Schools)
    3. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education)
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Advanced Placement Test Fee Program
      2. 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program
      3. After School Matters Program Grant
      4. Truants' Alternative & Optional Education Program (TAOEP) Grant
      5. IDEA Part B Discretionary Grant – Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Collaborative (ISTAC) / Illinois Multi-Tiered System of Supports Network (IL MTSS Network) Continuation Funding
      6. IDEA Part D State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) – Illinois Multi-tiered System of Supports Network (IL MTSS Network) Continuation Funding
      7. Contract for Assessment Development, Content Management and Technical Service Provider
      8. Illinois Science Assessment Technology Vendor Sole Source Contract with Breakthrough Technologies
      9. Illinois Science Assessment Technology Vendor Request for Sealed Proposals
      10. Illinois Science Assessment Intergovernmental Agreement with the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University Carbondale
      11. Southwest Organizing Project
        End of Consent Agenda
    5. Illinois Science Assessment Threshold Scores and Performance Level Descriptors
  7. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. ESSA Update
    5. Other Items for Discussion
  8. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  9. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)
  10. Closed Session (as needed)
  11. Adjourn
Assessment and Accountability
11658/8/2017
  

​The Illinois State Board of Education today released the following statement regarding the status of the model for Governor Bruce Rauner’s Amendatory Veto to Senate Bill 1

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2017

SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois State Board of Education today released the following statement regarding the status of the model for Governor Bruce Rauner’s Amendatory Veto to Senate Bill 1:

“State Board of Education staff transmitted a model of the Governor’s Amendatory Veto to SB 1 on Monday afternoon. At 9:27 a.m. today, August 8, 2017, State Board of Education staff received an email from Department of Revenue staff reporting a significant error in the TIF EAV data that the Department of Revenue submitted to the State Board of Education for modeling.  

“Once State Board of Education staff receive a revised data set from the Department of Revenue, agency staff will update the model and re-transmit to the Governor’s Office. As with past funding reform models, it will be at the discretion of the sponsor, in this case the Governor, when and how to distribute the file.”

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11648/3/2017
  
National Immunization Awareness Month in August promotes life-saving vaccinations for preventable diseases

​The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reminding parents and guardians to check their children’s vaccination records to make sure they meet immunization requirements prior to the first day of school.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reminding parents and guardians to check their children’s vaccination records to make sure they meet immunization requirements prior to the first day of school.

The federally funded Vaccines for Children program provides vaccines at no cost to children in low-income households. Families can call (312) 746-6050 in Chicago or (217) 785-1455 in all other parts of Illinois to learn about free vaccines.

“Immunizations are central to keeping students healthy and ready to learn,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Keeping children’s vaccinations up to date according to the recommended schedule is one of the most important things parents and guardians can do to protect the health of the youngest and oldest among us. Whether for a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, or a student going back to elementary, middle or high school, I encourage parents and guardians to check their children’s vaccination records and, if necessary, schedule a visit with a physician or clinic. Doing so now will avoid a potential last-minute rush.”

Immunizations have eradicated several serious diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and diphtheria in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instances of other serious diseases, such as measles and rubella, have dropped by more than 99 percent since the pre-vaccination era. Keeping students’ vaccinations up to date is especially important, as diseases can spread quickly among groups of unvaccinated children.

“Child care facilities, preschool programs, and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors, such as interacting in crowded environments. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their child care centers, classrooms, and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.”

View the Fall 2017 Minimum Immunization Requirements and other resources on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization

For additional information about school health issues in Illinois, visit https://www.isbe.net/Pages/School-Health-Issues.aspx.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11637/24/2017
  

​Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program federal grants help schools introduce children to a variety of fresh produce

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) federal grant recipients for the 2017-18 school year. The program assists schools with introducing students to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about or eat. 

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2017
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) federal grant recipients for the 2017-18 school year. The program assists schools with introducing students to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about or eat. 

“Research shows that students with access to healthy meals perform better in school,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Introducing young students to fresh fruits and vegetables helps to establish lifelong healthy eating habits and fosters an interest in nutritious foods – where they come from, what they look like, and what they do for growing brains and bodies. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program supports ISBE’s vision of Illinois as a state of whole, healthy children.” 

ISBE has administered FFVP federal grants to elementary schools across the state each school year since 2008-09. All elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply. The program criteria gives priority to elementary schools that have greater free and reduced-price lunch participation.

For instance, in 2015, a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant made it possible to offer fresh peaches to students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Chicago – it was the first time some students had tasted a fresh peach.

The school districts awarded FFVP grants for the 2017-18 school year are:​

  • Jacksonville SD 117
  • Rockford SD 205
  • Jackson Charter School
  • Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview 89
  • Lindop SD 92
  • Berwyn South SD 100
  • Summit SD 104
  • Calumet Public SD 132
  • Gen George Patton SD 133
  • Prairie-Hills ESD 144
  • Harvey SD 152
  • Brookwood SD 167
  • Ludlow CCSD 142
  • North Wamac SD 186
  • Mount Vernon SD 80
  • Bethel SD 82
  • Patoka CUSD 100
  • Central City SD 133
  • Centralia SD 135
  • Sandoval CUSD 501
  • Archdiocese of Chicago-Nw Hwy
  • City of Chicago SD 299
  • Betty Shabazz International Charter School
  • Lincoln ESD 27
  • CCSD 180
  • Carbondale ESD 95
  • Tri-County Sp Ed Jnt Agreement
  • Meridian CUSD 101
  • Aurora West USD 129
  • Aurora East USD 131
  • CUSD 300
  • Pembroke CCSD 259
  • Waukegan CUSD 60
  • Round Lake CUSD 116
  • Streator ESD 44
  • North Greene CUSD 3
  • Madison CUSD 12
  • East Alton SD 13
  • Pleasant Valley SD 62
  • Pleasant Hill SD 69
  • Peoria Heights CUSD 325
  • Silvis SD 34
  • East Moline SD 37
  • Rock Island SD 41
  • Brooklyn UD 188
  • East St Louis SD 189
  • Springfield SD 186
  • Laraway CCSD 70C



ISBE’s Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division will present the free School Nutrition Programs Back to School Conference on Aug. 2-3, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.

ISBE will recognize the 2017 School Nutrition Champion award-winner, Sandra Duniphan, the cafeteria manager for Pontiac-William Holliday School District 105 in Fairview Heights, at the conference.

The free conference for new and veteran school nutrition professionals also will include sessions on new staff orientation, menu planning, procurement and resource management, the Web-based Illinois Nutrition System, local wellness policies, USDA Foods, food safety, Farm to Schools, and more.

Administrators can register for the event at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/SNPB2S.aspx​.
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11627/19/2017
  

​Teacher shortage leaves more than 1,000 positions unfilled statewide  

​SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed into law Public Act 100-0013 to help address the critical shortage of educators in Illinois public schools. Public Act 100-0013 streamlines the licensing requirements for various endorsement areas, such as Career and Technical Education (CTE) and school psychologist, and makes other related changes. The measure was spearheaded by the Illinois State Board of Education and was sponsored by Representative Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood) and Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield). 

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2017

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed into law Public Act 100-0013 to help address the critical shortage of educators in Illinois public schools. Public Act 100-0013 streamlines the licensing requirements for various endorsement areas, such as Career and Technical Education (CTE) and school psychologist, and makes other related changes. The measure was spearheaded by the Illinois State Board of Education and was sponsored by Representative Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood) and Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield). 

More than 1,000 teaching positions statewide are unfilled, according to data collected from school districts in October 2016. The majority (approximately 67 percent) of school districts in Illinois have 100 or fewer faculty members. Even one unfilled position in a small school district significantly impacts students’ learning opportunities. 

“Teachers are agents of change in students’ lives and agents of change in their schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Fulfilling the mission and vision of our public school system depends on the teachers in the classroom. Public Act 100-0013 reduces barriers for educators while maintaining the high standards students deserve. We need to continue to think creatively about expanding opportunities for individuals who want to teach and expanding opportunities for current teachers so they feel valued for the incredible work they do and remain a part of our schools.”

Illinois’ teacher shortage affects every school district in unique ways. Milford Area Public Schools District 124 Superintendent Dr. Dale Hastings and Dr. Mike Curry, who was at the time superintendent of VIT Community Unit School District 2 and is now superintendent of Abingdon-Avon Community Unit School District #276, testified at the May 24 State Board of Education meeting about the specific ways the teacher shortage affects the students in their districts. 

“Even one vacant position in our rural district puts our students at risk of not getting the instruction they need and falling behind,” said Hastings. “This licensure change will allow our rural Illinois school district to fill positions that are greatly needed. This licensure change demonstrates the willingness of ISBE and our legislative leaders to understand the needs facing school districts across the state and then be creative to solve the need.”

The Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents served as a critical partner in developing and advocating for the legislation.

"We know our schools need to fill many positions, and every hurdle in an educator’s way prevents schools from filling these positions and providing the best possible instructional environment for students,” said Mark Jontry, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. “We want to thank the Governor, legislators, and ISBE for working together to reduce the licensing hurdles while maintaining high standards to put more qualified, motivated, and talented educators in our schools to guide students in their education and their lives.”

Public Act 100-0013 makes a number of changes to the School Code, including: 

  • Lowers the minimum age for an individual to apply for an educator license to 19.
  • Allows individuals who hold a valid CTE license to substitute teach CTE courses.
  • Removes the 20-hour coursework requirement for individuals who want to renew a provisional CTE license.
  • Provides statutory authority for the Director of Special Education endorsement.
  • Applies the Administrator Academy requirement to maintain an active administrator license only to individuals who have worked in an administrative position within the past five years.
  • Allows school psychologists to renew their Illinois licenses by providing proof of valid national licensure. 

The new law took effect July 1, 2017.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11617/7/2017
  

​Best practices videos highlight innovation at four Illinois charter schools 

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has awarded $300,000 in federal grants to two Illinois charter schools to help other schools adopt their successful programs for bilingual education and college-ready writing. The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) in Chicago and Southland College Prep Charter High School in Richton Park each will receive $150,000 to share the best practices they incubated at their schools.

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2017

​SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has awarded $300,000 in federal grants to two Illinois charter schools to help other schools adopt their successful programs for bilingual education and college-ready writing. The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) in Chicago and Southland College Prep Charter High School in Richton Park each will receive $150,000 to share the best practices they incubated at their schools. 

The grant funds come from the $42 million federally funded Charter School Program (CSP), which ISBE administers to expand the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and to evaluate the impact of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and families. 

ISBE also collaborated with the Illinois Principals Association to produce four videos highlighting the work of Illinois charter schools that are building inclusive cultures of success and becoming anchors in their communities. The videos are available through the Ed Leaders Network and on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/BestPracticeCorner.aspx.  

“Students succeed when leaders and educators cultivate communities of practice to learn from each other," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We have to take every opportunity to support schools coaching schools and educators coaching educators in order to expand what works. Congratulations to Academy for Global Citizenship, Southland College Prep Charter High School, and their partner schools. I look forward to following these exciting partnerships." 

ISBE released a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Charter Schools Program's Dissemination of Best Practices subgrants on December 30, 2016. A team of external reviewers selected the two outstanding schools out of 16 total applications. 

The Academy for Global Citizenship will use its grant funds to share its successful dual language model with another public school in Chicago. AGC's model offers two-way immersion, with native Spanish speakers, native English speakers, and simultaneous bilingual students learning collaboratively so all students learn to read, write, and speak in both languages. Hispanic students at AGC performed better in reading growth than students at 58 percent of schools nationally and better in math growth than students at 57 percent of schools nationally on the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress assessment. AGC will work closely with teachers at its partner school through study cycles, peer coaching, and classroom observations. 

Southland College Prep Charter High School will use its CSP grant funds to share its successful college-ready writing program, called the Writing Your Future Project, with a neighboring elementary district. The program helps students express their thoughts succinctly and is the cornerstone of a student's preparation for college. Southland's college persistence rate for students in its first three graduating classes is at 75 percent, which is 10 percentage points higher than the national average. More than two-thirds of Southland students scored a 21 or above in the English content area of the ACT, and 84 percent of students consistently score 3 points or higher on the Advanced Placement English Composition exam. Southland College Prep Charter High School will work with its partner district to develop and implement a writing curriculum for the third through eighth grades, based on core elements of the Writing Your Future Project.  

The CSP grant funds will support both AGC and Southland in monitoring student achievement across the partnerships to further assess the impacts of both programs. 

ISBE plans to release the next CSP Dissemination of Best Practices RFP in December 2017. Find more information about the Charter Schools Program grants on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Charter-Schools.aspx

Communications
11606/28/2017
  

SPRINGFIELD — The federal eligibility guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) will allow for a slight increase in household income for participants to qualify for fiscal year 2018. The CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The CACFP assists childcare centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and daycare home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating childcare centers and daycare homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

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2017

SPRINGFIELD — The federal eligibility guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) will allow for a slight increase in household income for participants to qualify for fiscal year 2018. The CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The CACFP assists childcare centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and daycare home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating childcare centers and daycare homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

"The Child and Adult Care Food Program ensures children in daycare who may not otherwise have regular access to healthy food are getting the proper nutrition they need to fuel their developing bodies and brains," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "Physical health impacts learning. ISBE is proud to administer the federally funded CACFP to help address food insecurity in Illinois."

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income Eligibility Guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household's income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their childcare center or daycare home provider to learn about benefits of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information.

Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs at approved Head Start facilities and foster care children who are legal responsibilities of the state or court also receive free meal benefits. Parents or guardians should contact their childcare center or daycare home provider to find out if they participate in CACFP.

Income Eligibility Guidelines: Effective from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018

Free Meals 130% Federal Poverty Guideline and Reduced-Price Meals 185% Federal Poverty Guideline 

In 2013, a total of 1,755,180 people (643,040 of them children) in Illinois were food insecure, according to Feeding America's Mind the Meal Gap 2015.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11596/22/2017
  

Join ISBE live on Facebook for a Q&A on Wednesday, June 28 at 3 p.m.​

CHICAGO – The State of Illinois has adopted a new Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework that outlines what students should know and actions they should take from middle school through 12th grade to select the right postsecondary option, prepare for careers, and access financial aid opportunities. Through the action of their governing boards, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) have all adopted​ the framework and will be using it to support and advance their efforts in these areas.
NoNo
2017

​CHICAGO – The State of Illinois has adopted a new Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework that outlines what students should know and actions they should take from middle school through 12th grade to select the right postsecondary option, prepare for careers, and access financial aid opportunities.  Through the action of their governing boards, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) have all adopted the framework and will be using it to support and advance their efforts in these areas. 

Grade level learning standards help teachers, students, and parents make sure that students are on track when it comes to learning academic concepts. But when it comes to what a student should know about life after high school—concepts like how to choose a college or what to look for when exploring careers—there has not been a similar set of grade level milestones addressing what students should know and when. 

“The new PaCE guidelines offer a framework that teachers, schools, and others who work with students can use to help improve college and career readiness," said Dr. Beth Purvis, Illinois Secretary of Education and Chair of the Illinois P-20 Council. “We are pleased to support this important cross-agency effort to ensure middle and high school students have academic and work experiences that support them and their families in making well-informed plans and decisions for their adult life." 

The PaCE framework is one of four key strategies included in the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (Public Act 99-0674) (PWR Act), which unanimously passed the Illinois House and Senate in May 2016 and was signed by Governor Rauner in July 2016. The PWR Act takes a student-centered and competency-based approach to assist Illinois students to prepare for and select the right postsecondary option, and ultimately obtain meaningful employment.  The PaCE framework provides an important foundation for the three other strategies implemented by the PWR Act:  a new system for school districts to award college and career pathways endorsements on high school diplomas, supporting students to avoid remediation in college through targeted math instruction during the senior year, and piloting competency-based high school graduation requirements.   

The framework is intended to be used by communities to organize their activities around postsecondary education and career readiness and financial aid supports. While the PWR Act does not require school districts to adopt it, state agencies will use PaCE to organize their supports in these areas to local communities.  

For example, ISAC is using PaCE as a framework to guide the assistance it delivers through a recently awarded seven-year, $18.6 million federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant that will provide services to approximately 30,500 students in 25 middle schools and 25 high schools across Illinois. ISAC is also supporting the work of the Northern Illinois University P-20 Center in the creation of professional development modules on the PaCE framework for administrators and school counselors. In addition, the Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network has created tools to help implement the PaCE Framework, especially On PaCE to Thrive: A Guide to Community Action for College and Career Readiness, which provides activities to be shared by stakeholders in each community.

PaCE was developed through a multi-year process led by the Illinois P-20 Council's College and Career Readiness Committee. The advisory committee that developed PaCE included over 30 members from across the State representing school counselors, district administrators, universities, community colleges, teacher, employers, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.  

While PaCE was not officially adopted until this month, some Illinois school districts have already begun to implement it.   

“Our district has done a significant amount of work on college and career readiness, and we have found PaCE to be a great modeling tool to build on that work," said Dr. Travis L. McGuire, Superintendent of Hinkley-Big Rock CUSD #429.  “The flexibility of the framework has allowed us to identify and implement important components aligned to our local needs and resources." 

ISBE will go live on Facebook at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, to answer questions about PaCE at www.facebook.com/IllinoisStateBoardofEducation. ISBE Director of Community Partnerships and Secondary Transformation Mary Reynolds and Illini Central CUSD 189 Superintendent Mike Ward will share how they envision using the framework to help all students prepare for college and career. 

The official PaCE framework is available at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/PaCE_Revisions.pdf. Resources for PaCE and other aspects of the PWR Act are available at www.pwract.org.  

About the Illinois Board of Higher Education

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) is the state's agency for planning and coordination of higher education, including connecting the needs of the state's workforce with college degrees and postsecondary training programs. www.ibhe.org 

About the Illinois Community College Board

The Illinois Community College Board is the state coordinating board for community colleges. Illinois is home to 48 community colleges in 39 districts and has the third largest community college system in the nation serving close to 1 million residents each year in credit and noncredit courses. www.iccb.org 

About the Illinois Student Assistance Commission

The mission of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is to help make college accessible and affordable for students throughout Illinois. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families--giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them. Then, through the state scholarship and grant programs ISAC administers, ISAC can help students make those choices a reality. www.isac.org 

About the Illinois State Board of Education

The mission of the Illinois State Board of Education is to provide leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois districts through engaging legislators, school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders in formulating and advocating for policies that enhance education, empower districts, and ensure equitable outcomes for all students. ISBE envisions Illinois as state of whole, healthy children nested in whole, healthy systems supporting communities wherein all citizens are socially and economically secure. www.isbe.net

Communications
11586/20/2017
  

​State Board, Illinois Education Association, and Illinois Federation of Teachers host luncheon to honor outstanding educators across the state 

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today joined the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA) to honor 40 educators who have been selected by their professional organizations as the best in their fields during the 2016-17 school year. The seventh annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Luncheon held today in Normal honored education professionals in a wide range of disciplines.  
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2017
​SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today joined the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA) to honor 40 educators who have been selected by their professional organizations as the best in their fields during the 2016-17 school year. The seventh annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Luncheon held today in Normal honored education professionals in a wide range of disciplines.   

“These outstanding educators recognized today bring to life the phrase, ‘It takes a village,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Educating each student as a whole child requires talented and dedicated professionals in all disciplines. I want to personally thank them for their tireless efforts to create safe and caring school climates, and for going the extra mile to make their schools places where all children feel welcomed. It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to publicly recognize their efforts.”

ISBE, IFT, and IEA co-hosted today’s luncheon at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. 

“The Illinois Education Association is always proud to help sponsor the Teacher Recognition Luncheon, a wonderful way to thank and acknowledge Illinois’ many outstanding educators,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “The award winners have shown exemplary teaching in each of their fields, and they remind us that great education is being delivered to our students every day in every school in Illinois.”

ISBE administers the Those Who Excel program each fall, naming a Teacher of the Year and recognizing more than 200 educators nominated by their districts or members of their communities for outstanding service. Township High School District 214’s Ricardo Castro, was named the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Castro teaches English as a Second Language, Language Arts, and Spanish at Elk Grove High School. The annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon provides an opportunity to honor other award-winning teachers from across the state.

“Teachers and school staff have some of the hardest and most important jobs in the world,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “They provide our students with support and offer them opportunities to grow, often with few resources. These outstanding educators have gone above and beyond, and it’s an honor to recognize them for their enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment.”
The following exemplary educators were recognized today:



​     



Communications
11576/14/2017
  
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in both Chicago and Springfield on Wednesday, June 14.
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2017

Agenda announced for Illinois State Board of Education meeting June 14   

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in both Chicago and Springfield on Wednesday, June 14.

View the packet for the meeting at https://www.isbe.net/Documents_Board_Meetings/2017-06-packet.pdf

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

June 14, 2017

9 a.m.

Chicago Location:ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor
 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago
   
Springfield Location:ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor
 100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Resolutions and Recognition
    1. Jeff Vose, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents
  4. Presentations & Updates
    1. EducationSuperHighway Update
    2. Review of New Organization Structure Update
  5. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: May 24, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 23 (Standards for School Support Personnel Endorsements)
      2. Part 75 (Agricultural Education)
    3. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Technical Assistance to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program
      2. Renewal of Contract for Administration of the Centralized Demographic Dataset
      3. Illinois Principals Association Grant
      4. Renewal of Intergovernmental Agreement with UChicago Impact for the 5Essentials Survey of Learning Conditions
      5. Learning Technology Centers Intergovernmental Agreement
      6. Renewal of Intergovernmental Agreement for the Illinois Interactive Report Card 
      7. Statewide System of Support Continuation of Funding to Fiscal Agents for Foundational Services
      8. IDEA, Part B, Preschool Discretionary Grants
      9. DELL
    4. *Update to the Strategic Plan
    5. *Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board Appointments
    6. *Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act
    7. *2018 Board Meeting Dates
      End of Consent Agenda
  6. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)
    2. Status of Agency Rulemaking: Fiscal Year 2017
    3. Rulemakings Anticipated for FY 2018
  9. Closed Session (as needed)
  10. Adjourn
Communications
11566/5/2017
  

Summer Food Service Program family kick-off event in Chicago set for June 23

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, also known as Summer Meals, is kicking off at more than 1,500 sites across Illinois, with sponsors continuing to open additional sites. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) administers the Summer Meals program to provide free and nutritious meals and snacks to children during the summer months in between the school years. Last year, Summer Meals sites served over 5.4 million meals.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, also known as Summer Meals, is kicking off at more than 1,500 sites across Illinois, with sponsors continuing to open additional sites. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) administers the Summer Meals program to provide free and nutritious meals and snacks to children during the summer months in between the school years. Last year, Summer Meals sites served over 5.4 million meals. 

ISBE partner organizations No Kid Hungry and the Illinois Hunger Coalition staff a calling and texting hotline to refer families to their nearest meal sites. Interested families can call (800) 359-2163, text “FoodIL” or “ComidasIL” to 877-877, or visit SummerMealsIllinois.org. Days and times of operation vary by site. Summer Meals serves children and teens age 18 and younger.

“Summer Meals helps to bridge the gap for children who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the year,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE deeply appreciates the Summer Meals sites and sponsors who bring the program to life in hundreds of communities across the state. Research shows that students with access to healthy meals perform better in school. ISBE is proud to administer the Summer Meals program and to continue investing in students’ health, which is critical to learning.”

