From:                     STATE SUPERINTENDENT

Sent:                      Friday, September 27, 2002 6:03 PM

To:                         'District Superintendents, ROEs, Directors of Special Education'

Subject:                 Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller  9/27/02

Good afternoon.  I have three items to call to your attention this week in addition to an update on the new Assessment and Accountability Task Force and on our ISBE vacancy list.


You may recall the list of open positions on the ISBE staff that I shared with you two weeks ago (9/13 Weekly Message).  We have finalized the list and necessary preparations and the ISBE vacancy list will be available Tuesday, October 1, at, or just click on the “ISBE Resources” button on the bottom left side of our home page,


Assessment and Accountability Task Force.  The group met for the first time on Monday, September 23.  Bloomington District 87 Superintendent Bob Nielsen and I co-chaired the session, which included a discussion of organizational and logistical issues for the Task Force and an extensive briefing on components of No Child Left Behind.  That evening we conducted the first of three public hearings to collect comments and suggestions from local educators, parents and citizens.


The second public hearing was in Wheaton on Tuesday evening, and the third of three hearings in this “early-bird” round is October 1 in Mt. Vernon at the K-3 Primary Center, 401 North 30th Street.  There will be other formal and informal opportunities to provide input to the Task Force as deliberations move forward.


The Task Force will meet twice in October – on Tuesday the 8th in Springfield and Wednesday the 23rd in Bloomington.  On October 8 the agenda will include an exploration of how the state tests are aligned and how the results link to teaching and learning, as well as a review of data and an initial dialogue regarding some aspects of Adequate Yearly Progress.


For October 23 in Bloomington (location TBA), the tentative agenda focuses primarily on assessing students with disabilities and the Illinois Alternate Assessment.


The schedule beyond October is

o   November 6, Springfield, State Board Office

o   November 18, Springfield, State Board Office

o   December 10, Oak Brook, TBA





In today’s message:

§ 21st Century RFP available

§ State Board to conduct meeting, budget hearing in Collinsville

§ E-mail reminder for superintendents, principals, board presidents



21st Century RFP available

The FY 2003 RFT for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant has been released.  Through this competitive grant, about $11.8 million is available to fund academically-focused after-school programs for schools with high concentrations of low-income students (not less than 40% of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch).


A competitive priority will be given to applicants that propose to serve students from poverty who attend schools that need improvement, and that submit a joint application between at least one organization. 


More information is available at or 217/782-4321.  The deadline for submitting the applications is 5 p.m. on November 21, 2002.




State Board to conduct meeting, budget hearing in Collinsville

The State Board of Education will leave its Springfield and Chicago locations behind on October 16-17 to conduct its monthly meeting in Collinsville at the Holiday Inn, 1 Gateway Drive.  At the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday, ISBE will conduct a public hearing from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to gather ideas from local educators and citizens about possible budget priorities for FY 04.  The comments will be used by the Board in their deliberations on an FY 04 education budget proposal to submit to the Governor and General Assembly in January.


The meeting agenda and schedule will be available late in the week of October 7.




E-mail reminder for superintendents, principals, board presidents

Within the next week, you will be receiving a letter from Wade Nelson, the ISBE Director of Public Information, urging you to regularly check your email for messages from ISBE.  To serve you, building principals and ROEs more effectively, we are most often using e-mail to get you information you need in a timely fashion, or to get information from you that will help us in making policy and budgetary decision. 


If there are principals, or even fellow superintendents and special education directors who are not regular email users, please let them know that 1) we need their email address if we do not have it – they should send it, and b) they or a staff member need to check for ISBE messages on a regular basis.  Also, changes to your email address can be sent to the schoolhouse address.


Local board member addresses needed.  We also want to develop a more efficient and effective way to get information to and from local board members.  If your board members have e-mail addresses and are willing, please send their names and e-mail addresses to  If they do not use e-mail, we would appreciate simply getting their name and street address at the schoolhouse site.



Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

 of Education