Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 11:42 AM
To: Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 10-10-03
Good morning,


I am very pleased to announce a new resource to help you better prepare students to meet the assessment requirements of No Child Left Behind.  The Illinois Assessment Frameworks focus on math, reading, writing, science, and social science and provide greater detail for educators regarding what material students must master and when.


The frameworks will be fully aligned with state assessments beginning with the 2005-06 school year, but they constitute a valuable tool right now.


The Framework for each subject consists of a set of Assessment Objectives at each grade level, linked directly to the Illinois Learning Standards and providing clear, concise statements of what students will be expected to know and do on Illinois statewide assessments.  They describe the percent of questions on each test for each objective.  In addition, “enabling” objectives are identified from previous grades that will help students and teachers understand prerequisite skills.


Many of you may have attended the recent drive-in conferences we held to introduce the Frameworks, and I hope you have shared the information you received with your staff.  We will be anxious to hear your thoughts and comments about this new resource.


Frameworks for grades 3-8 can be accessed at beginning today, October 10, 2003.  The high school version will be released via this same site within the next four weeks.


Also in today’s message:

·        School Report Card Status Update

·        Deciding Which Students Should Take the IMAGE Assessment

·        Policy options for issuing “subsequent” teaching certificates

·        Newsclips



School Report Card Status Update


For reasons due to circumstances beyond our control, the school report cards are not yet available. Although we are not yet able to give you a specific date as to when district superintendents will be able to access the cards on the secure website, we are optimistically targeting the week of October 20th.  Once the cards are available for release district superintendents will receive an email message informing them that they have a specific number of days to go to the secure site and download the school report cards, the district report card, and district summary.  We will not be providing hard copies of the cards.


The Illinois State Board of Education does not have the authority to grant extensions to the October 31st dissemination deadline. However, we encourage you to take every reasonable step to disseminate the report cards either via your district website or in paper form at your earliest convenience. We will release the public report card site four weeks after we close the secure site.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



Deciding Which Students Should Take the Image Assessment


Regarding statewide assessment of English Language Learners, there are three relevant legal references. Following are a synopsis of the relevant legislation and regulations, along with guidance on determining who should take the IMAGE assessments in the spring of 2004 and instructions on how to modify your order if you have already submitted your request for 2004 IMAGE test booklets and materials.


NCLB legislation requires “the inclusion of limited English proficient students, who shall be assessed in a valid and reliable manner and provided with reasonable accommodations on assessments administered to such students . . . including to the extent practicable, assessments in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data on what such students know and can do in academic content areas, until such students have achieved English language proficiency.”


State legislation enacted this summer (P.A.93-0426) states that ELL students “may take an accommodated State test (IMAGE) . . . if the student's lack of English as determined by an English language proficiency test would keep the student from understanding the regular State test.”  If the school district determines, on a case-by-case individual  basis,  that  IMAGE would  likely yield more accurate this law extends the period of time that an ELL student can participate in the IMAGE assessment to up to 5 years.


23 Illinois Administrative Code Part 228.15(g) (1) (2) further specifies the following:


a. Students scoring below the 50th percentile on a nationally normed English language proficiency test are by definition limited English proficient and therefore entitled to services.


b. Furthermore, those who score at or above the 50th percentile must be further assessed to determine whether the students are in need of bilingual education services.


Based on the above requirements and regulations, ISBE is providing school districts with the following guidance on how to determine the eligibility of students to participate in IMAGE testing.


All students must be given a state assessment annually. Achievement scores for students enrolled after September 30 of each year will be counted for participation rates only in reporting Adequate Yearly Progress.   Exemptions from testing are not allowed.


The IMAGE test is the appropriate assessment instrument for all limited English proficient (LEP) students during their first three years in a state approved TBE/TPI program.  For 4th and 5th year LEP students enrolled in a TBE/TPI program, the IMAGE test may also be appropriate if the local school district determines that the student meets one or more of the following criteria:


1. The student scored below the 50th percentile in any of the four domains (listening, speaking, reading, writing) on a standardized English language proficiency test such as the Language Assessment Scales (LAS), MAC II, IDEA (IPT), or Language Proficiency Testing Series (LPTS); or


2. The student was first enrolled in a TBE/TPI program after August 1999 and demonstrates a level of English proficiency such that ISAT/PSAE would be unlikely to yield valid and reliable information on what the student knows and can do in the academic content areas; or


3. The student had scored below the "Transitioning" category in either Reading or Writing on the most recent IMAGE administration; or


4.  The student had scored in the "Does Not Meet or Academic Warning" categories on the prior year’s ISAT administration.


Please review the above information carefully in making your determination of who will be taking the IMAGE in the spring of 2004.  For districts who have already submitted their IMAGE test orders for 2004, but now need to change these orders, please go directly to the SchoolHouse site at and enter your corrected order numbers there.  The final amounts you have entered on this site on October 30 will supersede any forms you have mailed to Pearson previously.


A flowchart to further assist you in making your determinations for each 4th and 5th year ELL student on a case-by-case basis is included at the following website:  If you have questions regarding any of the above information, please contact Student Assessment at 217-782-4823.



Policy Options for Issuing “Subsequent” Teaching Certificates


Within the next few months, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board, will adopt new policies regarding the criteria for issuing subsequent certificates (defined as any teaching certificate issued to an individual after the first one) and endorsements.  This is a very important aspect of the transformation of our certification to a standards base, and it will be increasingly important in our efforts to meet the NCLB requirements for “highly qualified” teachers.


We would therefore like to request that you read the policy options paper on the ISBE Web site at and respond to us by email ( by the close of business on Wednesday, October 22.  We plan to use the responses to shape a rule proposal for consideration by the two boards in November.  Thank you for your assistance.






Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education