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti has partnered with Summer Meals to raise awareness of the need for more program sponsors. Since taking office, Sanguinetti has advocated for programs that fight food insecurity, childhood hunger, and the lack of healthy food options in certain communities.

“As someone who grew up in poverty, I know firsthand the helplessness a child feels when they are unsure of from where their next meal will come,” said Sanguinetti. “This is an unfortunate reality for far too many children in Illinois. I strongly encourage school districts, local leaders, and nonprofit organizations to join the Summer Meals program and partner with me to ensure no child goes hungry this summer.”

For every 100 children who receive meals through the National School Lunch Programs (NSLP), only 14 received meals over the summer. Although 172 SFSP sponsors and 135 Seamless Summer Option sponsors administered over 2,200 meal sites in 2016, Illinois’ children need many more sponsors to provide access to healthy food in every county in the state. At the end of 2016, Illinois had 35 counties with no SFSP sponsors or meal sites. Organizations can learn more about becoming a Summer Meals sponsor at www.isbe.net/sfsp.

Research shows that healthy students are better learners. Healthy students achieve higher on all levels of academic performance, including grades, attendance, and cognitive skills and attitudes. The Summer Meals program helps to keep students healthy while school is not in session, so they return to the classroom ready to learn in the fall.

Chicagoland Summer Meals sites will hold a family kick-off event on Friday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Horner Park at 2741 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL 60618. Learn more at http://riseandshineillinois.org/news-events/.

###

Civil Rights Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/how-file-program-discrimination-complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. Fax:   (202) 690-7442; or
  3. Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Communications
11555/19/2017
  
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting in Springfield on Wednesday, May 24.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting in Springfield on Wednesday, May 24.

View the packet for the meeting.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

May 24, 2017

10:30 a.m.

Illinois State Board of Education

100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Presentations & Updates
    1. Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education Update
    2. Illinois Board of Higher Education Update
    3. Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act Update
  4. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: April 13, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education)
    3. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 25 (Educator Licensure)
      2. Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education)
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Intergovernmental Agreement with Regional Office of Education #51 for KIDS Regional Professional Development Consultants and  Professional Development Coordinator
      2. Grant with Illinois State University for the National Board Certification Initiative
      3. Renewal of Intergovernmental Agreement with Illinois State University to Administer the Illinois National Board Professional Preparation and Support System
      4. Intergovernmental Agreement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Early Childhood Illinois Early Learning Project Website
      5. Teach for America Grant
      6. Early Childhood Block Grant Preschool for All 3-5, Preschool for All 3-5 Expansion, and Prevention Initiative 0-3
    5. *Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) Authorization
    6. * National Association of State Boards of Education Membership Dues for 2018
      End of Consent Agenda
  5. Closed Session (as needed)
  6. Ratification of the Tentative Agreement Between the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Federation of State Office Educators, Local 3236, IFT-AFT, AFL-CIO
  7. Presentation of the Compliance Examination for the Two Years Ended June 30, 2016
  8. Discussion Items
    1. ESSA Update
    2. District Oversight Update
    3. Legislative Update
    4. Budget Update
    5. Other Items for Discussion
  9. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  10. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)
  11. Adjourn

The Cooking up Change culinary students will serve the State Board lunch following adjournment.

Communications
11545/10/2017
  

Charter school will offer families an innovative approach to learning

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced a federally funded $950,000 award to the Elgin Charter School Initiative. The two-part grant will support the opening of the Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School within School District U-46. The proposed school will focus on closing opportunity and achievement gaps in the Elgin community through the hands-on and explorative Expeditionary Learning (EL) model.
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2017
ELGIN – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced a federally funded $950,000 award to the Elgin Charter School Initiative. The two-part grant will support the opening of the Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School within School District U-46. The proposed school will focus on closing opportunity and achievement gaps in the Elgin community through the hands-on and explorative Expeditionary Learning (EL) model. 

The grant is part of the federally funded Charter Schools Program, through which ISBE can award $42 million total in federal funds to expand the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and evaluate the effects of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

“Congratulations to the Elgin Charter School Initiative and the Elgin community,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “High-quality school options allow families to find the best learning environment for their children’s unique interests and needs. I encourage high-performing charter school operators across the state to consider applying for the next round of Charter Schools Program funds to expand opportunities for more families. I encourage school district leaders to take advantage of the opportunity to bring additional federal funding and high-quality school choices to their communities.”

The Elgin Charter School Initiative will use the $150,000 in Program Design funds and the $800,000 in Initial Implementation funds to provide staff and teachers with intensive supports and training in the EL education model, which encourages students to learn by doing. Educators at the Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School will shepherd students to be leaders of their own learning and achieve bold goals.

“Our team at the Elgin Charter School Initiative is grateful for the Charter Schools Program funding and for ISBE's vote of confidence in our proposed Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School,” said Kerin Kelly, president of the Elgin Charter School Initiative. “We are excited to bring a unique math and science charter school based on the EL education model to School District U-46. As an all-volunteer team, the CSP grant will allow us to have a great start and to make important hires prior to our school opening in 2018.”  

ISBE plans to release the next Charter Schools Program Request for Proposals in July.


Communications
11534/24/2017
  

State Board, Horace Mann Companies, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Principals Association recognize superintendents and principals from across the state

Education leaders from around the state convened today to honor 25 outstanding school and district administrators at the third annual Distinguished Administrators Luncheon, co-hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Horace Mann Companies, the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and the Illinois Principals Association (IPA).
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2017
SPRINGFIELD – Education leaders from around the state convened today to honor 25 outstanding school and district administrators at the third annual Distinguished Administrators Luncheon, co-hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Horace Mann Companies, the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and the Illinois Principals Association (IPA). 

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., delivered opening remarks at the event, held at The Inn at 835 in Springfield. Smith expressed his deep appreciation for the dedication and leadership of superintendents and principals, who will play a key role in implementing the state’s new accountability and support system under the Every Student Succeeds Act. 
“A healthy school system depends on strong school and district leaders,” said Smith. “The 25 superintendents and principals honored today have shown an outsized and inspirational commitment to students and to their communities. I cannot overstate the importance of school and district administrators to the success of our students, especially as we all transition and grow through Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan. I want to publicly thank our all of our outstanding superintendents and principals.”

Regional colleagues annually select their local Superintendents of Distinction, one in each of the 21 IASA regions, based on leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. Dr. Jason Henry of Sesser-Valier Community Unit School District 196, was recognized as the 2017 Superintendent of the Year at the Joint Annual Conference in November. 

“Some of the best Illinois school leaders serving children, teachers, and communities are being recognized today for their dedicated work towards the maximum educational success for all students,” said Brent Clark, Ph.D., executive director of IASA. 

Education leaders from around the state attended the Distinguished Administrators Luncheon, including Marita Zuraitis, president and chief executive officer of the Horace Mann Companies, a national insurer that focuses on education.

“Our administrators excel at providing a supportive, enriching, and constructive environment to help both students and faculty achieve their best every day,” said Zuraitis. “We are proud to recognize the Superintendents of Distinction and Principal of the Year honorees and support their efforts to find solutions to the many issues schools and educators face every day.” 

IPA encourages community members, teachers, administrators, and board members to nominate outstanding principals and assistant principals within their regions. Regional winners move on to the state level, where a committee of past IPA presidents selects an Elementary Principal of the Year, a Middle School/Junior High School Principal of the Year, a High School Principal of the Year, and an Assistant Principal of the Year.

“These individuals exemplify the best in school leadership,” said Jason Leahy, executive director of IPA. “They are to be commended for their service and dedication to their students, teachers, and communities.”

ISBE, Horace Mann Companies, IASA, and IPA today recognized the following administrators:




Communications
11524/13/2017
  

Many school districts incurred debt to cover normal operations

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) voted today to approve the Annual Financial Profiles (AFP) for school districts statewide. ISBE created the 2017 AFP by analyzing school districts’ fiscal year 2016 Annual Financial Reports. View the 2017 Annual Financial Profiles at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/School-District-Financial-Profile.aspx.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) voted today to approve the Annual Financial Profiles (AFP) for school districts statewide. ISBE created the 2017 AFP by analyzing school districts’ fiscal year 2016 Annual Financial Reports. View the 2017 Annual Financial Profiles at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/School-District-Financial-Profile.aspx

Statewide in FY 2016, the increase in total operational revenues exceeded the increase in total operational expenditures, leading to a slight increase in school districts’ overall scores for financial strength. However, more than a fourth of all Illinois school districts issued short- or long-term debt to sustain normal operations. School districts pay interest on outstanding debt, which decreases the funds available for education services in the future. Many school districts also eliminated staff and programming to reduce operational costs.

“Illinois school districts’ financial health has improved over the last year, but at what cost to students?” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois must overhaul our school funding model, which is the most inadequate and the most inequitable in the country. Every school district in the state is having to make hard choices to cover the day-to-day costs of keeping their schools’ doors open. Forcing school districts to rely primarily on taxing local property wealth to fund education inherently means the students who need the most will receive the least. We expect dedication, innovation, and improvement from our administrators, educators, and students; we owe them the resources necessary to meet those expectations.”

Statute requires the AFP analysis to count mandated categorical program (MCAT) funds as revenue, though school districts received their final FY 2016 quarterly MCAT payment six months late. School districts have not received any MCAT payments for the first three quarters of FY 2017.

The profiles provide school districts and their stakeholders with information on school districts’ financial integrity. School districts receive a score from 1.00 (lowest financial strength) to 4.00 (highest financial strength) and a corresponding designation (4.00 through 3.54: Financial Recognition; 3.53 through 3.08: Financial Review; 3.07 through 2.62: Financial Warning; and 2.61 through 1.00: Financial Watch).

ISBE developed the AFP in 2003 in consultation with experts in finance and lending, credit agencies, and school district business officials in order to promote sound financial management. The profiles examine five key indicators of financial integrity: fund balance to revenue ratio, expenditure to revenue ratio, days cash on hand, percentage of short-term borrowing ability remaining, and percentage of long-term borrowing ability remaining.

ISBE provides tools and guidance on financial management to all school districts seeking assistance and to school districts designated in Financial Watch.

Communications
11514/11/2017
  
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in Chicago and Springfield on Thursday, April 13.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video conference in Chicago and Springfield on Thursday, April 13.​

View the packet for the meeting at https://www.isbe.net/Documents_Board_Meetings/20170413-packet.pdf.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

April 13, 2017

9 a.m.

Chicago Location:
ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor
100 W. Randolph St., Chicago

Springfield Location: 
ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor
100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Public Participation
  3. Closed Session
  4. Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: March 15, 2017
    2. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision)
      2. Part 20 (Standards for Endorsements in Elementary Education)
      3. Part 26 (Standards for Endorsements in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education)
    3. *Rules for Withdrawal
      1. Part 50 (Evaluation of Educator Licensed Employees Under Articles 24A and 34 of the School Code)
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. Renewal of Contract for Co-Project Manager of Illinois Longitudinal Data System Project
      2. Intergovernmental Agreement with Sangamon-Menard Regional Office of Education #51 for Field Monitors
      3. Intergovernmental Agreement Extension with Illinois State University for Implementation of the Illinois Learning Standards
      4. Intergovernmental Agreement with Peoria County Regional Office of Education #48 for the Illinois Virtual School
    5. *Special Education Expenditure and Receipts Report
    6. *Statewide Single Audit
    7. *Passing Score for the Four Middle Grades (5-8) Content Tests for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Sciences
      End of Consent Agenda
  5. Review of Financial Profile Analysis
  6. Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman's Report
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)
  9. Adjourn
Communications
11504/4/2017
  

Plan outlines new statewide system of support for schools and framework for measuring school quality

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has submitted Illinois’ state plan outlining a new, school-level accountability framework to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The plan presents a new vision of evaluating and supporting public schools in Illinois under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has submitted Illinois' state plan outlining a new, school-level accountability framework to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The plan presents a new vision of evaluating and supporting public schools in Illinois under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

View a visual one-pager and presentation describing key elements of the plan at https://www.isbe.net/essa.

Read the complete plan submitted to ED at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/ESSA-Draft-Report.aspx

In developing Illinois' ESSA State Plan, ISBE created three drafts; hosted approximately 100 listening tour forums across the state; engaged hundreds of advocates and stakeholder groups representing educators, administrators, school support staff, parents, and concerned citizens; and received and considered more than 3,500 comments online. The State Board unanimously approved the plan March 15. The plan also received Governor Bruce Rauner's signature and support. 

“I am tremendously proud of the collaborative work ISBE staff and stakeholders have engaged in over the past 16 months to create our ESSA State Plan," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Submitting our ESSA State Plan to ED is only the beginning. ISBE will remain in constant dialogue with our stakeholders as we continue to implement ESSA in Illinois. We will refine and adjust our plan when necessary and work together to improve all schools and improve outcomes for all students. 

“Our stakeholders identified key principles to guide the design of our new accountability system. Accountability should be educative, providing information the school community can learn from; equitable, recognizing the unequal circumstances of Illinois' students and educators; non-punitive, seeking to support struggling schools; and should consider multiple measures of school quality, beyond just academic attainment," said Smith. “We took every comment and recommendation to heart. 

“Our ESSA State Plan portrays a multi-dimensional picture of learning and supports the whole child as she or he develops," said Smith. “Our accountability system considers school climate, fine arts, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, and English Learner proficiency, in addition to academic growth, graduation rate, and attainment. Our plan places new emphasis on growth and focuses on sustaining school improvement through leadership and capacity building, rather than short-term gains. 

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to transform public education in Illinois," said Smith. “I look forward to continuing this journey."  

The 2017-18 school year will serve as a transition year, as ISBE continues to implement ESSA in Illinois. 


Measuring School Quality 

ESSA requires states to measure school quality through two categories of indicators: academic indicators and school quality/student success indicators. ESSA requires the academic indicator group to outweigh the school quality/student success indicator group. 

Based on robust stakeholder engagement and feedback, Illinois' new school quality framework consists of the following indicators and weights: 


​Category
​Elementary (P-8)
High School (9-12)
​Core Academic Indicators (75%)
  • ​PARCC and Dynamic Learning Maps Alternative Assessment (2018-19: English Language Arts 10%; Math 10%) (thereafter: ELA 7.5%; Math 7.5%)
  • Growth: Linear Regression (50%)
  • English Learner Proficiency (ACCESS) (5%)
  • Science (2018-19: 0%) (thereafter: 5%)​

  • ​SAT (2018-19: ELA 10%; Math 10%) (thereafter: ELA 7.5%; Math 7.5%)
  • Graduation (4-, 5-, and 6-year rates) (50%)
  • English Learner Proficiency (ACCESS) (5%)
  • Science (2018-19: 0%) (thereafter: 5%)​

School Quality/ Student Success Indicators (25%)
  • ​Chronic Absenteeism (10%)
  • Climate Survey (5%)
  • Fine Arts (2018-19: 0%) (>0% by 2021-22)
  • P-2 Indicator (5%)
  • Elementary/Middle Indicator (5%)​

  • ​Chronic Absenteeism (7.5%)
  • 9th Grade on Track (6.25%)
  • College and Career Ready (6.25%)
  • Climate Survey (5%)
  • Fine Arts (2018-19: 0%) (>0% by 2021-22)​

​​Growth will account for 50 percent of a school's accountability framework. Valuing academic growth over simple proficiency or attainment recognizes equity as the primary driver to closing achievement and opportunity gaps.  

The inclusion of the fine arts indicator in the school quality framework demonstrates the importance of stakeholder feedback throughout the ESSA State Plan drafting process. Weighting the fine arts indicator initially at 0 percent allows ISBE to collect data on fine arts at every school across the state without harming the schools currently lacking sufficient resources to provide fine arts. ISBE will study the data collected in order to determine and implement an educative, non-punitive, and equitable fine arts measure and weight by 2021-22. 

ISBE will build upon its acclaimed Illinois Report Card (www.illinoisreportcard.com) to communicate a multi-faceted picture of school quality to families and communities. 


Summative Designations 

ESSA requires states to provide a single summative designation for each school to help families and communities understand how students and schools are performing as a whole.  

Illinois' summative designations, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, consist of the following four tiers:  

  • Tier 1: Exemplary School: A school that has no underperforming subgroups, a graduation rate of greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is in the top 10 percent of schools statewide. Schools with the Tier 1: Exemplary designation may apply to join the IL-EMPOWER network of partners. 
  • Tier 2: Commendable School: A school that has no underperforming subgroups, a graduation rate greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is not in the top 10 percent of schools statewide. Schools with the Tier 2: Commendable designation may apply to join the IL-EMPOWER network of partners. 
  • Tier 3: Underperforming School: A school in which one or more subgroups is performing at or below the level of the “all students" group in the lowest 5 percent of Title I schools. Schools with the Tier 3: Underperforming designation must receive targeted support, though not exclusively through IL-EMPOWER. 
  • Tier 4: Lowest Performing School: A school that is in the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools in Illinois and those high schools that have a graduation rate of 67 percent or less. Schools with the Tier 4: Lowest Performing designation must receive comprehensive support through IL-EMPOWER. 

Illinois' summative designations explicitly examine academic performance between student demographic groups to ensure overall achievement cannot mask achievement or opportunity gaps. 

In addition to receiving a descriptive summative designation, every school will receive a grade specifically for growth, based on an A through F scale beginning with the 2019-20 school year. ISBE will base the grade on an annual comparison of schools to other similar schools in the state. The grade will highlight the schools achieving remarkable gains and ensure the accountability framework does not disadvantage any school for its local context. 


Supporting All Schools: IL-EMPOWER 

IL-EMPOWER is Illinois' new statewide system of support for all schools. IL-EMPOWER strives to allow the lowest performing schools more flexibility to choose the evidence-based improvement strategies that will work best in their local context. IL-EMPOWER also places greater emphasis on sustaining improvement by building capacity and leadership. Any school accessing support through IL-EMPOWER will: 

  • Conduct an equity audit and a needs assessment to determine opportunities for growth in specific areas: Governance and Management, Curriculum and Instruction, and Climate and Culture;
  • Select a partner from a pre-approved and cost-controlled network;
  • Create a four-year improvement plan with quarterly reporting to ISBE; and
  • Build capacity and leadership, optimize resources, and ensure sustainability beyond the four years of the initial partnership. 

    Schools with Tier 1: Exemplary and Tier 2: Commendable designations may apply to coach other schools as members of the pre-approved network of partners.  

    ISBE, through the IL-EMPOWER structure, can hold both schools and partners accountable for improving student outcomes. Partners that do not meet agreed upon goals may lose pre-approval status.  

    Current Focus Schools and Priority Districts will receive support through IL-EMPOWER for the 2017-18 school year, as the transition to IL-EMPOWER begins. The new school-level summative designations will replace Focus Schools and Priority Districts beginning with the 2018-19 school year.


Opportunities for Educators 

Illinois' ESSA State Plan recognizes teacher leadership as a critical lever to improving student outcomes and sustaining school improvement.  

ISBE will launch two competitive grant programs: 
  • Thirty-, 60-, and 90-day teacher-led research projects, through which educators will investigate a problem of practice important to teacher leadership and report out the findings.
  • Innovative fieldwork partnerships between districts and higher education institutions with approved teacher education programs aimed at providing teacher candidates with diverse and extended opportunities to develop their craft with practicing educators.  ​

​ISBE will continue to develop professional learning resources on critical topics and to connect leaders across districts through the online, on-demand professional learning community Ed Leaders Network. 


Next Steps

​ED has 120 days to facilitate peer reviewing of Illinois' ESSA State Plan and to provide feedback on and/or approve the plan.

ISBE will engage legislators in crafting the necessary legislative changes and rulemaking to operationalize the plan in statute. 

ISBE will initiate work groups to develop specific outstanding components of the ESSA State Plan, including:  ​

  • Reviewing IL-EMPOWER partner applications and awarding pre-approval;
  • Developing the preschool to second grade school quality indicator;
  • Developing the elementary/middle grade school quality indicator;
  • Finalizing the college and career indicator;
  • Developing reporting requirements for the fine arts indicator;
  • Working with the Technical Advisory Council to develop the growth indicator and grade scale;
  • Enhancing data systems to allow for school-level financial data collection and reporting; and
  • Assisting districts in creating local Title I plans.


Communications
11494/3/2017
  

​Ten school districts selected to participate in Illinois’ first-ever competency-based learning pilot

Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., today announced the 10 school districts selected to participate in the first cohort of Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program. Smith celebrated the pioneering districts at an event at Manual Academy in Peoria Public Schools District 150, which will launch its first competency-based course in the 2018-19 school year.
NoNo
2017
PEORIA – Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., today announced the 10 school districts selected to participate in the first cohort of Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program. Smith celebrated the pioneering districts at an event at Manual Academy in Peoria Public Schools District 150, which will launch its first competency-based course in the 2018-19 school year.

Each school district chosen to participate in the pilot will create a competency-based learning and credit system of the district’s design. In competency-based learning, educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge, rather than on time in the classroom. Competency-based learning allows for a potentially more relevant and personalized learning experience for students, in addition to deeper integration of technology and better utilization of teacher talent.

“The way we prepare students for college and career must evolve if we want to fuel a thriving economy and healthy communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “When students leave our schools, they should leave with the keys to open multiple doors, any of which can lead to a successful future. In Illinois, although 86 percent of students graduate high school in four years, only 46 percent of students demonstrate college readiness. While 71 percent of our high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution within 16 months, 49 percent of students enrolling in our community colleges have to take remedial courses, which makes graduating from college take longer, cost more, and be less likely.”

“The 10 school districts participating in the first cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot are opening new doors for students and educators,” said Smith. “These districts are modeling the future I want to see in Illinois – innovative, led by educators, supportive of the whole child and of every student reaching their full potential, and with schools at the center of healthy communities.”
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) launched the pilot program to spur innovation in the way high schools prepare students for meaningful careers and to support Illinois’ goal of increasing the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act, passed unanimously by both legislative chambers and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner, established the pilot program in 2016.

The school districts participating in the first cohort of the pilot include:
  • Peoria Public Schools District 150
  • Huntley Community School District
  • Rantoul Township High School District 193
  • Williamsfield Community Unit School District 210
  • Kankakee School District 111
  • Proviso Township High School District 209
  • East St. Louis School District 189
  • Ridgewood High School District 234
  • Round Lake Community Unit School District 116
  • Six schools in Chicago Public Schools District 299
    • Benito Juarez Community Academy High School
    • Lindblom Math & Science Academy
    • Brooks College Prep
    • Walter Payton College Preparatory High School
    • Consuella B York Alternative High School
    • South Side Occupational High School
All of the participating districts have created local Planning and Implementation Committees and plans to engage their communities and stakeholders in the development and implementation of their competency-based learning systems.

ISBE will foster an open learning community and provide an online library of research, technical assistance, and models to support the first cohort of the pilot and encourage more districts to apply for future cohorts.

No state funding has been appropriated in the current fiscal year for this pilot program. ISBE has requested $1 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to help support the development of the pilot program. The application for the next cohort will open later in 2017.
Learn more about the pilot and the participating districts’ plans at https://www.isbe.net/competency​.



Improvement, Innovation, and Capacity Building
11483/29/2017
  
2016-17 SAC members investigated mental health awareness in schools and presented to State Board
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the application for the 2017-18 Student Advisory Council (SAC). SAC members learn about education issues in Illinois and provide feedback to the State Board. The students also research a topic of their choosing and present their findings at a State Board meeting. Any student starting the upcoming school year as a sophomore, junior, or senior in an Illinois public high school may apply. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, May 26.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the application for the 2017-18 Student Advisory Council (SAC). SAC members learn about education issues in Illinois and provide feedback to the State Board. The students also research a topic of their choosing and present their findings at a State Board meeting. Any student starting the upcoming school year as a sophomore, junior, or senior in an Illinois public high school may apply. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, May 26.

