Sent:  Friday, October 17, 2003 4:53 PM
To:  Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents
Subject:  Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 10-17-03

Good afternoon,

The State Board will hold its monthly meeting next week in Rock Island. I hope all of you in the Quad Cities area will be able to take some time to join us. You will find information on the meeting and how to access the agenda in an item below.

I would like to extend congratulations to two Illinois’ teachers who were named Milken National Educators this week. Carolyn Baider, a special education teacher at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School in Palatine, and Kelly Wamser, a math teacher at O’Fallon Township High School, were selected as this year’s recipients. Each will receive a $25,000 unrestricted financial award. The Milken Family Foundation created the award to recognize teachers demonstrating exemplary teaching skills and personal commitment to education. We are very proud of Kelly and Carolyn and invite you to read more about their exemplary work in our press releases posted on the ISBE Web site at and

Congratulations also go to Board Member Ron Gidwitz who will receive NASBE’s Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s annual conference in Baltimore this weekend. We all take pride in this national recognition of his many accomplishments which include establishing to build an effective grassroots lobbying effort to protect the future of Illinois children and commerce through increased funding for education. He was also instrumental in establishing the PSAE and making Board materials more accessible to the public. To read the full release about the award follow our link at

This week’s message includes:

  • October Board Meeting Details
  • Venice FOP Removes School Board Members
  • FY05 Budget
  • Report Card Status
  • Deciding Which Students Should Take the IMAGE Assessment
  • Notice of Completed Rulemaking
  • Newsclips

October Board Meeting

For details of the Board agenda, please go to the ISBE website at:

October 22-23, 2003

Rock Island High School Library
1400 25th Avenue
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Wednesday’s session begins at 9 a.m. with a meeting of the board’s Governmental Relations Committee. Thursday’s session begins at 9:30 a.m.

Venice FOP removes School Board Members

The Financial Oversight Panel for Venice CUSD # 3 (Madison County) today took the unprecedented step of removing the incumbent school board members by operation of law. The district has been struggling financially and the school board had received two deadline extensions to submit the required balanced budget to the FOP. Today, the FOP formally rejected the board’s proposed budget and exercised its authority to remove the board. My statement on this FOP action can be viewed at

FY05 Budget

Attached are two documents related to the development of the FY05 budget for elementary and secondary education. The first is our normal line item spreadsheet from FY91 through FY04 to provide a recent historic context.

The second is a set of funding options for most elementary and secondary programs from the current appropriation, through inflation and increasingly larger levels of funding, to what might be considered the financial needs of the elementary and secondary education system to improve the current situation in the future.

The goal is to establish a context of need in each program area that is required by schools to achieve high levels of academic achievement by all students. These funding needs are unrelated to where the money comes from – federal, state or local sources. We invite you to review this, share it with others and provide comment to help the State Board determine funding priorities and levels for the entire elementary and secondary education system that can be incorporated into the FY05 budget recommendation to the Governor and General Assembly.

School Report Card Status

We are targeting next week for release of Report Card data. 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.Please note that this year’s Report Card includes a new section on AYP information for your schools.

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 through 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. If you have any questions or concerns please call 217/782-3950.

Clarification on Deciding Who Should Take the IMAGE Assessment

State legislation enacted this summer (P.A. 93-0426) allows students who are enrolled in an approved Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) or Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) to take the accommodated, state test (IMAGE) “if the student’s lack of English determined by an English language proficiency test would keep the student from understanding the regular state test.” This law allows for school districts to consider students on a case-by-case basis to determine the state assessment that would likely yield more accurate information on what the student knows and can do. The law extends the period of time that an English Language Learner (ELL) can participate in the IMAGE assessment to up to 5 years.

A school district may determine based on English language proficiency results, that a student who is enrolled in a TPI/TBE program is able to understand the regular state test and therefore may decide to include the student in the ISAT or Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE).

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.

Notice of Completed Rulemaking

Please be advised that a rulemaking item recently adopted by the State Board of Education is now in effect. This set of rules has been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number. (If you print only the affected Sections, remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.)

Public Information, Rulemaking and Organization (Part 5000)

The new rule in this Part responds to Section 5-145 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which provides that, “Any interested person may request an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule.” Section 5-145 requires that agencies have in place a procedure for responding to any such requests. New Section 5000.115 requires that requests be submitted in writing to the Rules Coordinator and that they set forth certain information. These requirements will ensure that issues raised are promptly brought to the attention of the responsible agency staff, as well as enabling staff to determine the merits of each request and respond accordingly.

Affected Section:      5000.115
Effective Date:            August 25, 2003


Stories of interest may be viewed at

Robert Schiller
State Superintendent
   of Education