Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 1:56 PM
To: 'Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents '
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 1-31-03

Good Afternoon. 


This week’s message reports on an upcoming special State Board meeting to address another district’s voluntary request for creation of a Financial Oversight Panel, on the schedule for legislative hearings on the ISBE FY04 budget and on the recommendations of the Assessment and Accountability Task Force on IMAGE, the IAA and an AYP model. It also gives you advance notice regarding a survey on districts’ finances we will be sending superintendents next week.




Special State Board Meeting on February 6, 2003


The Illinois State Board of Education will hold a special meeting via teleconference on Thursday, February 6, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.  The agenda will include discussion of the following two items:




Those wishing to attend may do so at the State Board offices either in Springfield or Chicago.



Assessment and Accountability Task Force


At its last meeting, the Task Force approved several subcommittee recommendations for improvements to the IMAGE assessment.  These recommendations include the following:



Responding to the uniqueness of the ELL subgroup, the Task Force also adopted a proposed “hybrid value-added/absolute AYP model.”  This model will look at two measures to determine whether a school/district is making adequate progress for this subgroup.

The absolute component (#1) will be used to trigger NCLB consequences, such as school choice and supplemental services.  The value-added component (#2) will be used to determine the nature of other NCLB consequences.


At this same meeting, the IAA subcommittee reported on its progress in designing long-range improvements to this assessment.  Although no formal recommendations were presented, the group indicated that it is leaning toward the use of an “events-based” assessment model rather than the current year-long record of student information.  The “events-based” model, which is in use in several other states, would increase the comparability of IAA to the other one-time state assessments (ISAT, PSAE and IMAGE) and reduce the record-keeping burden.  The subcommittee also reported that the portfolio concept remains popular, especially with parents, and that it could be used with the “events-based” assessment model. 


Reminder:  The next full Task Force meeting will be Monday, March 10, 2003, in Springfield.


Legislative Hearings on ISBE FY04 Budget


The House Committee on Appropriations for Elementary & Secondary Education will hold a series of hearings related to ISBE’s proposed FY04 budget. All hearings will begin at 2:00 p.m. in Room 118 of the Capitol Building unless notice of other arrangements is given. The committee has set dates for five hearings:


February 4, 2002:        Presentation from ISBE on the Board’s proposed budget for FY04 and “State of Education” address focusing on the fiscal state of affairs for Illinois K–12 public education.


February 18, 2003       ISBE presentation on the school aid formula and poverty grants. Status update on Hold Harmless and the foundation level.


February 25, 2003       ISBE presentation on categorical funding (both mandatory and discretionary).


March 4, 2003              ISBE presentation on federal funding and retirement funds.


March 11, 2003            Relevant interest groups invited to testify.



Survey for Superintendents


Next week by e-mail, we will send to superintendents a survey we hope you will all take the time to complete and return through the ROE. It will ask you to describe the effects of reduced funding/increased costs on the education services offered by districts.  Having this kind of information will help us all as we begin the budget process in earnest.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education