"ISBE values the voices and perspectives of students," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "The Student Advisory Council's research findings and feedback help inform ISBE's policies and advocacy. SAC offers high school students a meaningful opportunity to engage around issues they see and experience every day and to learn from and collaborate with students from different backgrounds. I encourage students interested in government, policy, and public service to consider applying for the SAC and sharing their valuable voices with ISBE."

The 2016-17 SAC examined the lack of awareness of mental health issues in Illinois public schools. The SAC's presentation to the State Board March 15 explored ways to strengthen connections between students, teachers, counselors, and administrators and improve students' academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. View the presentation at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Student-Advisory-Council.aspx.

"SAC has given us a forum in which we can actually help influence policy," said SAC member Sung "Shawn" Park, a senior at Metea Valley High School in Aurora. "Not only was it wonderful seeing other like-minded students in a room where we could discuss our shared passion, but we actually saw our work come to tangible benefits. SAC has inspired me to keep working in the public service field."

Kathleen Rock, a member of the 2016-17 SAC and a junior at Byron High School, described her experience as motivating and inspiring.

"Being able to meet and work with such a diverse group of students has allowed me to become a better thinker," said Rock.

ISBE established the SAC in 1975. Applicants undergo a competitive review process and must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to think creatively, work well in groups, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

The following seven 2016-17 SAC members plan to return to the council for the 2017-18 school year:

NameSchoolCityGrade
Neha ArunCarterville High SchoolCarterville10
Oliver BerraraNorth Chicago Community High SchoolNorth Chicago11
Evan BlievernichtTeutopolis High SchoolTeutopolis11
Bridget HarrisBelvidere North High SchoolBelvidere11
Kevin D. LittleNiles West High SchoolSkokie11
Kathleen RockByron High SchoolByron11
Elizabeth WardenBeardstown High SchoolBeardstown11

The 2017-18 SAC will have nine open spots, vacated by the following graduating seniors:

NameSchoolCity
Seetha Aribindi Hinsdale Central High SchoolWillowbrook
Stella Cole Springfield High SchoolSpringfield
Archit DharNeuqua Valley High SchoolNaperville
Morgan FleckWilliamsville High SchoolWilliamsville
Breeze KeppyParis High SchoolParis
Gloria OladipoWhitney M. Young MagnetChicago
Darcy PalderJones College Prep SchoolChicago
Sung "Shawn" ParkMetea Valley High SchoolAurora
Hannah SunderlandKnoxville High SchoolDahinda

Rock, who plans to return to the council for the 2017-18 school year, said next year's SAC members should "come ready to work and be open to new ideas and experiences."

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11473/16/2017
  

Design by Oswego High School junior Lia Lauck claims first place; Des Plaines' Anna Schultz wins second; and Johnsburg's Heidi Fischer takes third

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored the first-place winner of the statewide poster contest for Illinois Arts Education Week, Oswego High School junior and Advanced Placement Studio Art student Lia Lauck. (See photos from the board meeting below.) Governor Bruce Rauner designated March 13-19, 2017, Illinois’ 35th annual Arts Education Week. The weeklong celebration recognizes the importance of fine arts to a complete and competitive education for the whole child.
NoNo
2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored the first-place winner of the statewide poster contest for Illinois Arts Education Week, Oswego High School junior and Advanced Placement Studio Art student Lia Lauck. (See photos from the board meeting below.) Governor Bruce Rauner designated March 13-19, 2017, Illinois' 35th annual Arts Education Week. The weeklong celebration recognizes the importance of fine arts to a complete and competitive education for the whole child.

The statewide poster contest for Illinois Arts Education Week alternates between elementary/middle and secondary students each year. This year, students in ninth through twelfth grades created posters reflecting the theme, “Art Has No Boundaries!"

“Fine arts education empowers students to express their understanding and experiences through multiple modes," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Through the practice and study of fine arts, students learn critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative problem solving – essential skills for college and career readiness. Illinois Arts Education Week reminds us to celebrate fine arts in our schools and communities. Thank you to all of the participants in Illinois Arts Education Week, and congratulations to the talented winners of the poster contest and their amazing teachers."

The resolution passed by the State Board at its regular business meeting March 15 also recognizes Lauck's art teacher Michael Skura, Oswego High School principal Mike Wayne, and Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Superintendent Dr. John Sparlin for valuing fine arts in education and encouraging students' self-expression and cross-cultural understanding.

Lauck's winning poster design involves intricate and mixed media drawing using both colored pencils and pen and ink. Lauck's artist statement says she found inspiration in the work of poet Nayyirah Waheed.

The back of the poster contains information about the Illinois Learning Standards for fine arts, which go into effect beginning with the 2018-19 school year; upcoming fine arts events in 2017; and resources about the impact of fine arts in forming a well-rounded education.

Anna Schultz, a 17-year-old junior taught by Michele Morris at The Willows Academy in Des Plaines, won second place in the poster contest. Heidi Fischer, a 16 year-old junior taught by Judy Krueger at Johnsburg High School in Johnsburg School District 12, received third place in the poster contest.

All of the 2017 poster contest winners will receive recognition at the 69th annual Illinois Art Education Association Fall Conference Dec. 2 in St. Charles. 

The Illinois State Board of Education sponsors Illinois Arts Education Week in conjunction with Governor Rauner and the Illinois Art Education Association, a professional nonprofit organization for art educators, individuals, and groups supporting visual arts education.

Visit www.isbe.net/Pages/Arts-Week.aspx to view the winning poster and learn more about the competition. Request a 2017 Arts Education Week poster from ISBE's College and Career Readiness Division at (217) 524-4832, arts@isbe.net, or via mail at 100 N. First St., C-215, Springfield, IL 62777-0001.

Arts Week Winner 

2017 Illinois Arts Education Week poster contest winner Lia Lauck with Board Chairman James T. Meeks and State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D.

Arts Week Winner and Family 

​2017 Illinois Arts Education Week poster contest winner Lia Lauck with her family, principal, and art teacher, Board Chairman James T. Meeks, and State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11463/10/2017
  
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the following agenda for its regular business meeting in Springfield Wednesday, March 15.   
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the following agenda for its regular business meeting in Springfield Wednesday, March 15.   

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent's office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

March 15, 2017

9:30 a.m.

Illinois State Board of Education

100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

​AGENDA

I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Public Participation

III.   Resolutions and Recognition

    1. Illinois Arts Education Week Poster Winner, Lia Lauck

IV.  Presentations and Updates

    1. Student Advisory Council Final Presentation

V.    Superintendent's Report - Consent Agenda

  1. *Approval of Minutes
    1. Plenary Minutes: February 22, 2017
  2. *Rules for Initial Review
    1. Part 401 (Special Education Facilities)
  3. *Contracts and Grants Over $1 Million
    1. Statewide System of Support: IL-EMPOWER
    2. Early Childhood Block Grant: Department of Human Services Home Visiting Programs

      End of Consent Agenda
  4. State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board Appointment

VI.  Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan

VII. Discussion Items

  1. Legislative Update
  2. Budget Update
  3. Other Items for Discussion

VIII.            Closed Session

IX.  Approval of Closed Session Minutes

X.    Announcements and Reports

  1. Superintendent's/Senior Staff Announcements
  2. Chairman's Report
  1. Member Reports

XI.  Information Items

  1. ISBE Fiscal and Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)

XII. Adjourn​

Communications
11453/7/2017
  

Princeville parent shares his family's experiences with summer school for migrant students

More than 7,200 seasonal agricultural or migrant workers travel to Illinois each year. The children in migrant families face unique challenges to staying on track academically. The federally funded Migrant Education Program (MEP) supports organizations providing educational services to migrant children.
NoNo
2017
SPRINGFIELD – More than 7,200 seasonal agricultural or migrant workers travel to Illinois each year. The children in migrant families face unique challenges to staying on track academically. The federally funded Migrant Education Program (MEP) supports organizations providing educational services to migrant children. 

Illinois has $1 million in federal MEP funds available for summer programs in fiscal year 2017. Organizations seeking funds must apply by Friday, March 10.

“Illinois’ migrant families support our state’s critical agricultural industries. We have a responsibility to all children to make them feel welcome and supported in Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois’ Every Students Succeeds Act State Plan sets specific and measureable goals for migrant students’ success to ensure they are never overlooked or left behind by our schools. The Migrant Education Program showcases how states can work together to prepare all students for college and career.” 

Most of Illinois’ migrant families come for the summer to work in agriculture and then return to their home states. MEP provides comprehensive educational services during the summer months and supplemental support during the regular school year. 

Migrant student achievement needs to increase by 25 percent in both reading and math to close the performance gap between migrant and non‐migrant students. MEP helps children overcome the educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and health issues associated with frequent moves. 

Jose Montalvo, a parent of three whose son attends a MEP summer school, shared some of his experiences with the program.

“I am very grateful for the help Illinois has provided. I work at Seneca Foods and process pumpkins. My family has been coming to Princeville from Texas since 1990. Because of the migrant program, my 12-year-old son, Jose Angel, is doing well in school and has friends in both states,” said Mr. Montalvo.

“The school staff here have been very accessible and receptive to us. The process for enrolling has been made very simple. The program provides my son with books, supplies, and even meals. I always, always recommend the program to other families. I like to participate, and our kids reap the benefits.”

Learn more about the Migrant Education Program administered by the Illinois State Board of Education at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Migrant-Education-Program.aspx​.
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11442/28/2017
  

New approaches and partnerships for the development, administration, and scoring of Illinois Science Assessment maintain quality while reducing costs 

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has partnered with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) on a groundbreaking new process for scoring a large-scale student academic performance assessment. More than 400,000 Illinois students took the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) for the first time in spring 2016. The new assessment not only satisfied federal accountability requirements, but also provided ISBE with the opportunity to innovate on the traditional assessment model from top to bottom, while maintaining quality and reducing costs.
NoNo
2017
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has partnered with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) on a groundbreaking new process for scoring a large-scale student academic performance assessment. More than 400,000 Illinois students took the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) for the first time in spring 2016. The new assessment not only satisfied federal accountability requirements, but also provided ISBE with the opportunity to innovate on the traditional assessment model from top to bottom, while maintaining quality and reducing costs.

Budgetary uncertainty at the state level delayed the start of the scoring process for ISA, but the scoring process is now underway. ISBE expects schools to have spring 2016 assessment results in summer 2017. 

The results of the summative science assessment will provide educators and administrators with additional data to inform broad curriculum adjustments at the school and district levels to ensure Illinois students build a cohesive understanding of science over time. Since the ISA is not a formative assessment, educators will not use the results to make teaching adjustments year-to-year for individual students. The delayed results will not affect individual students’ learning or their prospects for success on the 2017 administration of ISA. 

“We are building a trusted and sustainable assessment infrastructure from the ground up,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois students will benefit from the return on our investment in a cost-efficient, fully aligned, and locally developed assessment system. The process of hand-scoring delivers valuable professional development to Illinois educators and science experts. Partnering with a local research institution, instead of outsourcing the hand-scoring to an out-of-state vendor, keeps both the work and the institutional knowledge of scoring the exams within Illinois.”  

SIU will engage science experts and Illinois educators licensed to teach science in hand-scoring the 1.3 million ISA test items. Educators also will engage in the standards-setting process to occur at the conclusion of this first year of scoring. In the future, Illinois educators will have the opportunity to receive training on assessment item development, assessment statistics, and item evaluation. 

“We’re pleased to collaborate with the Illinois State Board of Education to oversee this important project,” said SIU System President Randy Dunn. “ISBE clearly recognizes the importance of ongoing assessment to reinforce the quality of education statewide.”

ISBE developed the ISA through new methods and by forging new partnerships. District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) provided test items aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards for inclusion in ISA, which also aligns to the Illinois Learning Standards. The ISBE Information Technology Division created a new assessment administration user interface that automatically updates student records in near real time and replaces the time-intensive manual rostering required by other assessment programs. ISBE partnered with Illinois-based software company BreakThrough Technologies to develop the ISA using software from an open-source platform, resulting in the elimination of licensing fees and significant resource savings.  

“The partnership taps into SIU Carbondale’s strengths in science education,” said Interim SIU Carbondale Chancellor Brad Colwell. “We are honored to have this opportunity to extend our long, successful history supporting Illinois education at all levels.”

ISBE has made enhancements to the ISA platform based on educator and administrator feedback in preparation for the spring 2017 administration. Enhancements include expanding test administration to more devices and improving the test management system. 

School districts across Illinois will administer the ISA in spring 2017 to students in fifth and eighth grades and once at the high school level. The high school assessment utilizes a course-based model with content aligned to Biology I.
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
11432/23/2017
  
New data from the College Board showcase Illinois’ commitment to closing equity gaps in rigorous high school courses
The College Board has released data on the participation and performance of the graduating class of 2016 on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Illinois continues to report record numbers of graduates both taking and excelling on AP exams, with Joliet Township High School District 204 receiving the prestigious District of the Year award for its outstanding performance among all small-sized school districts in the United States and Canada.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The College Board has released data on the participation and performance of the graduating class of 2016 on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Illinois continues to report record numbers of graduates both taking and excelling on AP exams, with Joliet Township High School District 204 receiving the prestigious District of the Year award for its outstanding performance among all small-sized school districts in the United States and Canada.

"AP exams have a proven track record of giving students a valuable head start in their college coursework and can save students time and money toward earning their college degrees," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Equity in Illinois means all students have the opportunity to learn at high levels and demonstrate their academic capacity. Congratulations to Joliet Township High School District 204 Superintendent Dr. Cheryl McCarthy and all of the dedicated teachers and hardworking students who came together to achieve such remarkable gains."

Highlights from the College Board data for Illinois' graduating class of 2016 include:

  • Illinois ranks 10th among all states in the country for the percentage of the statewide graduating class of 2016 scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school.
  • The percentage of graduates who took an AP exam during high school has grown from 20.2 percent of the graduating class of 2006 to 37.5 percent of the graduating class of 2016.
  • As the number of students taking AP tests has grown, so has the number of students excelling on AP tests. Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for the growth in the percentage of graduates earning a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school. Illinois' percentage has grown by 10.8 points over the past 10 years from 14.3 percent of the graduating class of 2016 to 25.1 percent of the graduating class of 2016.
  • Twenty-one Illinois school districts made the prestigious AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. View the full AP District Honor Roll list.
  • Fifteen of Illinois' AP Honor Roll districts have made the Honor Roll for multiple years.
  • The College Board named Joliet Township High School District 204 the College Board Advanced Placement District of the Year among small-sized school districts based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data. The College Board chose three AP Districts of the Year — one for each category of district population size: small, defined as having fewer than 8,000 students; medium; and large — out of the 433 school districts across the United States and Canada on the annual AP District Honor Roll.
  • Joliet Township High School District 204 increased its percentage of traditionally underrepresented AP students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam by 7 percent annually — an increase of 83 students since 2014. Fifty-five percent or more of the AP students in the district are American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander; 42 percent or more of the AP students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

"At Joliet Township High School, we have the philosophy that Advanced Placement classes are for all of our students, not just our honors or highest achieving students," said Dr. McCarthy, the Joliet superintendent. “We work closely with our sender school districts and our teachers to identify students who have the potential to experience success in an AP class. With the guidance of our Strategic Plan, Joliet Township High School has made a concentrated effort to increase the number of students enrolled in AP classes through the implementation of the SpringBoard curriculum and by providing AP Academic Camps during the summer and support throughout the school year. I believe that this mindset, along with the support we provide, are key contributors to our Advanced Placement gains."

View photos from Joliet Township High School District 204's AP District of the Year celebration.

Illinois leads the nation in efforts to eliminate gaps for low-income students and students of color in the most rigorous high school courses. The Illinois State Board of Education at its December 2016 meeting approved an agreement with the College Board to maintain the cost of taking AP tests at $15 per exam for low-income students, compared to the normal test fee of $93, for the May 2017 test administration.

Illinois became the first state in the nation to partner with the Lead Higher Initiative, committing to a statewide challenge to close equity gaps for low-income students and students of color in AP, International Baccalaureate, and dual-enrollment courses.

Communications
11422/22/2017
  
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Urban League today finalized a settlement agreement in the matter of the Chicago Urban League, et al. v. Illinois State Board of Education, pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The settlement agreement resolves this longstanding litigation by establishing how ISBE will proceed when the General Assembly fails to enact an appropriation sufficient to pay for all General State Aid (GSA) claims submitted by school districts.
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2017

CHICAGO – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Urban League today finalized a settlement agreement in the matter of the Chicago Urban League, et al. v. Illinois State Board of Education, pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The settlement agreement resolves this longstanding litigation by establishing how ISBE will proceed when the General Assembly fails to enact an appropriation sufficient to pay for all General State Aid (GSA) claims submitted by school districts.

In response to the settlement agreement, Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks issued the following statement:

"The case settled today addresses one of the many symptoms caused by the State’s education funding system that is failing Illinois’ students. ISBE deeply appreciates Governor Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly for their ongoing efforts to reform the core problem of Illinois’ inadequate and inequitable education funding system. ISBE will continue to base all of its decisions on the best interests of individual school districts and their students to ensure that the whole child receives a high-quality education in a safe, secure, and supportive educational environment. ISBE remains hopeful that the General Assembly will enact funding reform during this legislative session to guarantee that no students ever have to settle for less than they deserve."

The Chicago Urban League filed the lawsuit in April 2008 challenging the constitutionality and equitability of the State’s education funding system. After the Court dismissed the State as a party and all constitutional claims, the Chicago Urban League specifically challenged ISBE’s use of “proration” during Fiscal Years 2013 through 2015. Specifically, in those years, when the General Assembly failed to appropriate sufficient funds to pay for the total amount of GSA owed to school districts, ISBE managed the shortfall by decreasing all school districts’ GSA payments by an equal across-the-board percentage. Expert witnesses for each party analyzed the Chicago Urban League’s claim and disagreed as to whether any disparity in funding caused by proration was significant.

ISBE has at all times denied any liability or wrongdoing in this lawsuit, and the parties agreed to settle to avoid the burden, costs, and distraction of continued litigation.

Communications
11412/17/2017
  
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video-conference in Chicago and Springfield Wednesday, Feb. 22.
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2017
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video-conference in Chicago and Springfield Wednesday, Feb. 22. 
All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent’s office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent's office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting 
Feb. 22, 2017
9 a.m.

Chicago Location:        ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor
                                      100 W. Randolph St., Chicago

Springfield Location:   ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor 
                                       100 N. First St., Springfield 

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.

AGENDA
  1. RollCall/Pledge of Allegiance
    1. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means
  2. Swearing-In of Board Members
  3. Public Participation
  4. Election of Board Officers
  5. Superintendent’s Report - Consent Agenda
    1. *Approval of Minutes
      1. Plenary Minutes: January 24, 2017
    2. *Rules for Initial Review
      1. Part 25
    3. *Rules for Adoption
      1. Part 1
    4. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million
      1. IL_EMPOWER
      2. KIDStech University of California-Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center (BEAR Center)
    5. *2016 Spring Waiver Report
    6. *Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriation Transfer from Special Education Personnel to Special Education Transportation
    7. *Settlement Agreement in the Matter of the Chicago Urban League, et al. v. Illinois State Board of Education
      End of Consent Agenda
  6. ​Discussion Items
    1. District Oversight Update
    2. Legislative Update
    3. Budget Update
    4. Every Student Succeeds Act Update
    5. Other Items for Discussion
  7. Announcements & Reports
    1. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements
    2. Chairman’s Report /li>
      1. Appoint Chair for Finance and Audit Committee
      2. Appoint Chair for Education Policy Planning Committee
    3. Member Reports
  8. Information Items
    1. Fiscal & Administrative Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)
  9. Closed Session (as needed)
  10. Adjourn​​

Communications
11402/9/2017
  
Haines Elementary School principal shares keys to Chicago school’s success
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) nominated Haines Elementary School as one of 54 National Title I Distinguished Schools for 2016. The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program celebrates schools receiving Title I funds for outstanding achievements in three categories: Category One, for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years; Category Two, for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups; and Category Three, for excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English Learners, etc.). Haines Elementary School has demonstrated exceptional student performance for two consecutive years, earning the school a nomination in Category One.
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2017

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) nominated Haines Elementary School as one of 54 National Title I Distinguished Schools for 2016. The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program celebrates schools receiving Title I funds for outstanding achievements in three categories: Category One, for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years; Category Two, for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups; and Category Three, for excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English Learners, etc.). Haines Elementary School has demonstrated exceptional student performance for two consecutive years, earning the school a nomination in Category One.

ISBE will honor Haines Elementary School at the annual Statewide Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Conference Feb. 13 in Chicago.

Title I is the cornerstone of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized in 2015 as ESSA, and funds services for struggling students in school districts that serve low-income communities. Ninety-two percent of students at Haines Elementary School qualify as low-income, 30 percent are English Learners, and 99.7 percent are students of color. The number of students meeting or exceeding standards in both English language arts and mathematics on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam rose from 60 percent in 2015 to 64 percent in 2016, compared to the state average of 34 percent in 2016.

​​​"Haines Elementary School shows us that all students can thrive in school," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. "I encourage administrators and educators across the state to examine the approaches Haines takes to overcoming barriers to achievement. We can ensure each and every student reaches their full potential by learning from the example of Illinois’ exemplary Title I schools."

Haines Elementary School Principal Catherine Amy Moy credits her school’s success to a student-centered approach. Teachers and staff have high expectations for all students. Project- and problem-based learning helps students make real-world connections to the material in their classrooms. Students and teachers work together to set data-informed goals and develop plans to meet or exceed all academic targets.

Teachers at Haines collaborate weekly, have the opportunity to participate in purposeful and ongoing professional development, and receive recognition for all of their accomplishments. Haines fosters open communication with students’ families through a monthly newsletter and accessible after-school events.

"Thank you to all of the students, teachers, staff, and families in the Haines learning community for working together to achieve such extraordinary success year after year," said Moy. "Teachers have an opportunity to change students’ lives daily. We strive to support our teachers in taking risks and taking ownership of their professional growth. Throughout the entire Haines learning community, we work to trust each other, inspire one another, and take action daily so every child learns."

The full interview with Moy and an interactive map of all of the 2016 Distinguished Schools will be available on the National Title I Association website at http://www.titlei.org/ds.

Representatives from Haines also will attend the 2017 National Title I Conference Feb. 22 in Long Beach, Calif.

"Title I provides indispensable support to struggling students in schools serving low-income communities," said ISBE Division Administrator for Title Grants Melina Wright. "We are excited that the new system of support outlined in Illinois’ ESSA State Plan will be able to leverage the successes of schools such as Haines to make the most of our Title I dollars."

The National Title I Association is a membership-based organization for Title I state directors that helps to improve and implement programs under Title I of ESEA. The National Title I Association established the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program in 1996.

Watch a video showcasing the exciting activities at Haines Elementary School and learn more about the Distinguished Schools Program in Illinois on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Distinguished-Schools.aspx.

Communications
11392/7/2017
  
Grants part of $42 million federally funded effort to increase number of high-quality charter schools in Illinois and study their effects
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the second request for proposals (RFP) for grants awarded through the federally funded Charter Schools Program (CSP). ISBE administers the $42 million Charter Schools Program for the purpose of expanding the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and evaluating the effects of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and parents. Funds available in fiscal year 2017 total more than $7 million.
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2017

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the second request for proposals (RFP) for grants awarded through the federally funded Charter Schools Program (CSP). ISBE administers the $42 million Charter Schools Program for the purpose of expanding the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and evaluating the effects of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and parents. Funds available in fiscal year 2017 total more than $7 million.

Design teams working with school districts to propose new charter schools and charter schools in their first two years of operation may apply through CSP for financial assistance. Applicants can seek funding for program design, community engagement, start-up costs, and curriculum materials. Find information about accessing the electronic RFP on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Charter-Schools.aspx. Proposals are due by 4 p.m., Monday, March 20.

Every single student deserves access to a quality education. Illinois supports creative thinking and the taking of responsible risks to meet the evolving needs of students and families,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I encourage all eligible charter school teams to apply for CSP grants to help expand educational opportunities for all students. I also encourage parents, educators, and administrators across the state to consider the availability of CSP funds in evaluating the potential of a new public charter school in your communities.”

The RFP requires applicants to submit detailed plans for involving families and community members in the design of the school, attracting underserved students and addressing their needs, recruiting and retaining diverse and high-quality staff, overcoming barriers to equitably serving students with special needs, aligning curriculum with the Illinois Learning Standards, and implementing rigorous accountability mechanisms.

ISBE awarded the first CSP grants in fall 2016 to ASPIRA Business and Finance, LEARN Charter Network (for two schools), and Frazier Preparatory Academy, based on a thorough application process and three external reviews.

Communications
11381/30/2017
  

Video spotlights on Summer Meals sponsors:

Champaign-Urbana Public Health Districthttps://vimeo.com/199276559

Aurora Townshiphttps://vimeo.com/189295532


The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued a statewide call for school districts, local government entities, and non-profit organizations to help ensure every child has access to nutritious meals during the summer months. ISBE administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as Summer Meals, to provide free meals and snacks to children when schools are not in session.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued a statewide call for school districts, local government entities, and non-profit organizations to help ensure every child has access to nutritious meals during the summer months. ISBE administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as Summer Meals, to provide free meals and snacks to children when schools are not in session. 

School districts, local governments, and nonprofits can sponsor SFSP sites, housing the summer food programs at schools, parks, recreation centers, housing projects, migrant centers, churches, summer camps, and other locations. SFSP sponsors manage and develop their own sites and receive federal reimbursement via ISBE to cover the administrative and operating costs of preparing and serving meals. ISBE offers online trainings on topics such as financial management, system navigation, and menu planning.​ 

Entities interested in becoming a SFSP sponsor should contact ISBE's Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division at (800) 545-7892 or cnp@isbe.net and register for a mandatory new sponsor workshop at http://webprod1.isbe.net/cnscalendar/asp/eventlist.asp. ISBE will host new sponsor training workshops 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • March 8 in Marion
  • March 29 in Alsip
  • April 12 in Peoria
  • April 19 in Schaumburg
  • April 26 in Fairview Heights
  • May 17 in Springfield 

“Childhood hunger affects almost every community in this state," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE is very proud to administer the Summer Food Service Program in Illinois. We count on SFSP sponsors and meal sites across the state to play a vital role in helping children get the nutritious meals they need to be ready to learn when they return to school in the fall." 

For every 100 children who receive meals through the National School Lunch Programs (NSLP), only 14 received meals over the summer. Although 172 SFSP sponsors and 135 Seamless Summer Option sponsors administered over 2,200 meal sites in 2016, Illinois' children need many more sponsors to provide access to healthy food in every county in the state. Illinois currently has 36 counties with no SFSP meal sites. 

“We know it can be a challenge to feed multiple kids when they are home for the summer," said Brandon Meline, Director of Maternal and Child Health at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, an SFSP sponsor in Illinois. “We have been thrilled to have the opportunity to help families in our community save valuable food dollars. With us as the sponsor doing the administrative work, we have inspired other community partners to provide meal sites, too." 

ISBE partner organizations No Kid Hungry and the Illinois Hunger Coalition staff a calling and texting hotline to refer families to their nearest meal sites. Interested families can call (800) 359-2163, text “FoodIL" to 877-877, or visit SummerMealsIllinois.org. ​

Current SFSP sponsors should register for a current sponsor workshop at http://webprod1.isbe.net/cnscalendar/asp/eventlist.asp.

### 

Civil Rights Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/how-file-program-discrimination-complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

        1. Mail:   U.S. Department of Agriculture
                       Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
                       1400 Independence Avenue, SW
                       Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

  1. Fax:     (202) 690-7442; or
  2. Email:  program.intake@usda.gov. ​

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Communications
11371/24/2017
  
State Board requests increase of $266.4 million over fiscal year 2017 levels
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today finalized its fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations for pre-K through 12th grade educational services providers statewide. ISBE’s total budget recommendations amount to $7.727 billion, an increase of $266.4 million (3.45 percent) over FY 2017 levels.
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2017

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today finalized its fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations for pre-K through 12th grade educational services providers statewide. ISBE's total budget recommendations amount to $7.727 billion, an increase of $266.4 million (3.45 percent) over FY 2017 levels. 

ISBE held three public hearings in different parts of the state to gather feedback on spending needs and priorities. ISBE formulated its budget recommendations based on the testimony of educators, students, and community members and adhered to three key principles: aligning with ISBE's goals; advocating for the needs of children across the state, as identified through requests from the field; and recognizing the need for universal and differentiated support to meet the unique needs of each and every child in the state. 

“The budget request approved by ISBE today strives to meet the needs of students, families, and school districts," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE remains committed to the vision of Illinois as a state of whole, healthy children nested in whole, healthy systems supporting communities wherein all citizens are socially and economically secure. Every school district in Illinois is advocating for the resources they need to educate and care for every student in their community.  This request represents an investment in our children, our communities, and our state. We look forward to sharing local stories and successes with the General Assembly as they consider this request." 

ISBE recommends fully funding General State Aid (GSA) in FY 2018 at the Foundation Level of $6,119 per student, while maintaining the current GSA appropriation of $5.078 billion. The Foundation Level represents the mandated minimum level of funding required to meet the basic education needs of one student in the Illinois pre-K through 12th grade public school system. 

Other highlights from the budget request approved by ISBE today include:

  • An increase of $50 million for Early Childhood Education, as incorporated into the federal Preschool Expansion grant agreement to increase access to quality, effective services for the most at-risk children in the state;
  • An increase of $38.4 million to fully fund bilingual education programs serving the growing number of English Learners in the state; and
  • Increases in funding to support special education, arts and foreign language programs, agricultural education, broadband expansion and other digital technology enhancements, Career and Technical Education, teacher mentoring and diverse educator recruitment, Advanced Placement exam fees for low-income students, and other critical investments that contribute to the college and career success of all Illinois students.  

ISBE will submit its recommended budget to the Illinois General Assembly before Feb. 17. 

View ISBE's complete FY 2018 budget recommendations on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/FY18%20Brd%20Req%20web%20posting.pdf



CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; Teachers
113012/27/2016
  
Grants part of $42 million federally funded effort to increase number of high-quality charter schools in Illinois and study their effects
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has awarded three nonprofit public charter school operators grants through the federally funded Charter Schools Program (CSP). The grants will total $2.1 million over two years and support start-up costs and curriculum materials at four schools in their initial years of operation.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has awarded three nonprofit public charter school operators grants through the federally funded Charter Schools Program (CSP). The grants will total $1.2 million over two years and support start-up costs and curriculum materials at four schools in their initial years of operation.

 

ISBE administers the $42 million Charter Schools Program for the purpose of expanding the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and evaluating the effects of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

 

ISBE awarded the first CSP grants to ASPIRA Business and Finance, LEARN Charter Network (for two schools), and Frazier Preparatory Academy, based on a thorough application process and three external reviews. Each awardee submitted detailed plans for involving families and community members in the design of the school, attracting underserved students and addressing their needs, recruiting and retaining diverse and high-quality staff, and implementing rigorous accountability mechanisms.

 

“Congratulations to ASPIRA Business and Finance, LEARN Charter Network, and Frazier Preparatory Academy," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Our public schools must adapt to meet the evolving needs of students and families in a changing world. I thank all of the applicants and awardees of the Charter Schools Program grants for bringing creative thinking and innovative design to the table to expand opportunities for Illinois students. I encourage educators and administrators across the state to consider the potential of a new public charter school in their community and apply for the next round of CSP grants."

 

The first three CSP awardees will use the grant funds to increase learning opportunities for students, provide professional development for teachers, and promote family engagement:

  • ASPIRA Business and Finance (ABF) – Committed to preparing students with the tools they need to succeed in postsecondary education, careers, and beyond. The business and entrepreneurship foci promote financial literacy, career preparation, and 21st-century readiness. ABF serves a student population that is more than 94 percent students of color, 96 percent eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and 90 percent future first-generation college students.
  • LEARN Charter Network campuses 7 and 8 Strives to provide children with the academic foundation and ambition to earn a college degree. As a steppingstone to LEARN 8 Middle School, LEARN 7 Elementary School serves students in kindergarten through grade 5 and provides scholars with a strong primary foundation to excel in high-quality, college prep high schools. LEARN 8 Middle School serves students in grades 6 through 8. LEARN Charter Network has developed a system of learning that ensures consistent and effective student-centered instruction.
  • Frazier Preparatory Academy Dedicated to providing parents in high-need communities with a high-quality public school option. Frazier Preparatory Academy's educational program personalizes learning for all students by maximizing integration of exceptional classroom teaching with innovative blended learning technologies and enrichment opportunities.

 

ISBE plans to release the next Charter Schools Program Request for Proposals for both design and initial implementation grants in January 2017.​


CommunicationsNews
112912/22/2016
  
EFAB recommends raising per-pupil Foundation Level to $9,204
The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) today submitted its regular biennial education funding recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly, in accordance with the Illinois School Code.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) today submitted its regular biennial education funding recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly, in accordance with the Illinois School Code. In its report, EFAB recommends increasing the statutory per-pupil Foundation Level from the current amount of $6,119 to $9,204 for fiscal year 2018. The Foundation Level establishes the mandated minimum per-pupil funding achieved through a mix of state and local funds. Statute requires the State to provide school districts with the difference between the Foundation Level and a district’s local wealth, as calculated by the equalization Formula Grant, in addition to providing the Supplemental Low-Income Grant, based on a district’s percentage of low-income students.

As stated in the report, in 11 of the past 15 years, the State has not met its statutory obligation to fully fund the Foundation Level and the components of the low-income grant, resulting in the State prorating or paying only a portion of the amount owed to districts through their General State Aid claims.

“EFAB renews its commitment to advocating for the state to end its failure to meet its constitutional responsibilities to adequately fund public education,” said Board Chair Sylvia Puente, echoing statements made by EFAB in its report. “Increasing funding for basic education in Illinois will be a challenge, but it is a challenge we ask every policymaker and citizen to embrace. The children of Illinois deserve no less. We ask our policymakers to note that in each of the years that the state has failed to meet its obligations, school districts must continue to meet all of the statutory requirements imposed upon them. This situation should not be allowed to continue.”

Comparison of GSA Claim Amounts to Funds Appropriated for GSA  

EFAB’s recommended increase to the Foundation Level would require $4.6 billion in additional funding in fiscal year 2018, or almost double the current appropriation for public education.

In its report, EFAB acknowledges the efforts of both the General Assembly and Governor Rauner to increase funding in both FY 2016 and FY 2017 and to revise how the state sends funding to districts; yet, EFAB also implores the General Assembly and the Governor to work together to increase the resources available for public education, in order to offer Illinois children the tools they deserve and need to compete in a global economy. The General Assembly and the Governor last adopted the EFAB recommendation in FY 2002. Since then, the increases in the Foundation Level have failed to keep pace with EFAB recommendations. The current Foundation Level of $6,119 has remained the same since FY 2010.

Current members of the Education Funding Advisory Board include Sylvia Puente (executive director of the Latino Policy Forum; Chicago), Sheila Harrison-Williams (superintendent of Hazel Crest School District 152.5; Hazel Crest), Cinda Klickna (president of the Illinois Education Association; Springfield), and Daniel Montgomery (president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers; Westmont). The Board has one vacancy.

CommunicationsNews
112812/9/2016
  
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today advanced an important and continuing dialogue with communities throughout the state on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by releasing the second Reader’s Guide for Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan and launching a new online engagement forum, developed in partnership with the nonprofit policy support network Partners for Each and Every Child (Partners for).
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2016

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today advanced an important and  continuing dialogue with communities throughout the state on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by releasing the second Reader’s Guide for Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan and launching a new online engagement forum, developed in partnership with the nonprofit policy support network Partners for Each and Every Child (Partners for).

Partners for Each and Every ChildISBE will submit the next draft of the Illinois ESSA State Plan to Governor Bruce Rauner’s office Feb. 1 and then to the U.S. Department of Education April 3. ISBE will gather public input on the draft ESSA State Plan through Dec. 27.

“Now is the time to unlock the unique potential of our diverse state,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We have strong school-community partnerships and experienced educators who can come together to create and implement a state plan that improves outcomes for all students and benefits our entire country. Feedback is essential as ISBE staff and stakeholders seize this opportunity to work together in charting our collective path forward.”

Illinois’ ESSA State Plan is intended to meet the requirements ESSA, the new federal education law. ISBE developed the draft ESSA State Plan based on stakeholder feedback received at three statewide listening tours and hundreds of comments submitted online. The evolving document refines an accountability framework that fulfills the educational equity and excellence goals for all students in Illinois.
A NEW READERS GUIDE: The second draft of Illinois’ ESSA State Plan builds on feedback received on the previous draft of the plan. ISBE produced a Reader’s Guide in partnership with Partners for to assist all stakeholders in understanding the plan. The Reader’s Guide accompanies the draft Illinois ESSA State Plan to showcase:

  • Changes from Draft Plan #1 and how community feedback has been incorporated;
  • Important statutory provisions of ESSA;
  • How ISBE’s thinking has evolved, based on stakeholder input;
  • Questions that still remain to be addressed; and
  • Resources to further explore remaining issues and key decision points. 

A NEW ONLINE ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM: EngageforSchools.org is an online platform facilitating engagement in the education policymaking process. Launched in partnership with Partners for Each and Every Child, EngageforSchools.org focuses on Illinois ESSA planning and implementation. ISBE encourages all stakeholders to download the ESSA State Plan Reader’s Guide to maximize utility of the platform.
ONGOING INPUT: Regularly updated information regarding ESSA can be found at www.isbe.net/essa. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft plan by emailing essa@isbe.net through Dec. 27.

Speaking about the need for thoughtful collaboration in a time of significant uncertainty, Superintendent Smith said, “We are focused on leveraging the immediate challenge to advance educational equity for students. In Illinois, we are taking full advantage of the opportunities which ESSA allows and requires. It is up to all of us now - liberals and conservatives, families and educators, community organizers and labor representatives - to forge a new consensus on successful schools for each and every child. ISBE is committed to getting the tools and resources to do so into the hands of our communities.”
         
Christopher Edley Jr., chair of Partners for Each and Every Child and founder/president of the Opportunity Institute, added, “States must lead the way on equity in education, especially considering it is unclear how strong a role the U.S. Department of Education will play in overseeing ESSA implementation. Partners for applauds ISBE’s efforts to regularly, thoughtfully, and deliberately engage with a diverse base of stakeholders in the development of a better, stronger, and more collaborative state educational accountability system.”

Partners for Each and Every Child is a project of The Opportunity Institute. Its mission is to build an infrastructure of interconnected work that will encourage a growing portion of the education policy community to break down barriers to advance sound educational policies; to address matters of equity; and to respond to the needs of at-risk, underserved, and politically underrepresented students.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
113512/9/2016
  
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today advanced an important and  continuing dialogue with communities throughout the state on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by releasing the second Reader’s Guide for Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan and launching a new online engagement forum.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today advanced an important and  continuing dialogue with communities throughout the state on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by releasing the second Reader's Guide for Illinois' draft ESSA State Plan and launching a new online engagement forum.

The next draft of the Illinois ESSA State Plan heads to Governor Bruce Rauner's office Feb. 1 and then to the U.S. Department of Education April 3. ISBE will gather public input on the draft ESSA State Plan through Dec. 27.

“Now is the time to unlock the unique potential of our diverse state," said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We have strong school-community partnerships and experienced educators who can come together to create and implement a state plan that improves outcomes for all students and benefits our entire country. Feedback is essential as ISBE staff and stakeholders seize this opportunity to work together in charting our collective path forward."

Illinois' ESSA State Plan is intended to meet the requirements of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); respond to and integrate several consistent themes from the first round of feedback; and refine an accountability framework that fulfills the educational equity and excellence goals for all students in Illinois. ISBE developed the draft ESSA State Plan based on stakeholder feedback received at three statewide listening tours and hundreds of comments submitted online.

A NEW READERS GUIDE: The second draft of Illinois' ESSA State Plan builds on feedback received on the previous draft of the State Plan. To assist all stakeholders in understanding the plan, ISBE produced a Reader's Guide in partnership with the nonprofit policy support network Partners for Each and Every Child (Partners for). The Reader's Guide accompanies the draft Illinois ESSA State Plan to showcase:

  • Changes from Draft Plan #1 and how community feedback has been incorporated;
  • Important statutory provisions of ESSA;
  • How ISBE's thinking has evolved--based on stakeholder input--on discrete issues;
  • Questions that still remain to be addressed; and
  • Resources to further explore remaining issues and key decision points. 

A NEW ONLINE ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM: EngageforSchools.org is an online platform facilitating engagement in the education policymaking process. Launched in partnership with Partners for Each and Every Child, EngageforSchools.org focuses on Illinois ESSA planning and implementation. ISBE encourages all stakeholders to download the ESSA State Plan Reader's Guide [LINK] to maximize utility of the platform.

ONGOING INPUT: Regularly updated information regarding ESSA can be found at www.isbe.net/essa.  Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft plan by emailing essa@isbe.net through Dec. 27.

Speaking about the need for thoughtful collaboration in a time of significant uncertainty, Superintendent Smith said, “We are focused on leveraging the immediate challenge to advance educational equity for students. In Illinois, we are taking full advantage of the opportunities which ESSA allows and requires. It is up to all of us now - liberals and conservatives, families and educators, community organizers and labor representatives - to forge a new consensus on successful schools for each and every child. ISBE is committed to getting the tools and resources to do so into the hands of our communities."

         

Christopher Edley Jr., chair of Partners for Each and Every Child and founder/president of the Opportunity Institute, added, “States must lead the way on equity in education, especially considering it is unclear how strong a role the U.S. Department of Education will play in overseeing ESSA implementation. Partners for applauds ISBE's efforts to regularly, thoughtfully, and deliberately engage with a diverse base of stakeholders in the development of a better, stronger and more collaborative state educational accountability system."

Partners for Each and Every Child is a project of The Opportunity Institute. Its mission is to build an infrastructure of interconnected work that will encourage a growing portion of the education policy community to break down barriers to advance sound educational policies; to address matters of equity; and to respond to the needs of at-risk, underserved, and politically underrepresented students.

CommunicationsAdvisory
113412/6/2016
  
ISBE to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan
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.
NoNo
2016

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 http://isbe.net/essa.

“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 essa@isbe.net. 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 http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.  

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 http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf 

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.

CommunicationsAdvisory
113212/1/2016
  
ISBE to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan
The third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan will make three final stops in Chicagoland next week. 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. Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and West Cook Intermediate Service Center will host a stop, Monday, Dec. 5; Representative Camille Y. Lilly will host a stop, Tuesday, Dec. 6; and Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and McHenry County Regional Office of Education will host the final Chicagoland stop, Wednesday, Dec. 7.
NoNo
2016

CHICAGO – The third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan will make three final stops in Chicagoland next week. 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. Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and West Cook Intermediate Service Center will host a stop, Monday, Dec. 5; Representative Camille Y. Lilly will host a stop, Tuesday, Dec. 6; and Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and McHenry County Regional Office of Education will host the final Chicagoland stop, Wednesday, Dec. 7.

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 http://isbe.net/essa.

“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 essa@isbe.net. 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 http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.  

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

WHEN/WHERE:   5-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5
Proviso Math and Science Academy
8601 West Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park
Hosted by Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and West Cook Intermediate Service Center

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

5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7
Bernotas Middle School
170 N. Oak St., Crystal Lake
Hosted by Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and McHenry County Regional Office of Education

View the full statewide schedule for the third ESSA listening tour at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf 

ISBE plans to 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.

CommunicationsAdvisory
113312/1/2016
  
ISBE to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan
Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 will host one stop on the third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan. Through the listening tour, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and the McHenry County Regional Office of Education, will continue collecting feedback from all stakeholders on Illinois’ draft plan to implement the new federal education law.
NoNo
2016

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 will host one stop on the third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan. Through the listening tour, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and the McHenry County Regional Office 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 http://isbe.net/essa. 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 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 essa@isbe.net. ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.  

WHAT: Listening tour stop hosted by the State Board of Education, in collaboration with Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and the McHenry County Regional Office of Education, to collect feedback from all stakeholders on the draft ESSA State Plan

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7

WHERE: Bernotas Middle School, 170 N. Oak St., Crystal Lake

View the full statewide schedule for the third ESSA listening tour at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf 

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.

CommunicationsAdvisory
113111/23/2016
  
ISBE to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft ESSA State Plan
Jacksonville School District 117 will host one stop on the third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, Monday, Nov. 28. Through the listening tour stop, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with Jacksonville School District 117 and Regional Office of Education #1, will continue collecting feedback from all stakeholders on Illinois’ draft plan to implement the new federal education law.
NoNo
2016

JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville School District 117 will host one stop on the third statewide listening tour regarding Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, Monday, Nov. 28. Through the listening tour stop, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with Jacksonville School District 117 and Regional Office of Education #1, 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 http://isbe.net/essa.

“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 essa@isbe.net. ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.  

WHAT: Listening tour stop hosted by the State Board of Education, in collaboration with Jacksonville School District 117 and Regional Office of Education #1, to collect feedback from all stakeholders on the draft ESSA State Plan

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28

WHERE: Jacksonville High School, 1211 N. Diamond St., Jacksonville

View the full statewide schedule for the third ESSA listening tour at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf 

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.

CommunicationsAdvisory
113611/22/2016
  
Statewide ESSA listening tour to make two stops in 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.
NoNo
2016

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 http://isbe.net/essa.

“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 essa@isbe.net. ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.  

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 http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf 

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.

CommunicationsAdvisory
111611/18/2016
  
Pilot program will allow 12 innovative school districts to replace high school graduation course requirements with a competency-based learning system
Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), launched today with a call for applications from school districts serving grades nine through 12.
NoNo
2016
Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), launched today with a call for applications from school districts serving grades nine through 12. The 12 districts ultimately selected for participation in the state’s first competency-based learning pilot will replace select high school graduation course requirements with an alternative system of the district’s design. In competency-based learning, educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge, rather than on time in the classroom.

“We know our students are coming into high school with so many assets and experiences that we haven't figured out how to access. This new opportunity to work on competency-based learning will help students share those strengths and get more specific support where they need it. Illinois is taking a giant leap forward in meeting our students where they are and better preparing them for the future,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program provides schools and districts the opportunity not only to adapt classroom instruction to the individual student but to personalize each student’s entire pathway through high school. This pilot encourages community partnerships and customized learning to support individual students’ interests and needs. ISBE hopes to learn from the pilot about the potential of competency-based learning to improve student outcomes on a large scale.”

Illinois Public Act 99-0674 (the “Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act”), passed unanimously by both legislative houses and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on July 29, established the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program as one of a number of strategies to prepare more students for meaningful career opportunities.  ISBE consulted with the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education, representatives from higher education, and national experts on the development of the pilot.

The competency-based learning systems proposed in districts’ applications must have students:

  • Demonstrate mastery of all required competencies to earn credit.
  • Demonstrate mastery of adaptive competencies (foundational skills needed for success in college, careers, and life, such as, but not limited to, work ethic, professionalism, communication, collaboration and interpersonal skills, and problem-solving) defined by the school district, in addition to academic competencies.
  • Advance once they have demonstrated mastery.
  • Receive more time and personalized instruction, if needed, to demonstrate mastery.
  • Have the ability to attain advanced postsecondary education and career-related competencies beyond those needed for graduation.
  • Be assessed using multiple measures to determine mastery, usually requiring application of knowledge.
  • Be able to earn credit toward graduation requirements in ways other than traditional coursework, including learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom setting, such as supervised career development experiences.

Districts interested in applying for participation in the pilot program may access the application online and must submit completed applications to ISBE no later than Jan. 27, 2017.

“The work of other states, districts, and schools around the country has allowed us to glimpse what’s possible through competency-based learning,” said Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Jason Helfer, Ph.D. “From deeper integration of technology, to better utilization of teacher talent, to an all-around more relevant learning and skill-building experience for students, competency-based learning has the potential to reinvent the way we prepare students for college and career. ISBE encourages districts of all shapes and sizes to apply.”  

ISBE will provide an online library of research, pilot program implementation plans, and models to support future replication, as well as technical assistance and networking opportunities to districts participating in the pilot.

Districts will not receive special or additional state funding to apply for, develop, or implement the pilot program. 


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
111711/14/2016
  
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.
NoNo
2016
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 http://isbe.net/essa. 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 essa@isbe.net. ISBE has compiled and posted all of the comments received thus far at http://isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-comments-1016.pdf.

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

DateDistrict 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 http://isbe.net/essa/.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
111811/3/2016
  
216 Illinois superintendents have signed the Future Ready District Pledge
District leaders from across the state attended the Future Ready Workshop in Peoria today to learn from experts and each other about planning and implementing personalized and digital learning strategies.
NoNo
2016
District leaders from across the state attended the Future Ready Workshop in Peoria today to learn from experts and each other about planning and implementing personalized and digital learning strategies. Illinois joined Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, in October 2016. The nationwide initiative connects educators within member states with a robust framework of free research-based tools and resources, such as the workshop held in Peoria today, promoting Personalized Student Learning.

Districts gain access to Future Ready Schools’ professional development opportunities by taking the Future Ready District Pledge. To date, 216 Illinois superintendents have signed the pledge, affirming their commitment to work with students, educators, families, and members of their community on building a culture and practice of personalized learning, enhanced by digital tools. View the list of Future Ready Illinois superintendents at http://futureready.org/about-the-effort/take-the-pledge.

“Personalized learning strategies are essential to Illinois achieving its goal of preparing all students for college and career,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I would like to thank the administrators and educators who have committed to developing the human and technological capacity needed to equip all students for 21st-century careers.”

Future Ready Schools’ efforts coincide with the Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative, which strives to enable high-speed internet in every classroom in Illinois. Learn more about the Illinois State Board of Education’s technology programs and resources at http://www.isbe.net/ed-technology/default.htm.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
111910/31/2016
  
State shows overall improvement in student attendance, PARCC participation, high school dropout rate, ACT scores, and PARCC math proficiency
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2016 Illinois Report Card at www.illinoisreportcard.com, providing schools, districts, parents, and stakeholders with a comprehensive annual informational snapshot of public education across the state.
NoNo
2016
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2016 Illinois Report Card at www.illinoisreportcard.com, providing schools, districts, parents, and stakeholders with a comprehensive annual informational snapshot of public education across the state. The statewide data reveal Illinois’ K-12 academic performance overall remained stable from the 2014-15 to the 2015-16 school years. The 2016 Report Card data show continuing opportunities for collaboration between districts and community partners to target and improve student outcomes.

The 2016 Report Card dataset stands as a significant benchmark, welcoming a new era of collaboration and support, as ISBE prepares to implement the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA allows districts greater flexibility to braid and blend funds to address specific local needs. The draft Illinois State Plan to implement ESSA, currently a work-in-progress developed collaboratively with Illinois’ stakeholders, will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in March. The plan will establish new accountability measures and systems of support for struggling districts to better serve students, designed based on stakeholder input. 

“During the 2015-16 school year, our Report Card indicators mostly held steady – a testament to the commitment and resourcefulness of educators and administrators across the state, who deeply felt our state’s education funding challenges,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Yet, while some students are achieving at remarkable levels, the majority of the generation of students entrusted to us are unprepared for the world of work and for meaningful participation in our communities. If we hope to make Illinois a state where whole, healthy children are nested in whole, healthy systems, and where all citizens are socially and economically secure, we must make major changes to the way we fund our public schools and fundamentally shift our approach to education. We can improve our Report Card indicators by coming together in Illinois around the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As educators, families, community and business leaders, and activists, we must seize the opportunities within ESSA. We must engage in dialogue, continue to build trusting relationships with one another, and activate all public, private, and philanthropic resources available in order to interrupt those practices that have left far too many of Illinois’ most vulnerable behind.”

Lauded for its transparency and user-friendliness, the Illinois Report Card allows schools and districts to look at their own performance from year to year and to identify collaboration opportunities with other schools and districts across multiple measures. Districts and schools use the Report Card data to ignite and inform conversations about how collectively to improve public education in Illinois for the benefit of all students.

Data points presented on the Report Card for the first time in 2016 include teacher attendance, an essential element in continuity for students, and 6- and 7-year graduation cohorts, representing Illinois’ commitment to graduate students with Individualized Education Programs. The Report Card also highlights the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and dual credit courses schools make available to students, in order to further Illinois’ goal of increasing enrollment and outcomes in AP, IB, and dual credit courses, especially among currently underrepresented yet high-achieving students.

The award-winning online Report Card platform now also features a mobile-friendly format, easier access to PARCC data, and “How To” videos to guide users step by step through the Report Card. Additionally, improved tools for reviewing assessment data allow users to find scores by grade, student groups, and subject area. The new navigation for Academic Progress now separates current state test data from prior tests, but still retains the long-term information under Retired Tests.  

Some notable statewide data points are listed below. All comparisons, unless otherwise noted, show changes from the 2015 Report Card to the 2016 Report Card.

  • Statewide student attendance – increased from 94.2% to 94.4%
  • Percentage of students meeting or exceeding PARCC math proficiency – increased from 28.2% to 30.5%
  • High school dropout rate – decreased from 2.3% to 2.0%; metric shows percentage of students in grades 9-12 who dropped out of high school during the school year
  • Percentage of students tested on PARCC – increased from 95.6% to 97.5%
  • Percentage of students earning a 21 or higher ACT composite score – increased from 45.6% to 46.4%
  • Students enrolled in Pre-K-12 education – more than two million students (2,041,779) at the beginning of 2015-16, 12,777 fewer than the previous year; percentage of Hispanic students increased slightly (25.1% to 25.5%), while percentage declined slightly for White (49.3% to 48.8%) and African-American (17.5% to 17.3%) students
  • 4-year cohort graduation rate – decreased slightly from 85.6% to 85.5%
  • 5-year cohort graduation rate – remained the same at 87.7%
  • Percentage of freshman on-track to graduation – decreased from 83.4% to 82.4%
  • Eighth grade students passing Algebra I – remained the same at 28.4%; metric is in its second year of use on the Report Card and represents the number of eighth grade students passing an Algebra I course divided by the total number of eighth graders in the school/district
  • Percentage of students meeting or exceeding PARCC English/Language Arts proficiency – decreased from 37.7% to 36.2%
  • Percentage of students at or above the target on the Dynamic Learning Maps for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities – 22.6% on English/Language Arts and 11.3% on math; comparisons from year to year on the DLM are not meaningful, as the range of disabilities across years can vary widely
  • Chronic truancy – increased from 8.7% to 9.8%; metric shows percentage of students who missed 5 percent or more of school days per year without a valid excuse
  • Percentage of graduates enrolled in Illinois community colleges taking remedial courses – increased from 48.7% for 2013 high school graduates to 49.4% for 2014 high school graduates
  • Average teacher salary – increased by $841, from $62,609 to $63,450
  • Average administrator salary – increased by $2,914, from $100,720 to $103,634
  • Teacher retention rate – increased from 85.0% to 85.8%
  • Principal turnover – remained the same at 1.9 principals at the same school for six years
  • Teacher attendance percentage – 76.5% of teachers had 10 or fewer absences during the 2013-14 school year (most current data available); metric reported for the first-time in 2016
  • Per pupil expenditure for instruction – increased from $7,419 to $7,712
  • Operational expenditure per pupil – increased from $12,521 to $12,821

The majority of the data presented on the Report Card are collected annually from school districts through data systems such as the state’s Student Information System, Employment Information System, and e-Report Card data collection system. Some data, such as extracurricular activities, are entered by principals throughout the year.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
112010/22/2016
  
Ricardo “Ricky” Castro of Township High School District 214 named 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year
The Illinois State Board of Education named Ricky Castro, an English as a Second Language teacher at Elk Grove High School, the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year. One of 10 finalists, Castro was announced as this year’s top educator during Saturday night’s 42nd annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education named Ricky Castro, an English as a Second Language teacher at Elk Grove High School, the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year. One of 10 finalists, Castro was announced as this year’s top educator during Saturday night’s 42nd annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.

“Mr. Castro emphasizes biliteracy development for students, allowing them to become proficient in multiple languages that will serve them well beyond high school,” said State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The relationships he builds with students, colleagues, and families greatly benefit the community, both within the schools and outside school walls. His passion to give back is inspiring.”

Castro says that during his middle and high school years he was a student at the crossroads of conflicting identities. He became involved with gangs and was not a good student while he lived in Chicago. That prompted his parents to move to the suburbs. Ricky was fortunate to have teachers who listened and supported him. Those teachers also inspired him to want to become a teacher and make a difference in the lives of students who might be struggling.

“In my 15 years as an educator and my six as an administrator, I can honestly say that I have never met anyone quite like Ricky. He is a visionary, a change agent, and the answer to the prayers of hundreds of students and their families, for he sees the incredible potential in kids and he will stop at nothing to alter the course of their lives,” said Megan Knight, associate principal for instruction of Elk Grove High School.

Castro earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at DePaul University and a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Recognizing that students of poverty often need more than academic success to achieve success in life, Castro created a tiered leadership program called Estudiantes Unidos. This innovative program challenges Elk Grove High School students to mentor their junior high and elementary school counterparts. The program teaches the value of citizenship, and encourages students to be leaders. Today the co-curricular endeavor impacts more than 200 students in the district.

As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Castro will have an opportunity to share his knowledge and expertise outside the classroom. Beginning in the 2017 spring semester, he will be available to speak at teaching workshops, education conferences, and community meetings. Castro will represent Illinois at the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Voya Finanacial.

A photograph of Illinois Teacher of the Year Ricky Castro is available for download online at www.isbe.net/those-who-excel/2017/images/castro.jpg.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
112110/13/2016
  
State education leaders urge parents, educators, students to provide feedback on budget at hearings in Springfield, Chicago, and Granite City
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will host public budget hearings in Springfield, Chicago, and Granite City to collect feedback and hear ideas from education stakeholders and advocates. Information on past budgets can be found at http://www.isbe.net/budget.
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will host public budget hearings in Springfield, Chicago, and Granite City to collect feedback and hear ideas from education stakeholders and advocates. Information on past budgets can be found at http://www.isbe.net/budget.

The budget hearings will be hosted by Curt Bradshaw, Board member and chair of the ISBE Finance and Audit Committee. The information collected at the hearings will inform the fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations ISBE will make to the General Assembly in January.

“Community and stakeholder feedback is more important than ever, as state lawmakers redesign how the state funds school districts, and ISBE creates the Illinois State Plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We have a collective opportunity to define and ensure all students receive an adequately and equitably funded education. I urge parents, students, educators, administrators, and community advocates to attend the budget hearings and share their ideas, priorities, and concerns.”

The public budget hearings for fiscal year 2018 will take place in:

  • Springfield – Thursday, Oct. 20, immediately following the Board meeting (approximately noon) in the Board Room at ISBE (100 N. First St.)
  • Chicago – Friday, Nov. 18, immediately following the Board meeting (approximately 1 p.m.) in Conference Room 16-503 at the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St.)
  • Granite City – Monday, Nov. 21, 4 – 6 p.m. in the Atrium at Granite City High School (3101 Madison Ave.)

ISBE encourages all stakeholders and community members – including those attending a hearing in person – to submit their comments on the budget by completing a budget request form (available at http://www.isbe.net/budget/) and emailing the form to isbeFY18@isbe.net.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
112210/4/2016
  
Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named at annual banquet for top educators Oct. 22
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today the statewide recipients of the 2016-17 Those Who Excel awards. State education officials will honor the 250 outstanding Illinois educators later this month at the 41st annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today the statewide recipients of the 2016-17 Those Who Excel awards. State education officials will honor the 250 outstanding Illinois educators later this month at the 41st annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators honored will be the 10 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named the top Illinois educator for 2017.

“I am very happy to publicly recognize these extraordinary educators,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “They continuously build relationships with students that foster centers of healthy communities and encourage students to succeed.”

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates for Those Who Excel recognition. A committee of peers, organized through ISBE, chooses the award winners, who will be honored at a banquet Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. Statewide education organizations are represented on the committee, which includes former award winners.

Two-hundred-and-fifty honorees will receive recognition at the banquet on three levels -- Recognition, Merit, and Excellence -- and across multiple categories, including classroom teacher, school administrator, and student support personnel.

“These educators have distinguished themselves for their exceptional work in their respective fields,” said Cinda Klickna, Illinois Education Association president. “These award recipients represent true excellence and their students are indeed lucky to have them in their lives.”

The 2017 Teacher of the Year, to be announced at the banquet, will serve as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession during the 2016-17 school year and will represent Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by VOYA Financial. Kim Thomas, a math teacher at Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria Public School District 150, served as Illinois ambassador for teaching during the 2015-16 school year.

“As the 2016 Teacher of the Year, I have been blessed with the ‘amathazing’ honor of ‘mathivating’ wonderful educators and students by spreading my love for teaching and math across the great state of Illinois,” Thomas said.

For more information on ISBE’s Those Who Excel program, please visit www.isbe.net/those-who-excel/default.htm.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11239/28/2016
  
Annual award from U.S. Department of Education recognizes schools for overall academic excellence or progress closing student achievement gaps
The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools, naming 16 public Illinois elementary, middle, and high schools among recipients of the prestigious award.
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2016
The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools, naming 16 public Illinois elementary, middle, and high schools among recipients of the prestigious award. The Illinois schools have enrollments ranging from 110 to 935 students and represent the diversity of high-achieving schools across the state, with 12 to 99 percent of their students eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.

“Congratulations to everyone at our 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools, who worked tirelessly all year long to plan, practice, and drive toward excellence in teaching and learning,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The students, principals, teachers, families, and support staff who earned the National Blue Ribbon title this year model innovation and dedication for all of us working in public education, and they should be immensely proud of their hard work. I hope practitioners and leaders statewide look to our 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools for tools and strategies to employ to better serve all students.”

Illinois’ 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

  • Alan B. Shepard Middle School (Deerfield SD 109)
  • Countryside Elementary School (Barrington CUSD 220)
  • Damiansville Elementary School (Damiansville SD 62)
  • Daniel Wright Junior High School (Lincolnshire-Prairie View SD 103)
  • Earl Pritchett School (Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102)
  • Eisenhower Academy (Joliet PSD 86)
  • Grove Avenue Elementary School (Barrington CUSD 220)
  • Half Day School (Lincolnshire-Prairie View SD 103)
  • Kennedy Junior High School (Naperville CUSD 203)
  • Monroe Elementary School (Hinsdale CCSD 181)
  • Oak Grove Elementary School (Oak Grove SD 68)
  • Skinner North Elementary School (City of Chicago SD 299)
  • Tri-Valley Elementary School (Tri-Valley CUSD 3)
  • Tripp School (Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102)
  • Walden Elementary School (Deerfield SD 109)
  • Woodlawn Middle School (Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96)

The U.S. Department of Education initiated the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 1982 to bring public attention to exemplary schools in the United States and to facilitate communication and sharing of best practices within and among schools.

All 16 of Illinois’ award-winning schools received the “Exemplary High Performing Schools” designation. This indicates that the schools achieved in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when ranked by student performance on the most recently administered English language arts and math state assessments or by student performance on state assessments in combination with other student performance measures, such as attendance and/or graduation rates. Schools may be nominated for the award only once within a five-year period.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King will honor the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 7-8.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11249/26/2016
  
ISBE recognizes 82 students for winning awards in 24 competitive events
The Illinois State Board of Education recognized 82 high school and occupational school students from 21 schools across Illinois for their achievements in National Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Competitive Events at the 2016 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference.
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education recognized 82 high school and occupational school students from 21 schools across Illinois for their achievements in National Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Competitive Events at the 2016 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference. Illinois students from across the state won awards in 24 of the 29 STAR events, such as Advocacy; Applied Math for Culinary Management; Early Childhood Education; Fashion Design; Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation; Interpersonal Communication; and Sports Nutrition.

FCCLA promotes co-curricular activities that are focused on family and consumer sciences career and technical education programs. The organization aims to provide students with leadership opportunities, promote problem-solving and collaboration skills, and support college and career readiness. More than 160,000 students belong to 5,400 FCCLA chapters nationwide.

“It is so important that our students graduate from high school ready for college and career,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Programs like FCCLA strengthen the leadership, communication, and critical-thinking skills that will help students achieve inside and outside of the classroom. I am excited to congratulate these Illinois students for demonstrating initiative and success in their fields of interest.”

The national conference hosted top competitors from across the country, convening approximately 4,500 total student participants. Students learned from speakers and engaged with their peers in workshops and competitions. The theme of this year’s conference, “Empowered,” encouraged students to utilize the skills they have gained from their involvement in FCCLA to make a difference in their schools and communities.

FCCLA held the National Leadership Conference in San Diego, California, in July. The following students were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals:

  • Adlai E. Stevenson High School: Jamie Berman, Robin Cheifetz, Camryn Hirsch, Stephanie Martin, Madison Randol, Laura Thornburg, Lindsey Wetle, Jordan Zatz
  • Alton High School: Emma Ernst, Kaitlyn Zini
  • Arcola Jr./Sr. High School: Macy Trejo
  • Bartlett High School: Allison Brown
  • Dwight Twp. High School: Leah Flynn, Lucy Rieke, Hannah Van der Karr
  • Glenbrook North: Zainab Ahmed, Riana Bakis, Anujin Batbold, Morgan Berg, Michael Bubaris, Megan Cho, Lizzy Donnelly, Samantha Heyman, Janet Lee, Liza McMahon, Chloe Meier, Molly Mulvihill, Grace Schwandner, Stephanie Serbu, Blake Stephenson, Benjamin Zhao
  • Glenbrook South: Alexia Roberts, Ashley Roberts
  • Knoxville: Maddy Grady, Darcy Ratermann, Danielle Rossell
  • Libertyville High School: Anna Mackey
  • Lockport Township High School: Tim Behland
  • Maine South High School: Maggie Ek, Kristie Guercio
  • Maine West: Quin Santucci
  • Mount Pulaski High School: TJ Benhart, Max Coppinger, Josh Dyer, Sam Koehl, Eli Olson, Lauren Thompson
  • Oakland CUSD #5: Erica Butler, Lauren Lankster, Taylor Veach
  • Prospect High School: Ashna Alex, Payton Chantry, Maddie Diluia, Jordan Dushane, Abby Fleig, Paige Gillogly, Ellie Gut, Ally Harrington, Dayna Laffey, Amy Lee, Faith Lindell, Lili Schober, Hannah Trais, Hanna Walker
  • ROWVA: Nicole Brown, Allison Chasteen, Katie England, Dylan Kuberski
  • South Elgin: Hailey Winger
  • St. Charles East High School: Addison Strachan
  • St. Charles North High School: Jamie Fisher, Isabel Frederick
  • West Aurora High School: Yarelli Hernandez, Gillian Jones, Hayley Karn, Victoria Layman, Jennifer Litt, Miracle Maddox, Miel Nelson, Cristina Valdes
  • Wilco Area Career Center: Ryne Thacker, Lauren Turk

View the full list of winners, their schools, and their award categories online at http://fcclainc.org/programs/documents/2016IllinoisReport.pdf.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11259/23/2016
  
They join four returning members to voice student concerns and participate in education policymaking
Sixteen sophomore, junior, and senior high school students from throughout the State of Illinois met for the first time as the State Board’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2016-17 School Year.
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2016
Sixteen sophomore, junior, and senior high school students from throughout the State of Illinois met for the first time as the State Board’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2016-17 School Year. The teens convened at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offices in Springfield on Sept. 13 and 14. Members of SAC, who were selected from dozens of applicants, have an opportunity to see the State Board’s policymakers in action and work with them to provide student perspectives and concerns on the state’s education policies.

“The Illinois State Board of Education places tremendous value on the student perspective,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “SAC not only provides ISBE with critical feedback on our key initiatives directly affecting the classroom, but also provides motivated and civic-minded student leaders with a window into the education policymaking process.”

The 2016-17 SAC includes 12 new members and four returning members. The new members of this year’s SAC are:

  • Neha Arun, sophomore at Carterville High School
  • Oliver Barrara, a junior at North Chicago Community High School
  • Evan Blievernicht, a junior at Teutopolis High School
  • Stella Cole, a senior at Springfield High School
  • Archit Dhar, a senior at Neuqua Valley High School
  • Morgan Fleck, a senior at Williamsville High School
  • Breeze Keppy, a senior at Paris High School
  • Kevin D. Little, a junior at Niles West High School
  • Gloria Oladipo, a senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet
  • Darcy Palder, a senior at Jones College Prep School
  • Sung “Shawn” Park, a senior at Metea Valley High School
  • Elizabeth Warden, a junior at Beardstown High School

The returning members of this year’s SAC are:

  • Seetha Aribindi, a senior at Hinsdale Central High School
  • Bridget Harris, a junior at Belvidere North High School
  • Kathleen Rock, a junior at Byron High School
  • Hannah Sunderland, a senior at Knoxville High School

Each year, the members of SAC select a topic to research in depth and present to the State Board of Education. In previous years, the SAC has examined best practices for recognizing vocational education, grading scales for school districts, the effects of cyber bullying, the effects of mandatory physical education on high school students and district budgets, and the dropout crisis.

“Opportunities like SAC prepare students to lead the boards and governing bodies of the future,” said State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “I look forward to working with our new and returning SAC members to better our education system for all students, and I encourage every Illinois high school student interested in government and politics to look into applying for SAC for next year.”  

Applicants to the SAC undergo a competitive review process. Those selected exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work well in groups, think creatively, and come up with innovative solutions to policy challenges. Most have an avid interest in public service and education policy. The SAC was established in 1975. All sophomores, juniors, and seniors who attend an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply. Applications for next year’s SAC (school year 2017-18) will be available in spring of 2017.

For more information on SAC, visit: http://www.isbe.net/sac/.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11269/21/2016
  
Feedback to be collected from Lockport, East St. Louis, Chicago, Streamwood, and Sycamore to inform next draft of ESSA State Plan
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, has announced the final stops on the second statewide listening tour to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, has announced the final stops on the second statewide listening tour to collect feedback on Illinois’ draft plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The second listening tour concludes with stops in Lockport, East St. Louis, Chicago, Streamwood, and Sycamore to solicit community and stakeholder feedback on the first draft of the Illinois ESSA State Plan, which was presented at the August State Board of Education meeting. ISBE welcomes all stakeholders who may have missed the opportunity to give feedback at an earlier tour stop to attend one of the final meetings.

“Feedback is essential as staff and stakeholders work together to refine the initial draft. I encourage parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, community, and business leaders to take advantage of this time and share their thinking on the opportunities and areas of concern in ESSA,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE, our staff, and stakeholders truly rely on community questions and feedback to guide our thinking as we define common, high expectations and revamp Illinois’ education practices to benefit all children.”

In order to facilitate understanding of and inform questions regarding the ESSA State Plan, ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have produced a Reader’s Guide with summaries, key facts and stats, discussion prompts, and additional information.

After staff and stakeholders refine the draft to reflect the feedback gathered statewide, ISBE will post the revised version online for a third and final round of review later this fall before the Board votes to finalize the plan.

The second statewide listening tour includes 14 meetings total, held between Sept. 6 and Oct. 5. All meetings take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with the exception of the stop in Streamwood, which starts at 5 p.m.

Remaining stops in the tour include:

Date District Location
Monday, September 26 Lockport THSD 205 Lockport East High School
1333 E. 7th St., Lockport
Tuesday, September 27 East St. Louis SD 189 East St. Louis High School
4901 State St., East St. Louis
Tuesday, September 27 Chicago Public School District 299 Simeon Career Academy
8147 S. Vincennes Ave., Chicago
Wednesday, September 28 School District U 46 Streamwood High School
701 W. Schaumburg Rd., Streamwood
Wednesday, October 5 DeKalb County Farm Bureau Farm Bureau Theatre
1350 W. Prairie Dr., Sycamore

The first listening tour, which occurred in April and May, focused on an overview of ESSA and ideas and questions from meeting participants. The second round of meetings focuses on sharing the substance of the initial draft plan and receiving feedback from the field.

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 settings, 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 http://isbe.net/essa/.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11279/13/2016
  
Feedback to be collected from Carbondale, Effingham, Quincy, and Peoria
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, is hosting a second listening tour to collect feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
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2016
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, is hosting a second listening tour to collect feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The first draft of the Illinois ESSA State Plan was presented at the August State Board of Education meeting. Feedback is essential as staff and stakeholders work together to refine the initial draft. It will then be posted again for review later this fall before being brought before the Board for its vote. ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have also produced a Reader’s Guide to help better understand and form questions regarding the ESSA State Plan draft.

One more stop has been added to the end of the tour, making it a total of 14 meetings being held between Sept. 6 and Oct. 5. The third week includes meetings to be held in Carbondale, Effingham, Quincy, and Peoria. All meetings will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Date District Location
Monday, September 19 Carbondale Community High School District 165 Carbondale Community High School
330 S. Giant City Road, Carbondale
Tuesday, September 20 Effingham CUSD 40 Effingham High School
1301 W. Grove Ave., Effingham
Wednesday, September 21 Quincy Public School District 172 Baldwin Intermediate School
3000 Maine St., Quincy
Thursday, September 22 Peoria School District 150 Woodruff Career and Technical Center
1800 NE Perry, Peoria

The first listening tour, which occurred in April and May, focused on an overview of ESSA and ideas and questions from meeting participants. The second round of meetings will focus on sharing the substance of the draft and receiving feedback from the field. Individuals and groups are encouraged to read the plan and express their thoughts at these meetings. 

“I encourage parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, community and business leaders to take advantage of this time and share their thinking on the opportunities and areas of concern in ESSA,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE will continue to meet with staff and stakeholders to contemplate the numerous ideas collected and shared throughout these meetings.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act presents the state and school districts with a significant opportunity to better serve all students. It allows individuals to consider what is meant by “the whole child” and determine the type of programming that will support every student’s strengths and needs. ESSA allows states to design supports for students that consider their unique settings. The collective task is to develop a final Illinois State Plan that can best ensure that every student succeeds. The new law takes effect in phases over the next two school years. For more information regarding ESSA, please visit http://isbe.net/essa/.


CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11159/8/2016
  
2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 22
ISBE Announces Finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the 10 finalists for the 2017 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.

“This program gives us the opportunity to meet outstanding teachers at every level and recognize leadership and achievements in classrooms throughout Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “These dedicated educators inspire me every day and I am impressed by the relationships they create with students, colleagues, parents, and the community in order to give students the best learning opportunities available.”

A selection committee composed of administrators, teachers, and representatives from educational service personnel, student support personnel, and past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners reviewed 253 nominations this year.

Kim Thomas is the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Kim teaches math to eighth-graders at Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria Public Schools District 150.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to share my passions for teaching and math. I am grateful to have met so many wonderful teachers across the state and from around the nation,” Thomas said when asked about her experiences as Illinois Teacher of the Year. “I have been blessed to learn from others who are living the dream of being a teacher so students can one day live their dreams!”

The 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be announced during the Those Who Excel banquet Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The Teacher of the Year will represent Illinois at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Program.

Here are this year’s finalists:

Ricardo Castro is an ESL, language arts, and Spanish teacher for grades 9-12 at Elk Grove High School in Township High School District 214.

Jeremy Clarke teaches third grade at Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center in Mount Vernon City Schools District 80.

John Colucci is a language arts teacher for students in seventh grade at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park Elementary School District 97.

Nichole Folkman teaches journalism, English, speech, and literature to students in grades 9-12 at Hartsburg-Emden CUSD 21.

Candace Hamilton is a physical science teacher for eighth-grade students at Whiteside Middle School in Whiteside School District 115.

Matthew Herndon teaches physical education to students at Lewis and Clark Junior High School in Wood River-Hartford School District 154.

Edward “Ted” Houpt is a social studies teacher at Danville High School in Danville Consolidated School District 118.

Patti Ludwig teaches fourth-grade students at Mary Morgan Elementary School in Byron CUSD 226.

Elizabeth Mendoza is a Spanish teacher for students in grades 10-12 at J.S. Morton East High School in J.S. Morton High School District 201.

Anthony Zarate teaches English language arts to seventh- and eighth-grade students at UCSN Brighton Park Elementary.

For photos of the finalists, please contact Ann Muraro-Lacopo at the ISBE Office of Communications at (217) 782-4648.​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11139/7/2016
  
$5.42 million awarded for the 2016-17 school year
ISBE names more than 250 schools to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD — Thousands of schoolchildren across the state will snack on additional fresh fruits and vegetables this school year thanks to a federal program administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.

More than 250 elementary schools will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, including districts in Cairo, Springfield, Kankakee, Mount Vernon, Centralia, Chicago, FFVP LogoEast St. Louis, Rock Island, and more. A complete list of participating schools is available on the ISBE website at http://isbemain.isbe.net/Documents/ffvp-awardees16-17.pdf​​. ​

“We are very excited to help with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program again this year,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “It is important to promote healthier eating habits so our kids will have the fuel they need for the school day and the knowledge to make healthier choices down the road.”

This is the eighth year the Illinois State Board of Education has administered the grant program. Illinois has seen FFVP funds increase steadily each year from $2.21 million in 2009-10 to this year’s $5.42 million. For the 2016-17 school year, ISBE approved 260 sites, with an estimated total enrollment of 107,725 students. Schools are reimbursed monthly for allowable expenses up to the school’s total awarded amount.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program sends funds to states, which then distribute the money to schools. The FFVP grant awards target elementary schools with the highest eligibility in the free and reduced-price categories within the National School Lunch Program. 

FFVP provides all students in participating schools access to a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables at least twice a week. For some students it can be their first time biting into a fuzzy peach or discovering they like fresh cucumber slices. Worksheets, fact sheets and classroom discussion can accompany the snacks to teach students about the nutritious fruits and vegetables, linking them to curriculum.

More information about the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is available on the ISBE website athttp://isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/ffv_program.htm.​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11149/7/2016
  
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, is hosting a second listening tour to collect feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Upcoming ESSA Listening Tour stops in Bloomington and Mundelein
NoNo
2016

​SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with assistance from Regional Offices of Education, is hosting a second listening tour to collect feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The first draft of the Illinois ESSA State Plan was presented at the August State Board of Education meeting. Feedback is essential as staff and stakeholders work together to refine the initial draft. It will then be posted again for review later this fall before being brought before the Board for its vote. ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have also produced a Reader’s Guide to help better understand and form questions regarding the ESSA State Plan draft.

One more stop has been added to the end of the tour, making it a total of 14 meetings being held between Sept. 6 and Oct. 5. The second week includes meetings to be held in Bloomington an​d Mundelein. Both meetings will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

DateDistrictLocation
Tuesday, September 13 Bloomington School District 87Bloomington Junior High School
901 N. Colton Ave., Bloomington
Thursday, September 15 Mundelein High School District 120Mundelein High School
1350 W. Hawley St., Mundelein

The first listening tour, which occurred in April and May, focused on an overview of ESSA and ideas and questions from meeting participants. The second round of meetings will focus on sharing the substance of the draft and receiving feedback from the field. Individuals and groups are encouraged to read the plan and express their thoughts at these meetings. 

“I encourage parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, community and business leaders to take advantage of this time and share their thinking on the opportunities and areas of concern in ESSA,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “ISBE will continue to meet with staff and stakeholders to contemplate the numerous ideas collected and shared throughout these meetings.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act presents the state and school districts with a significant opportunity to better serve all students. It allows individuals to consider what is meant by “the whole child” and determine the type of programming that will support every student’s strengths and needs. ESSA allows states to design supports for students that consider their unique settings. The collective task is to develop a final Illinois State Plan that can best ensure that every student succeeds. The new law takes effect in phases over the next two school years. For more information regarding ESSA, please visit ourESSA page.​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11129/1/2016
  
Guide to encourage public feedback during second listening tour
SPRINGFIELD — On Aug. 25, the Illinois State Board of
Education (ISBE) shared its first draft of the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan with the public. ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have worked together to develop a Reader's Guide (for the ISBE ESSA State Plan Draft #1). The Reader’s Guide will help stakeholders reflect on the questions raised by ISBE throughout the draft plan and provide a structure for sharing feedback.
YesNo
2016

Partners for Each and Every Child LogoSPRINGFIELD — On Aug. 25, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) shared its first draft of the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan with the public. ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have worked together to develop a Reader's Guide (for the ISBE ESSA State Plan Draft #1). The Reader’s Guide will help stakeholders reflect on the questions raised by ISBE throughout the draft plan and provide a structure for sharing feedback.

Beginning Sept. 6, ISBE will be gathering input on the ESSA Draft Plan #1 during its second listening tour across the state. Thirteen meetings are planned between Sept. 6 and Sept. 28. The listening tour schedule and regularly updated information regarding ESSA can be found at www.isbe.net/essa.

“So that we may collectively maximize the opportunities that ESSA presents for educating ‘the whole child’ and ensure the law’s equitable implementation, ISBE recognizes the need to meaningfully engage all Illinois stakeholders,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We hope Illinoisans join us in this once-in-a-decade opportunity to work together on what it means to educate our students—and hold ourselves accountable when we don’t.”

The first listening tour, which occurred in April and May, focused on an overview of ESSA and ideas and questions from meeting participants. The second round of meetings will focus on sharing the substance of the draft and receiving feedback from the field. Individuals and groups are encouraged to review the plan and Reader’s Guide and express their thoughts at these meetings.

Stakeholders can also provide feedback by emailing essa@isbe.net. Feedback is essential as staff and stakeholders work together to refine this initial draft. It will then be posted again later this fall for review before being brought before the Board for its vote.

“In order to move the needle on equity, we are going to have to have strong and informed engagement between state and local decision makers and the rest of the public, especially equity advocates. The public needs a real chance to participate actively in critical policy decisions. Superintendent Smith and the Illinois State Board of Education are working hard to ensure the people of Illinois are informed and at the table at this critical time for equity in education,” said Christopher Edley Jr., chair of Partners for Each and Every Child and founder/president of the Opportunity Institute.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability’s executive director, Ralph Martire, also addressed the need for informed and sustained stakeholder engagement.

"The reduced federal role in holding states and districts accountable for being equitable makes having the tools and processes for meaningful stakeholder engagement a core element of ESSA implementation—especially when it comes to ensuring equity and excellence for all Illinois' student populations,” Martire said. “National, state, and local partnerships can inform and support greater participation to create an effective pathway for achieving these ends.”

Partners for Each and Every Child is a project of the Opportunity Institute. Its mission is to build an infrastructure of interconnected work that will encourage a growing portion of the education policy community to break down barriers to advance sound educational policies; to address matters of equity; and to respond to the needs of at-risk, underserved, and politically underrepresented students.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11108/25/2016
  
First look at preliminary results for second year of PARCC
Members of the State Board of Education had the opportunity at today ’s meeting to view the preliminary state-level results from the 2015-16 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.
YesNo
2016

​SPRINGFIELD —Members of the State Board of Education had the opportunity at today’s meeting to view the preliminary state-level results from the 2015-16 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. This initial release is part of a commitment to transparency and collaboration with districts and schools, which are working to understand their own data in relationship to overall state data.

“We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments and the commitment of our teachers in embracing the new, more rigorous Illinois State Standards,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “They are designed to help prepare every child for success in college and careers after they complete K-12 education and we fully expect to see progress along the continuum of mastery as they gain familiarity with these standards.”

The PARCC assessment focuses on students’ mastery of key concepts as well as their critical thinking and writing skills. It will continue to measure the full range of standards. The assessment will also provide valuable information about whether students are mastering the knowledge and skills they need to stay on the path for success in college and/or their chosen career field.

The award-winning Illinois Report Card, available at the end of October, will include finalized statewide, district-, and school-level data. Districts have been using individual student results for the past several weeks to help guide instructional decisions for students. ISBE does not yet have any individual school or district data to report as districts are still partaking in the data clean-up process.

Assessments are simply one measure to track progress, and data from the PARCC assessment provides a clearer picture of where Illinois schools are succeeding and what areas need improvement. The second year of results will help teachers and parents determine if a student requires remediation or more advanced instruction earlier in his or her schooling, ensuring they graduate from high school ready for college and career.

For more information and continuous updates, please go to the ISBE PARCC Place webpage.​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11118/24/2016
  
College ready percentage holds steady at one in four studentsResults released today in ACT’s annual score report, "The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016," show Illinois’ graduating seniors achieved an average composite score of 20.8, an increas
Results released today in ACT’s annual score report, "The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016," show Illinois’ graduating seniors achieved an average composite score of 20.8, an increase of 0.1 over last year’s score. The national average composite score on the ACT fell from 21.0 to 20.8.
NoNo
2016

SPRING​FIELD — Results released today in ACT’s annual score report, “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016,” show Illinois’ graduating seniors achieved an average composite score of 20.8, an increase of 0.1 over last year’s score. The national average composite score on the ACT fell from 21.0 to 20.8.

“Our graduates continue to show progress,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The work of improving opportunities for all students and increasing the pace of progress is one we approach with urgency.”

Illinois’ graduating seniors held steady for the percentage of students who meet each of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmark Scores in English, math, reading, and science, while comparable national figures declined:

Subject
Illinois 2016
National 2016
English
64
61
Mathematics
41
41
Reading
42
44
Science
36
36
Meeting All Four
26
26

A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in a corresponding credit-bearing college course. These courses include English composition, algebra, social science, and biology.

Students taking four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies, and natural science continued to outpace students who took a less-rigorous course of study. Students with “core or more” tend to score three to four points higher on each of the subtests and the ACT Composite:

​​Subject
Core or More 2016
Less than Core 2016
English
22.8
18.5
Mathematics
22.4
18.9
Reading
22.9
19.2
Science
22.5
19.0
Composite
22.8
19.0

In Illinois, every public school 11th-grader was required to take the ACT as part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) from 2001 to 2014. In 2015, the test was optional for public school students and provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. Therefore, the majority of students graduating in 2016 had taken the ACT as juniors.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. The results shown here represent the scores achieved by all Illinois 2016 graduates in both public and private schools.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11098/11/2016
  
August marks National Immunization Awareness Month
As students are beginning 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.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD —  As students are beginning 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.

Changes to school immunization requirements for the 2016-2017 school year include

  • Students in grades kindergarten, two, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and 11 must show proof of having received two doses of varicella. Students in all other grades must show proof of one dose of varicella. The two-dose rule formerly applied only to students entering grades kindergarten, six, seven, nine, and 10.
  • Students entering grades six, seven, and 12 must show proof of immunization for meningococcal. This immunization formerly was required only of sixth- and 12th-graders.

These vaccination revisions are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.   

IDPH’s Immunization Quick Reference Guide provides additional details about the 2016-17 requirements.

“Immunizations are in place to protect students, families, and communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Our students need to stay healthy in order to be able to put their best foot forward each day and continue to grow both in the classroom and outside of it.”

The State of Illinois requires children have vaccinations before they enter school to protect them from a variety of diseases. For school entrance, students must show proof of vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis b, and varicella, as well as pneumococcal  and now meningococcal (depending on age) vaccinations.  For more information about immunizations, including vaccination schedules, visit www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization.

“Preventing diseases through vaccination is a proven way to improve community health,” said Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “By promoting immunizations and increasing vaccination rates, especially among children, we can prevent many chronic illnesses and keep students healthy in school and ready to learn.”

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month, which aims to educate people of all ages about the importance of protecting their health by being immunized against infectious diseases.

In addition to immunizations, all students enrolling in kindergarten -- in a public or private school -- and any student enrolling for the first time in Illinois (with the exception of preschoolers) must also have an eye examination. The eye exam needs to be performed by a licensed optometrist or medical doctor who performs eye exams and is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. All eye exams must be completed within one year prior to Oct. 15.

Furthermore, all students enrolled in kindergarten, the second, and the sixth grades are required to have a dental examination.

Also, all children must complete a physical examination prior to entering Illinois schools for the first time, prior to the date of entering kindergarten or first grade, prior to entering sixth grade, and prior to entering ninth grade. The exam includes gender and date of birth; an evaluation of height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth/dental; cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, neurological, and musculoskeletal evaluations; spinal examination; evaluation of nutritional status; lead screening; and other evaluations deemed necessary by the health care provider.

These student health requirements for entry apply to all schools in Illinois - public, charter, or private. Parents and guardians should contact their health care provider, local health department, or pharmacy to schedule an appointment to receive the recommended and required vaccinations. It is important to keep an immunization record card for your child’s entry into school.

Students who do not show proof of the health examinations and/or immunizations by Oct. 15, or an earlier date if one is established by their local school board, are to be excluded from school until the requirements are met. Excluding students from attendance assures that students and staff are protected from certain diseases.

IDPH offers additional immunization information on its website. The Illinois Help Me Grow helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (voice and TTY) provides additional immunization information. The Vaccines for Children program provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families that may not be able to afford immunizations. For information, call (312) 746-6050 in Chicago or (217) 785-1455 for the rest of the state.

For additional information about immunizations in Illinois, visit

Administrative Rules for Basic Immunizations: ​​​http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/077/077006650B02400R.html

CommunicationsCommunity & Partners; Families & Students; Administrators; TeachersNews
11088/10/2016
  
Hands-on activities highlight innovative teaching in math classes on display in the Governor’s Tent at the Illinois State Fair
Kim Thomas, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and two of her former students from Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria will be at the Illinois State Fair to demonstrate several unique learning techniques that Thomas has created to excite her math students.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD — Kim Thomas, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and two of her former students from Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria will be at the Illinois State Fair to demonstrate several unique learning techniques that Thomas has created to excite her math students. Thomas and her students will be making presentations in the Governor’s Tent on the fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12; Saturday, Aug. 13; and Sunday, Aug. 14.

“Teachers have the most important job in our society after being a parent, and it is an honor to recognize Kim Thomas as the Illinois Teacher of the Year,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The theme in the Governor’s Tent at the State Fair this year is ‘Educating Our Future.’ Ms. Thomas’ innovative ideas are inspiring a new generation of scholars that learning can be fun and exciting. I want to thank Ms. Thomas and all of our teachers for the extraordinary work they do day in and day out for our children in Illinois.”

Thomas’ enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. She sprinkles math concepts through everything she does in the classroom, using terms like “mathilicious,” “mathtastic,” and “dynomath” to capture students’ attention and excite them about learning math. Kim creates games like Math Muscles, YahMATHzee, and March Mathness to keep her students engaged. Her students will join her in demonstrating a few of her other games several times a day while at the fair. 

Students in Kim’s class know they have an advocate and an ally who makes learning fun.

“Kim became a teacher so she could provide her students wonderful experiences in the classroom. She forms relationships with her students so they know she cares about them and wants them to succeed,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Kim’s energy, compassion, and passion for teaching are evident in everything she does. Her games and projects help her make a personal connection with her students and help her students make a connection with learning.”

The Governor’s Tent is at the corner of Main Street and Bryan Ramey Avenue, near the main entrance of the fairgrounds. 

CommunicationsCommunity & PartnersNews
11077/11/2016
  
All public high school juniors will take the SAT; students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that it will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that it will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year. The SAT will replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment as the high school accountability exam in Illinois.

“District and school administrators overwhelmingly agree with ISBE that every high school junior should have access to a college entrance exam, a policy that promotes equity and access and that provides each and every student with greater opportunities in higher education,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The SAT is aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards and will continue to empower educators to measure college and career readiness.”

Students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment. The PARCC assessment is also aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards, and its results provide educators with data that may be used to provide individualized supports to students while preparing them for mastery of the state standards.

Access to a quality college entrance exam is essential in providing future opportunities to all students. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan measure signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 10, 2015, focuses on the goal of fully preparing students for success in college and careers.

In the course of developing a state plan for ESSA, ISBE has conducted listening tours to obtain insight from stakeholders, including students, parents, schools, districts, educators, administrators, exclusive bargaining representatives, advocacy groups, and other interested parties. Stakeholders overwhelmingly emphasized the need for equitable access to a college entrance exam for all students. They also stressed that the amount of testing time and the number of assessments administered to students need to be reduced.

“We applaud State Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith and the State Board for listening to input from stakeholders around the state and coming up with this common-sense solution," said Dr. Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Most college-bound students must take an entrance exam for admission. The SAT will eliminate redundancy and maximize the value of their testing time. By administering the SAT in high school and PARCC in grades 3-8, ISBE continues to foster the conditions whereby educators can support students in becoming college and career ready.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11027/1/2016
  
Illinois State Superintendent’s statement on Illinois education budget
State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., has released a statement regarding Thursday’s passage of a stopgap budget for fiscal year 2017.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD — State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., has released the following statement regarding Thursday’s passage of a stopgap budget for fiscal year 2017:

“I am pleased the General Assembly passed a stopgap budget that includes a full year of funding for K-12 education for fiscal year 2017.  I also appreciate Governor Bruce Rauner’s immediate signature and continued advocacy for Illinois' schoolchildren. This legislation will ensure our schools are able to open for the 2016-17 school year,” Smith said.

“This appropriation avoids the possibility of significant future disruption of school operations and federal grant awards. While the passage of this budget is an important step to ensure our students receive the critical supports and resources they need, we still have more work ahead of us to provide equitable opportunities and access for all children.” 

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11016/28/2016
  
ISBE has announced the availability of Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2017
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017). CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered annually by ISBE.
YesNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017). CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered annually by ISBE.

“This program has proven to be vital to many children and families around Illinois to ensure all students are getting the proper nutrition needed to excel,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The agency is proud to help administer the CACFP once again.”  

The program is designed to primarily assist child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

Income Eligibility Guidelines: Effective from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017

Free Meals
130% Federal Poverty Guideline
Reduced-Price Meals
185% Federal Poverty Guideline
Household
Size
Annual
Monthly
Twice Per
Month
Every Two
Weeks
Weekly
Household Size
Annual
Monthly
Twice Per
Month
Every Two
Weeks
Weekly
1
15,444
1,287
644
594
297
1
21,978
1,8325
916
846
423
2
20,826
1,736
868
801
401
2
29,637
2,470
1,235
1,140
570
3
26,208
2,184
1,092
1,008
504
3
37,296
3,108
1,554
1,435
718
4
31,590
2,633
1,317
1,215
608
4
44,955
3,747
1,874
1,730
865
5
36,972
3,081
1,541
1,422
711
5
52,614
4,385
2,193
2,024
1,012
6
42,354
3,530
1,765
1,629
815
6
60,273
5,023
2,512
2,319
1,160
7
47,749
3,980
1,990
1,837
919
7
67,951
5,663
2,832
2,614
1,307
8
53,157
4,430
2,215
2,045
1,023
8
75,647
6,304
3,152
2,910
1,455
For each additional family member, add
5,408
451
226
208
104
For each additional family member, add
7,696
642
321
296
148

Individuals in households that receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are automatically eligible to receive free meals. Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs at approved Head Start facilities and foster care children who are legal responsibilities of the state or court are also eligible to receive free meals. Parents or guardians should contact their child care center or day care home provider to find out if they participate in this program.

The USDA Household Income Eligibility Guidelines are listed for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, a member of the household should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA; its agencies, offices, and employees; and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide all of the information requested on the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by (1) mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax at (202) 690-7442; or (3) email at program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For additional information at the Child and Adult Care Food Program, visit ISBE’s Nutrition and Wellness Program Division online at http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/child_adult.htm.​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
11006/27/2016
  
Expansion will further state’s commitment to open educational resources
Illinois announced the launch of a new statewide #GoOpen initiative, joining the inaugural cohort of states across the country committing to support school districts and educators transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in their schools.
NoNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD –Illinois announced the launch of a new statewide #GoOpen initiative, joining the inaugural cohort of states across the country committing to support school districts and educators transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in their schools. The U.S. Department of Education recognized Illinois for its leadership at the #GoOpen Exchange. The exchange is a gathering of state and district leaders, innovative education technology platform providers, ​and nonprofit organizations working together to share knowledge and experiences to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources.

Openly licensed education resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that are in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.

“States are powerful collaborators in supporting and scaling innovation. They can connect forward thinking educators, share effective ideas and approaches widely, amplify successes, and can support districts in leveraging limited resources,” says Joseph South, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. “With the launch of statewide #GoOpen initiatives, states are helping districts thoughtfully transition to a new model of learning by facilitating the creation of an open ecosystem of digital resources that can increase equity and empower teachers.”

Illinois was recognized for its commitment to a statewide technology strategy that includes the use of openly licensed resources as a central component, developing and maintaining a statewide repository solution for openly licensed resources, and participating in a community of practice with other #GoOpen states and districts to share learning and professional development resources.

“Openly licensed educational resources have enormous potential to increase equitable access to high-quality education opportunities across the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I am excited that Illinois is now among the states committed to supporting districts in using these educational resources to encourage teachers and improve digital learning for our students.”

“I applaud the many Illinois school districts who already utilize these important educational tools,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis.  “Openly licensed educational resources will help our schools broaden access to high-quality learning experiences. By Illinois becoming a #GoOpen state, more teachers and administrators will be able to implement and transition to these cost-effective, content relevant resources.” 

Since the launch of #GoOpen, school districts from 15 states have worked with #GoOpen Ambassador districts and innovators from education technology companies and nonprofit organizations. These organizations and districts have committed to create new tools and provide professional learning opportunities to help districts in their transition to use high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in their schools.

More information on Illinois’ open education resources commitment can be found at http://ilsharedlearn​ing.org/.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
10996/24/2016
  
ISBE needs General Assembly to pass an education budget in order to offer feeding programs this summer
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today it will not be able to offer free meals this summer to thousands of children at more than 2,000 sites across the state until the General Assembly passes an education budget.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today it will not be able to offer free meals this summer to thousands of children at more than 2,000 sites across the state until the General Assembly passes an education budget.

“Many of our children rely on our schools for access to nutritious meals during the school year and it is equally important during the summer months,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Without passage of a funding bill, many of these education programs and grants are in danger. Each day this uncertainty continues, our kids suffer. Passing a PreK-12 budget will ensure schools open on time and our students have access to the resources they need.” 

Without an appropriation, ISBE cannot distribute grants to community partners that run these summer meal sites.

ISBE administers these summer programs which help provide nutritious meals to children across the state. School districts, local government entities, and nonprofit organizations serve as summer food sponsors and sites to ensure our most vulnerable children have free, healthy meals and snacks all summer long. ISBE’s partners, No Kid Hungry and the Illinois Hunger Coalition, staff the hotline and texting numbers, referring families to meal sites.

Last summer, Illinois had 168 sponsors for the Summer Food Service Program and an additional 136 sponsors in the Seamless Summer Option, helping provide meals to children 18 and younger. Both summer meal programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by ISBE. Sponsors oversaw 2,372 meal sites in communities throughout Illinois in 2015.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
10916/21/2016
  
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 29 educators who have been selected by their professional education organizations as the best in their fields of expertise during the 2015-16 school year.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA), will honor 29 educators who have been selected by their professional education organizations as the best in their fields of expertise during the 2015-16 school year. The teachers will be recognized during a luncheon Tuesday, June 21, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

“These outstanding teachers spend their days building relationships with students so they can give each of them the support and guidance they need to learn and grow,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The passion, enthusiasm, and dedication for teaching these educators exhibit is felt by students, colleagues, administrators, and parents alike. We are pleased to publicly thank them for their tireless efforts.”

Tuesday’s event will be the sixth annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon hosted by the State Board and the two state teacher associations.

“The Illinois Education Association is always proud to help sponsor the Teacher Recognition Luncheon, a wonderful way to thank and acknowledge Illinois’ many outstanding educators,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “The award winners have shown exemplary teaching in each of their fields, and they remind us that great education is being delivered to our students every day in every school in Illinois.”

Each fall, ISBE names one teacher of the year and recognizes more than 200 educators nominated by their own districts or members of their communities for outstanding service through the Those Who Excel program. Kim Thomas, a math teacher, was named the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Thomas teaches at Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria Public School District 150. The annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon provides an opportunity to honor other award-winning teachers from across the state.

“Illinois is home to outstanding educators who go above and beyond every day,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “It brings me great pleasure to honor these teachers who give so much of themselves for the students they serve.”       

A list of the recognized teachers is available here​. ​​

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
176/16/2016
  
John Tignor helped district and community rebuild after devastating 2013 tornado
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognized Washington Grade School District 52 Superintendent John Tignor for nearly four decades in education, including leading the district through the aftermath of a devastating tornado in 2013.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognized Washington Grade School District 52 Superintendent John Tignor for nearly four decades in education, including leading the district through the aftermath of a devastating tornado in 2013.

“Dr. Tignor, despite suffering personal loss himself, worked to provide a safe haven for children and their families affected by this terrible natural disaster, helping Washington rebuild and return stronger,” said State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D. “His actions exemplify how districts and schools are vital to the well-being of their communities.”

The Board honored Tignor, who is retiring this month, with a resolution during Thursday’s regular board meeting via video conference in Springfield, Chicago, and Marion. 

Tignor’s career includes 15 years as an educator and 23 as an administrator. He left Quincy Public Schools in 2007 to become District 52 superintendent. Mason-Tazewell-Woodford County Regional Superintendent Gail Owen said Tignor has a strong passion for teaching reading strategies and almost immediately organized the district into professional learning communities to improve reading outcomes for all students. The success of this work has provided an example for other districts that are looking to implement strategies of their own.

On Nov. 17, 2013, an EF4 tornado tore through Washington, damaging hundreds of homes in the community of about 15,000 people in Tazewell County. Tignor’s home and those of many district staff and students were among those destroyed.

“The true test of character is revealed when a disaster unfolds and Dr. Tignor, despite the total destruction of his own home, always saw first and foremost the need to help his school community,” Owen said.

Tignor opened school doors to serve as a community center in the initial weeks following the tornado, and the district worked to arrange transportation for all displaced students. Though insurance did not cover damage to athletic fields and playgrounds, Tignor oversaw the replacement of these facilities, which were covered in debris. District 52 also continues to provide ongoing counseling for students struggling with post-traumatic issues related to the disaster.

Owen says Tignor has since shared the lessons his district learned in the wake of the tornado with other area superintendents to help them improve their emergency plans and responses to crises.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
155/24/2016
  
Efforts to expand preschool education remain a priority
In a recent report released by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, Illinois was cited as making moderate progress in providing access to education for 3- and 4-year-olds across the state.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – In a recent report released by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, Illinois was cited as making moderate progress in providing access to education for 3- and 4-year-olds across the state.

The NIEER State of Preschool Report reviews state-funded pre-K programs on 10 benchmarks of quality standards, including the presence of a qualified instructor, class size, teacher-to-student ratio, presence of an assistant, and length of instruction per day. Illinois continued to meet eight of NIEER’s 10 minimum quality standards benchmarks, including comprehensive early learning standards, site monitoring, staff-to-child ratio, and specialized training for teachers.

One-quarter of preschool-age children in Illinois are identified as dual language learners and 34 percent of this population (14,161 children) attend pre-K. Illinois has addressed this need by being one of just four states to require teachers to possess specialized training and provide additional services for children and families. Additionally, Illinois utilizes a locally determined preschool English exit assessment and a statewide language screening tool at kindergarten entry. Funding for bilingual services is also available for preschools.

Pre-K enrollment in Illinois was unchanged in 2014-15 as approximately 75,000 children were served. Illinois provided pre-K for 20 percent of 3-year-olds, fourth highest percentage nationally for this age group, and 27 percent of 4-year-olds to retain its national ranking of 20th among 43 states. One hundred percent of Illinois counties offer access to the state Preschool for All initiative, though funding limitations may be an impediment to enrollment.

With an adjusted decrease of $50 per child last year, the state now ranks 34th for state resources spent per child. However, there was a request for additional funding for early childhood education in this year’s Illinois State Board of Education budget recommendation and by the Governor in his budget address as access to a quality pre-K education remains a critical goal of the state’s education leaders.

For more information on The State of Preschool 2015 Yearbook and detailed state-by-state breakdowns on quality benchmarks, enrollment, and funding, go to http://nieer.org/research/state-preschool-2015.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
145/19/2016
  
A total of four Illinois high school seniors named 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars
Two Illinois high school students are among a group of 20 students selected nationwide as the first U.S.  Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE). A total of four Illinois students have been named to the 2016 class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – Two Illinois high school students are among a group of 20 students selected nationwide as the first U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE).

A total of four Illinois students have been named to the 2016 class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Sierra R. Day of Cerro Gordo High School and Madeline P. “Maddie” Poole of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences were selected from 236 nominees in the 2016 inaugural category of Presidential Scholars in CTE. Sierra plans to attend Lake Land College in Mattoon, where she will be enrolled as an Agriculture Transfer student and member of the livestock judging team. She then plans to transfer to Iowa State University and major in Animal Sciences. Maddie plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will major in Agriculture and Biological Engineering.

They will join Illinois’ two other honored scholars - Samuel H. Detmer of Walter Payton College Preparatory School in Chicago and Elizabeth H. Keller of Hinsdale Central High School – on an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., next month. Samuel will attend Harvard University after graduation while Elizabeth will attend Yale, where she plans to study Economics and Applied Math.

“Illinois is extremely excited and proud to have four graduating seniors who’ve earned one of the most prestigious honors a high school student can receive,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The fact that two of our students are among the elite first class of Presidential Scholars in CTE shows the tremendous value of high-quality CTE programs in our schools to prepare students to compete and thrive in the global marketplace”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the country’s most distinguished graduating seniors. In 1979, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. Last summer, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to establish a U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE Program to honor up to 20 students each year on the basis of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.

Each year, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects program scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Students may also qualify for the distinction through outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, through nominations from chief state school officers, and through other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

The 2016 Presidential Scholars include one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE.

Each honored scholar will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion during an award ceremony on June 19 in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, visit www.ed.gov/psp.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
135/12/2016
  
CPS culinary students placed 1st in 2015 Healthy Schools Campaign Cooking up Change competition
Four George Washington High School students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools’ culinary program served their award-winning Cajun chicken lettuce wraps, roasted corn relish, and peach and yogurt pizza to Board members during the Illinois State Board of Education’s monthly meeting in Springfield Wednesday.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD — Four George Washington High School students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools’ culinary program served their award-winning Cajun chicken lettuce wraps, roasted corn relish, and peach and yogurt pizza to Board members during the Illinois State Board of Education’s monthly meeting in Springfield Wednesday. 

State Superintendent Tony Smith and Board Chairman James Meeks pose with George Washington High students and their advisorsMarshawn Gibson, Jalize Harmonponcedeleon, Neidy Mejia, and Natalie Ruiz competed last October against 14 other Chicago District 299 high schools. Student chefs were challenged with creating dishes that their peers would enjoy while following strict nutritional guidelines with limited ingredients, budget, time, and equipment. George Washington High chefs came out on top with their lettuce wraps in a creative and healthy spin on a popular restaurant chain dish. Their recipe has already been served three times this year in the district and will very likely be introduced into the regular lunch rotation.

“I’m always amazed at what students can produce when presented with a challenge,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Not only are these students able to focus on doing what they love, but are building skills and gaining qualifications for their futures. I only wish my school lunches could have been this delicious!”

Healthy Schools Campaign, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, aims to ensure all students have access to a healthy school environment. The Cooking up Change competition has grown over the years and spread to other cities across the nation. The George Washington High School students will compete this summer in Washington, D.C., against other contest winners from states including California and Texas.

“These Chicago students along with other students around the country are working to change one school lunch menu at a time and help food service directors get a better handle on the challenge of pleasing student taste buds,” said Healthy Schools Campaign President and CEO Rochelle Davis.

District culinary programs offer students the opportunity to work with professional chefs, build resumes, earn certifications, and gain valuable experience and networking opportunities that will help them to succeed in college and careers.

“These students are doing what professional chefs do every day and loving every minute of it,” said CPS Senior Program Coordinator David Blackmon. “We do this because it’s a lot of fun to support not only the students, but the teachers, while giving them the essentials to support curriculum and student learning.”

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
104/22/2016
  
Academy will help state expand students’ and teachers’ access to digital technologies
High-quality broadband access in schools creates rich digital learning environments in which students can develop 21st-century skills, take advantage of open education resources, and become college and career ready. Yet according to a new report, 31 percent of school districts in Illinois do not meet the Federal Communications Commission’s bandwidth goals for connectivity.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – High-quality broadband access in schools creates rich digital learning environments in which students can develop 21st-century skills, take advantage of open education resources, and become college and career ready. Yet according to a new report, 31 percent of school districts in Illinois do not meet the Federal Communications Commission’s bandwidth goals for connectivity.

The connectivity report comes as Gov. Bruce Rauner announces that Illinois has been selected to participate in the K-12 Broadband and Digital Learning Policy Academy. The academy is led by a partnership between the National Governors Association (NGA) and national nonprofit EducationSuperHighway and is designed to help states bring Internet access to all schools to reach every student and enhance digital learning.

“The greatest investment we can make as a state is in our children, and that includes giving them the tools and support they need to succeed,” Governor Rauner said. “The state’s participation in the Policy Academy will give Illinois access to expert guidance and the latest strategies, which will expand access to digital technologies for our students and teachers.”

Up to 12 percent of schools do not have scalable high-speed broadband connections.

Of these schools, the majority would qualify for federal funding through the federal E-rate program, which could help them finance their local share and build fiber broadband connections through 2019. Facing a lengthy and involved process to access that funding, however, many schools may need additional technical assistance to maximize the benefits.

Through the Policy Academy, state leaders are already addressing the issue. The connectivity report, produced by EducationSuperHighway, provides baseline data so that Illinois can target districts that need additional bandwidth and those that could improve local infrastructure. State leaders attended the first of the academy’s convening’s recently focusing on topics from statewide digital strategies to connecting school districts to E-rate funding. Ultimately, participation in the Policy Academy and the partnership with NGA and EducationSuperHighway will enable Illinois to share tools, technical assistance, and consulting services with Illinois school districts at no cost. This opportunity will help districts obtain and expand the bandwidth students need in the 21st-century classroom and will support robust Wi-Fi in schools.

“We know digital learning works and is vital to helping students achieve a high-quality education to prepare them for rewarding careers,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis. “Under the guidance of caring teachers and parents, expanded access to the Internet opens up new technology and learning in our classrooms to improve student success. We are proud to join the NGA and EducationSuperHighway in making this a reality.” 

In 2015, Gov. Rauner committed to connecting more K-12 classrooms to high-speed Internet in order to support digital learning and equal opportunities for all Illinois students. This Policy Academy brings together staff from the Office of the Governor, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), and the Learning Technology Centers, with support from NGA and EducationSuperHighway, to meet the Governor’s commitment.

“We welcome this announcement and look forward to learning from national best practices as we build a comprehensive action plan for digital learning in Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Ensuring our children have affordable access to the Internet and the most up-to-date digital learning programs is critical for their education and future success.”

Resources available to interested school districts can be found at the following websites:

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
94/21/2016
  
Superintendents and principals from across the state honored for their expertise and leadership
Illinois education leaders are coming together at noon today (Thursday) to honor some of the state’s top school district superintendents and principals. The Illinois State Board of Education will host the second annual recognition event at The Inn at 835 for 27 exemplary school leaders.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois education leaders are coming together at noon today (Thursday) to honor some of the state’s top school district superintendents and principals. The Illinois State Board of Education will host the second annual recognition event at The Inn at 835 for 27 exemplary school leaders.

“District and school administrators carry out a variety of responsibilities each and every day,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Their commitment to going the extra mile to help students be successful learners inspires us all and we want to publicly thank them for their dedication.”

Regional colleagues annually select their local “Superintendents of Distinction.”

“Public education is facing some of its most difficult times, and that is when leadership is most important,” said Brent Clark, Ph.D., executive director of IASA. “These Superintendents of Distinction were selected by their peers in their regions because of the dedication, commitment, and leadership they have demonstrated.”

Horace Mann, a national insurer focusing on education; the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA); and the Illinois Principal Association (IPA), are co-sponsoring the event with ISBE to honor many regional leaders on a statewide basis.

“Each year, educators face growing challenges, and this year is no exception. Despite these challenges, superintendents constantly find ways to make their districts successful,” said Marita Zuraitis, Horace Mann president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to recognize the Superintendents of Distinction and applaud their efforts to provide outstanding educational environments for their students and teachers.”

IPA encourages community members, teachers, administrators, and board members to nominate outstanding principals and assistant principals within their regions. Regional winners move on to the state level, where a committee of past IPA presidents selects an Elementary Principal of the Year, a Middle School/Junior High School Principal of the Year, a High School Principal of the Year, and an Assistant Principal of the Year.

“Outstanding school leadership is critical to the success of schools and their students,” said Jason Leahy, executive director of IPA. “These individuals are to be commended for their efforts and dedication to the students they serve.”

The following administrators will be recognized at Thursday’s luncheon:


EducatorRecognition OrganizationDistrict/School
Dr. Chad AllisonSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsIL Valley Central USD 321, Chillicothe
Joe BurgessSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsGenoa-Kingston CUSD 424, Genoa
Reginald ClintonSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsBeardstown CUSD 15, Beardstown
Dr. Daniel Coles Superintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsWauconda CUSD 118, Wauconda
Kaye CorriganAssistant Principal
of the Year
Illinois Principals AssociationNaperville CUSD 203, Naperville
William FritcherSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsTeutopolis CUSD 50, Teutopolis
Dr. Judith HackettIllinois Superintendent
of the Year
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsNorthwest Suburban Special Education Organization, Mount Prospect
Dr. Dale HastingsSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsMilford Area Public Schools District 124, Milford
Dr. Jonathan HeerbothSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsWest Prairie CUSD 103, Colchester
Tony IngoldSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsEast Peoria SD 86, East Peoria
Michael KellySuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsCarlinville CUSD 1, Carlinville
Dr. Dave KroezeSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsNorthbrook ESD 27, Northbrook
Steve LeeIllinois Middle School Principal of the YearIllinois Principals AssociationProspect Heights SD 23, Prospect Heights
Leigh LewisSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsTriad CUSD 2, Troy
Craig MathersSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsWest Carroll CUSD 314, Mount Carroll
Jay McCrackenSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsPutnam County CUSD 535, Granville
Sara McDonaldIllinois Elementary School Principal of the YearIllinois Principals AssociationPeru ESD 124, Peru
Jeff MitchellSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsWayne City CUSD 100, Wayne City
Dr. Jay MorrowSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsUnited Township HSD 30, East Moline
Dr. Kimako PattersonSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsPrairie-Hills ESD 144, Markham
Dr. Kathie Pierce Superintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsFenton CUSD 100, Bensenville
Dr. Jay PleseSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsWilmington CUSD 209-U, Wilmington
Dr. Nick PolyakSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsLeyden CHSD 212,
Franklin Park
Gary SteigerIllinois High School Principal of the YearIllinois Principals AssociationTownship HSD 211, Palatine
Dr. Steve WebbSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsGoreville CUSD 1, Goreville
Victor White IIISuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsPrairieview-Ogden CCSD 197, Royal
Dr. Vic ZimmermanSuperintendent
of Distinction
Illinois Association of School AdministratorsMonticello CUSD 25, Monticello
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
84/12/2016
  
Every school district improves over old practice of proration
The Illinois State Board of Education today released figures showing how much state aid each school district in Illinois will receive under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to fully fund education to the foundation level for the first time in seven years. Under the Governor’s proposal, total education funding will increase by $120 million in Illinois for fiscal year 2017.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education today released figures showing how much state aid each school district in Illinois will receive under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to fully fund education to the foundation level for the first time in seven years. Under the Governor’s proposal, total education funding will increase by $120 million in Illinois for fiscal year 2017.

This is the first time in seven years that General State Aid (GSA) payments will not be prorated, and it is the second year of record funding to education in Illinois. The practice of proration, which has been common in Illinois in recent history, is the result of not fully funding the foundation level. Proration has served to disproportionately affect those school districts that most rely on state aid.

“Every school district in Illinois will do better under the Governor’s plan to fully fund the foundation level than they would have under the recent practice of proration, and the vast majority of school districts will receive more state money than last year,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “By fully funding education and ending proration, we’re putting more money into the classrooms to educate our young scholars.”

Three factors go into the current school funding formula: school enrollment, the number and percentage of students in a district that live in poverty, and the local resources available to a district based on property values. Any school that sees a significant increase or decrease in funding from year to year can trace its situation back to the variability of those three factors.

For example, a district that has a decrease in enrollment, fewer children living in poverty, and an increase in property values will see a decrease in its GSA. Conversely, a district with increasing enrollment that serves a higher percentage of students living in poverty and has falling property values will see an increase in its GSA. In a review of the FY 2017 K-12 education budget, ISBE’s analysis indicates the overwhelming majority of districts seeing a reduction in GSA have seen a decrease in enrollment and a decrease in the number of students living in poverty.

“By fully funding education, we are showing the people of Illinois that our children’s education is the state’s top priority,” Secretary of Education Beth Purvis said. “We owe it our teachers to fully fund education to ensure they can prepare our students to be engaged citizens with rich and rewarding careers. I urge the General Assembly to act swiftly in passing the Governor’s proposed FY 2017 education budget to end any uncertainty for districts so they can begin planning for the 2016-17 school year with a record level of funding.”

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
73/30/2016
  
State to develop plan to better align its education systems with business needs so all students are ready to thrive in the workforce
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has secured a $100,000 grant to develop a detailed action plan to better prepare students for career success and, in turn, improve the economic opportunities available to all youth across the state.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has secured a $100,000 grant to develop a detailed action plan to better prepare students for career success and, in turn, improve the economic opportunities available to all youth across the state.

“I am proud Illinois has been selected to receive this career readiness grant. The funds and resources will build upon our efforts to help more students access robust, quality career pathways in Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Students are better served when we are able to align programs in the classroom to high-skill, in-demand industries. These provide them with hands-on experience that can translate to a high-paying career.”

Illinois is among 24 states and the District of Columbia that secured grants for this work through phase 1 of the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity. These grants are one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Advance CTE. They are aimed at increasing economic opportunity for young people by strengthening career-focused education, starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with business needs.

Today, too many young people lack the education or training in high school and beyond that would put them on a track to qualify for these in-demand careers. By the age of 25, roughly only half of young Americans have a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for good-paying jobs.

“Illinois is committed to raising engaged citizens with meaningful and rewarding careers. New Skills for Youth aligns with our existing initiatives to address college and career readiness within a holistic state system,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis. “We are delighted to deepen our partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and to take this opportunity to create more high-quality, career-oriented options for our children.”

Illinois has a solid structure and is a national leader in work connecting students to meaningful career credentials through structured pathways. For instance, ISBE, the Illinois Community College Board, the Department of Commerce, and the Office for Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois work together to define, align, and create quality high school and community college Programs of Study as they relate to the career pathways in each career cluster.

Furthermore, since 2011, Illinois agencies and businesses have partnered to implement the Illinois Pathways Initiative, which organizes and delivers sector-based support for career pathway implementation in eight high-growth industry sectors for the Illinois economy. Illinois Pathways includes the establishment of a six-agency committee by intergovernmental agreement for career pathways support. The program helps bridge gaps between secondary and postsecondary education through piloted bridge programs and assistance that reduce the need for remediation. In addition, legislation designed to reform school funding in Illinois includes a proposal to provide additional funding for career pathway participants. 

Phase 1 of New Skills for Youth provides that Illinois and other selected states will each receive a $100,000 six-month grant, along with expert technical assistance and peer support from other grantees to perform a diagnostic assessment of their career preparation system and prepare for implementation of a new action plan. Illinois will be eligible to apply for the phase 2 grant opportunity, which will require states to demonstrate the commitment and capacity to execute the action plans developed in phase 1.

This grant opportunity builds on CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative, launched in 2015. The goal is to ensure that students are not only ready for college, but that all children graduate from high school prepared for in-demand careers.

For more information on the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity or CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative, visit www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/Career_Readiness_Initiative.html.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
63/24/2016
  
High school students invited to provide perspective on state education issues
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) seeks high school students to share their input on state education issues as part of its Student Advisory Council (SAC). Students who will start the upcoming school year as a sophomore, junior, or senior in an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply for one of 12 open spots by May 27.
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2016

ISBE SAC Members - SY2015-2016SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) seeks high school students to share their input on state education issues as part of its Student Advisory Council (SAC). Students who will start the upcoming school year as a sophomore, junior, or senior in an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply for one of 12 open spots by May 27.

“ISBE’s Student Advisory Council creates greater opportunities for deepening students’ relationships with educators and school leaders and helps students feel personally invested in their school communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Board is grateful for the talent, experience, and thoughtful input these extraordinary young people bring to our discussions each year.”

The SAC, which was established in 1975, represents a diverse group of students who work with the State Board and State Superintendent to provide student perspectives on ISBE’s existing and proposed programs, policies, and regulations. Applicants undergo a competitive review process that looks for strong interpersonal skills and the ability to think creatively, work well in groups, and develop innovative solutions.

“Being a member of the Student Advisory Council is like being the link between my classmates, my school, and my state. I get the chance to tell board members about what is working and what is not,” said Seetha Aribindi, a member of this year’s council and a junior at Hinsdale Central High School. “With this council, we improve our education system together. It is refreshing to see that the members of the Board truly value our opinions.”

SY 2016-17 Student Advisory Council Application is due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Vince Camille at (217) 782-5396 or vcamille@isbe.net.

Each year, SAC members select a year-long research project and present their findings and recommendations to the State Board. This school year’s council focused on the importance of students’ feedback in efforts to improve teacher quality and build a more collaborative school community. On March 16, the Board heard the SAC’s presentation and approved its recommendation to pursue ways to increase the level of communication between students and teachers and school leaders.

“We worked as a team, we pursued our goals, and we did not let any difference in opinion distract us,” said SAC member Alex Palacios, a senior at Kankakee High School. “This council is one of a kind – it offers new experiences and new friendships that would have never existed had I not joined this group.”

One of the ways the SAC aims to incorporate more student voice is to expand the council’s interaction with the Board during the school year. Typically, the SAC meets once a month and attends two Board meetings over the course of the year. For the 2016-17 school year, the SAC aims to have three members present at each Board meeting from September through March to answer Board members’ questions on particular issues and provide reports on long-term questions asked of the council.

The following four SAC members plan to return to the council next year:

NameSchoolCityGrade
Seetha Aribindi Hinsdale Central High School Willowbrook Junior
Bridget Harris Belvidere North High School Belvidere Sophomore
Kathleen Rock Byron High School Byron Sophomore
Hannah Sunderland Knoxville High School Dahinda Junior

The following 12 members are graduating seniors:

NameSchoolCity
George Baker East St. Louis High School East St. Louis
Niquan Dawson J. Sterling Morton High School Berwyn
Christopher Kim Northside College Prep Chicago
Haydn Lambert Monticello High School White Heath
Mackenzie Flynn Stillman Valley High School Stillman Valley
Colleen Madden Carlinville High School Carlinville
Xiao Mei Jones College Prep Chicago
Nicole Marcus Naperville North High School Naperville
Sally Nijim Willowbrook High School Villa Park
Alexander Palacios Kankakee High School Kankakee
Hayley Palmer Carlyle High School Carlyle
Travis Whitt Altamont High School Altamont
CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
13/17/2016
  
Contest celebrates annual Illinois Arts Education Week
This week marks the 34th annual Illinois Arts Education Week, a celebration  reflecting and highlighting the importance of fine arts.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – This week marks the 34th 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, “There is Magic in the Arts!” The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored first-place winner, Julia Zhang, at its regular business meeting Wednesday.

2016 Arts Education Contest First Place Poster - Julia Zhang“Art is an essential part of a well-rounded education and Illinois Arts Education Week reminds us to celebrate fine arts in our schools and communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Thank you to all of the participants and congratulations to the winners along with their amazing teachers who work hard every day to encourage these promising talents.”

First place winner Julia Zhang is an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. Her art instructor is Cindi Sartain in Libertyville District 70.

“I gave this piece more than just the original meaning; I used my style to create a piece that will inspire other students to join the arts and see how amazing the arts really are,” said Julia.

Julia’s winning artwork is featured on a poster promoting Illinois Arts Education Week. Her entry features the four areas of fine art, which are dance, drama, music, and visual arts. A framed poster will be displayed in the Springfield board room.

Second place went to Samara Jaquez, a seventh-grader at Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook. Samara’s art instructor is Josh Vance in Maercker School District 60.

Nelly Gil, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Southside Elementary School in Morrison, received third place in ISBE’s poster contest. Nelly’s art instructor is Stasha Hayes in District 6.

This year’s poster contest winners will receive recognition at the 68th annual Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) Fall Conference, November 3-5, in Normal. 

Illinois Arts Education Week 2016 is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education in conjunction with the IAEA and the Governor’s Office. The IAEA is a professional nonprofit organization for art educators, individuals, and groups who support visual arts education. The statewide poster contest celebrating Arts Education Week alternates between elementary/middle and secondary students each year. The contest was open to all students in grades K-8 this year.

Additional posters can be requested by contacting the Illinois State Board of Education’s College and Career Readiness Division at (217) 524-4832, at arts@isbe.net, or via mail at 100 N. First St., C-215, Springfield, IL 62777-0001.

The back of the poster contains references to the Illinois Learning Standards for fine arts, upcoming art events for 2016, Internet resources and more. Go to http://www.isbe.net/arts-week/default.htm to view the winning poster and artwork.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
23/16/2016
  
ISBE analysis shows fewer districts earned lowest financial rating; without full funding, more are expected to deficit spend in current fiscal year
The number of school districts earning the  Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) top financial rating grew this year,  despite the fact that many districts operated with less funding.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – The number of school districts earning the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) top financial rating grew this year, despite the fact that many districts operated with less funding. ISBE’s annual review of district financial data also found more districts are expected to deficit spend this year unless the General Assembly fully funds General State Aid (GSA), which would end proration and provide districts much-needed financial relief.

“The 2016 Financial Profile data shows a positive trend in Illinois’ average score; however, this data point does not reflect the missed opportunities for our students resulting from the General Assembly cutting state education funding for many years,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “By fully funding GSA, school districts will have more flexibility to fund vital services and programs to sustain daily operations. We believe fully funding GSA will provide a lifeline to these districts by providing the necessary supports their children deserve.” 

Gov. Bruce Rauner and ISBE have a shared priority to rebuild and invigorate Illinois’ K-12 educational system by combatting inequality in school funding. The first step to achieve this goal is to fully fund GSA and end proration. GSA has not been fully funded at the statutory Foundation Level of $6,119 per student since fiscal year 2012, meaning the state has been forced to prorate GSA payments for several years. Fully funding 100 percent of General State Aid at the Foundation Level with no proration is historic and highlights the joint commitment to ensure all students in Illinois receive access to a high-quality education. 

The 2016 Financial Profile is based upon FY 2015 data received from school districts and provides a snapshot in time that helps ISBE gauge school districts’ financial health. The profile’s designation categories and FY 2016 and FY 2015 statistics are:​

Designation
Score
Definition
FY 16 # of Districts
FY 15 # of Districts
Financial Recognition
4.00-3.54
The highest category of financial strength. Districts require little or no review or involvement by ISBE.
568
553
Financial Review
3.53-3.08
Districts receive a limited review by ISBE but will be monitored for potential downward trends.
196
199
Early Warning
3.07-2.62
ISBE monitors these districts closely and offers proactive technical assistance. ISBE also determines whether they meet the criteria set forth in Article 1A-8 of the School Code to be certified in financial difficulty and possibly qualify for a Financial Oversight Panel (FOP).
61
70
Financial Watch
2.61-1.00
ISBE monitors these districts very closely and offers them technical assistance. Districts are also reviewed to determine whether they meet the legal criteria to be certified in financial difficulty and qualify for a FOP.
32
38

The 2016 profile shows 15 more districts earned Financial Recognition than in 2015, despite the General Assembly prorating GSA to 87.1 percent in FY 2015 compared to 88.7 percent in FY 2014. Overall, there are fewer districts in the three lowest categories: Financial Review, Financial Early Warning, and Financial Watch.

Of the 32 districts on Financial Watch status, 18 districts received this designation last year. Six of these Financial Watch districts saw a decrease in their financial score, including the City of Chicago School District 299. After first moving to the Financial Watch designation in 2015, Chicago’s financial score continued to decline this year to 2.10 from 2.45.

The School Code specifies the criteria to determine if a school is in financial difficulty. If any one of the criteria is met, ISBE can require the district to submit a financial plan. If a district fails to comply with its financial plan, the State Board has the ability to implement a Financial Oversight Panel. 

Earlier this year, ISBE requested financial information from six Financial Watch districts – Chicago, Streator Elementary School District 44, South Wilmington CCSD 74, Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7, Johnsburg Community School District 12 and Lincoln Way Community High School District 210 – in order to investigate if the districts qualify for certification of financial difficulty.

“The Board’s sincere hope is that this investigation will identify opportunities for steps that will improve financial conditions, avoid certification of financial difficulty, and most important, result in financial stability for each of these districts,” Smith said.

A district is categorized for the Financial Profile based on its Annual Financial Report from FY 2015, which ended June 30. The rating is created by using five indicators of performance:

  • Fund Balance to Revenue Ratio
  • Expenditure to Revenue Ratio
  • Days’ Cash on Hand
  • Percentage of Short-Term Borrowing Ability Remaining
  • Percentage of Long-Term Borrowing Ability Remaining

The Financial Profile alone does not provide a complete picture of a district’s financial condition, but it provides a valuable tool for ISBE staff to use with other data and information to assess an individual district’s financial status.

The 2016 Financial Profile for all districts in Illinois will be available in alphabetical order or via Financial Profile designation through ISBE’s School Business Services page at www.isbe.net/sfms/P/profile.htm.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
33/16/2016
  
Partnership will expose students of all race and income levels to challenging academic programs
Illinois’ second administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment began Monday, with about 1 million students expected to complete the exam in English language arts (ELA) and math over the next three months. In response to feedback from school districts, this year’s PARCC assessment features a shorter, simplified format to improve the process for students and educators.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Smith, Ph.D., are erasing a dividing line over racial and income inequity in high school Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Illinois will become the first state in the United States to partner with the Lead Higher Initiative in a statewide challenge to close equity gaps for lower income students and students of color in its high schools’ most rigorous courses.

Lead Higher“America’s students are more diverse than ever before. Yet, no state equitably serves low-income students and students of color at the highest levels, and Illinois is about to change that,” according to Reid Saaris, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS), a Lead Higher partner. The Lead Higher Initiative, created partially in response to the President’s call to action around young men of color, represents a groundbreaking initiative to increase AP and IB access by 100,000 low-income students and students of color over the next three years.

In November, Lead Higher invited states to join this first effort of its kind: to fully include students of all race and income levels in their best academic programs. Through a competitive national process, Lead Higher chose Illinois for its commitment to close gaps by 2019, and Maryland, as runner-up, will be the second state to commit to closing its gaps by 2020.

“Our mission is that every student complete his or her post-secondary career prepared to be an engaged citizen with a meaningful and rewarding career,” Gov. Rauner said. “Increasing access to rigorous AP and IB programs is important to ensure our Illinois children are prepared from cradle to career.”

Illinois Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis added, “The Lead Higher opportunity aligns with our statewide focus on education through quality, equity, and access and will have an immediate and sustainable impact on these students’ life trajectories.  Lead Higher partners have already started this work in more than 85 school districts across 18 states, including some of our Illinois schools, reaching over 20,000 students.” 

“Students across Illinois will benefit by the new partnership between their state and Equal Opportunity Schools to expand enrollment in AP and IB courses,” said Harold O. Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the lead philanthropic partner of Equal Opportunity Schools.

“We hope Illinois will serve as a national model for efforts to increase the number of outstanding low-income students and students of color in high schools around the state taking college-level courses, because many students who are fully capable of succeeding in such courses simply never sign up,” Levy said. “These courses are an important gateway to admission to colleges where low-income students and students of color remain seriously underrepresented. Everyone benefits when these bright young people have the chance to fully develop their talents.”

“Initiatives like our partnership with Lead Higher and EOS to bring more underrepresented students into the state’s most challenging courses help us break down systemic inequity while maintaining the coursework’s high quality,” said State Superintendent Smith. “Our work to expand superior academic opportunities for all students, of all races and income levels, continues to raise performance, improve fairness, and close gaps across Illinois. The Lead Higher Initiative will help us use the best tools and resources to continue this momentum and accomplish our goals.”

Saaris pointed to several components setting Illinois and Maryland apart. “We noted Illinois state leadership engaging superintendents around the issue of students who are missing from advanced courses yet ready to succeed if given the chance; their vision displayed in passing legislation that mandates students receive college credit for successful college-level work in high school; and a large cohort of school, community, business and philanthropic partners.

“Maryland demonstrated its commitment to equity and opportunity from a broad and diverse group of state and district leaders; a commitment to equity in addition to a longstanding and widespread commitment to success and opportunity in their AP/IB programs; and a strong, existing community of practice among district leaders and the MSDE,” Saaris said.

“Education is my administration’s number one priority,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. ”Maryland has great schools and world-class universities, but the gap between the good schools and the underachieving schools is among the worst. Partnering with innovative programs like Lead Higher will help to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.”

“We are thrilled by so many responses to our first statewide partnership opportunity,” said EOS’ Saaris. “Many states sought consideration and we finalized a cadre of five states for closer evaluation. Through careful review, Illinois and Maryland made the best fit for this first partnership. Maryland will launch their statewide EOS partnership in 2017.”

“While Maryland’s success rate on AP exams is the highest in the country, it is not enough,” said Jack Smith, Maryland Interim State Schools Superintendent. “Persistent gaps still exist, and all ‘missing students’ must have access to rigorous content and success on college level assessments.”

Seven Illinois school districts already committed to close their AP and IB gaps through their EOS partnerships by fall 2016, setting a new standard of equity in the state: Barrington 220 School District, Fenton High School District 100, Glenbard High School District #87, Lake Park Community High School District, Leyden High School District 212, Sterling Public Schools, and Woodstock School District 200.  Fifteen more have been selected for the 2016-17 Lead Higher district cohort.

The Lead Higher Initiative is a consortium created in April 2015 and includes Equal Opportunity Schools, College Board, International Baccalaureate, and lead philanthropic partner the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. It supports the goals and intentions of My Brother’s Keeper and launched this statewide challenge at the White House’s “Next Generation High School Summit” in November 2015.

#LeadHigherIL
#LeadHigherMD

Contact points:
Andy Oden, APR, Sr. Comm. Dir., Equal Opportunity Schools, (321) 222-3002, andy@eoschools.org

David Egner, Communications Consultant for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, (202) 779-1743, EgnerCommunications@outlook.com

Catherine Kelly, Press Secretary, Office of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, (217) 782−7355, Catherine.Kelly@illinois.gov 

Laine Evans, Director of Communications, Illinois State Board of Education, (312) 814-8998, levans@isbe.net

William Reinhard, Director of Communications (acting), Maryland Dept. of Education, (410) 767-0486, william.reinhard@maryland.gov

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
43/8/2016
  
This year’s assessment features simpler format to improve process and reduce testing times
Illinois’  second administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for  College and Careers (PARCC) assessment began Monday, with about 1 million  students expected to complete the exam in English language arts (ELA) and math  over the next three months.
YesNo
2016

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ second administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment began Monday, with about 1 million students expected to complete the exam in English language arts (ELA) and math over the next three months. In response to feedback from school districts, this year’s PARCC assessment features a shorter, simplified format to improve the process for students and educators.

“We are pleased to provide the same high-quality assessment that corresponds to the higher expectations of the Illinois Learning Standards in a structure that better meets the needs of our schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The assessment of readiness has to be a part of how we address the need to prepare students to continue higher learning, enter the working world, and become active, engaged members of their local communities.”

The PARCC assessment debuted in 2015 and focuses on students’ mastery of key concepts as well as their critical thinking and writing skills. It originally was divided into two parts that measured different types of knowledge and skills.

This year’s assessment has only one testing window, which extends from March 7 until June 10. Districts selected their own 30-day testing period within this time frame. The single window reduces the amount of time necessary to administer the assessment and allows teachers and students to spend more time on classroom instruction. Test time is also reduced for most students by 60 minutes for the math portion and 30 minutes for ELA. However, time will remain the same for a limited number of students who will participate in an additional embedded ELA field assessment.

Students in grades 3-8 and select high school courses are taking the PARCC assessment, with roughly 85 percent expected to take the exam online. Last year, about 75 percent of the nearly 1 million students who completed the assessment did so online.

The PARCC assessment will continue to measure the full range of standards. It will also provide valuable information about whether students are mastering the knowledge and skills they need to stay on the path for success in college and/or their chosen career field. Assessments are simply one measure to track our progress, and data from the PARCC assessment provides a clearer picture of where Illinois schools are succeeding and what areas need improvement. The second year of results will help teachers and parents determine if a student requires remediation or more advanced instruction earlier in his or her schooling, ensuring they graduate from high school ready for college and career.

Illinois expects to receive the 2016 results sooner than the 2015 results, with districts receiving score reports sometime this fall. The faster turnaround time for the 2016 scores will give teachers more time to tailor their instruction to meet specific student needs and better support improvement efforts.

For more information on the 2016 PARCC assessment, visit PARCC Place at www.isbe.net/parcc-place/default.htm and ISBE’s Hot Topics page at
www.isbe.net/hot-topics.htm.

CommunicationsAdministrators; Community & Partners; Families & Students; TeachersNews
53/4/2016
  
Illinois’ Class of 2015 exceeds the national average of students scoring a 3 or higher on college-level tests
Illinois ranks 11th in the nation for the percentage of 2015  graduates – 25 percent – who scored at least a 3 on the rigorous College Board  Advanced Placement exams during their high school career.
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2016

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois ranks 11th in the nation for the percentage of 2015 graduates – 25 percent – who scored at least a 3 on the rigorous College Board Advanced Placement exams during their high school career. The national average is 22.4 percent, according to the latest AP Cohort Data Report.

“Illinois continues to move up the ladder of state performance as record numbers of high school students are taking these challenging, college-level exams,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D.  “AP exams have a proven track record of giving students a valuable head start in their college coursework and can save time and money toward earning their degree.” 

AP exams measure a student’s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. A score of 3 or higher on an AP exam demonstrates that a student is capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject in college. Last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Public Act 99-0358, which requires all public universities and public community colleges in Illinois to award college credit to students who submit scores of 3 or higher on AP exams starting in the 2016-17 school year.

Illinois also continues to report record numbers of graduates taking AP exams, with a total of 48,627 graduates (nearly 38 percent) taking at least one AP exam, more than double the amount of graduates who took the exam in 2005. The percentage of Illinois graduates who scored a 3 or higher grew by 11.7 percentage points from 13.3 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2015. Illinois is fourth in the nation for the largest percentage point increase over the last decade.

Additionally, 15 Illinois school districts have been named to the AP Honor Roll, which recognizes districts that increase access to AP coursework while also increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. These districts are:

  • Aurora West School District 129*
  • Barrington Community Unit School District 220*
  • Carterville Community Unit School District 5*
  • Chicago Public Schools*
  • Community High School District 155*
  • Dunlap Community Unit School District 323*
  • Huntley Consolidated School District 158*
  • J. Sterling Morton High School District 201
  • Kaneland Community Unit School District 302*
  • Lyons Township High School District 204
  • McLean County Unit District No. 5*
  • Proviso Township High School District 209
  • Sycamore Community Unit School District 427*
  • Wauconda Community School District 118*
  • Woodstock Community Unit School District 200*

*District has achieved the honor for multiple years.

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