Good afternoon.

The leading item in this message addresses the consequences of the Governor’s proposed budget as it affects a number of state grant programs.

Certification continues to be a concern as teachers and administrators work to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act. Items regarding certification covered include the following announcements:

·        Additional information about obtaining subsequent certificates

·        Illinois National Board candidate subsidy application now online

·        Professional Development – An ISBE resource for Illinois Master Certificate teachers, teachers seeking National Board certification, and administrators

This has been a busy week for high schools, where grade 11 students took the Prairie State Achievement Examination on Wednesday and Thursday. ISAT testing is also completed, and this message contains follow-up information regarding scoring of grade 8 reading tests.

Note: The April meeting of the State Board will be a one-day meeting on April 30. Further meeting information is included at the end of this message.

Funding for State Grants Eliminated or Transferred in the Governor’s FY04 Budget

On April 9, 2003, Governor Blagojevich proposed a budget that addressed the $5 billion state deficit but still supported education as much as possible. Regrettably, the state is currently in a precarious financial position, and the budget eliminates and transferred to other state agencies a number of programs (see list below). While the Governor has indicated a willingness to discuss alternatives to his recommendations, it is unlikely that we will know the final outcome of those deliberations until the end of the legislative session.

Because of the uncertain future of these programs, work on these programs for FY04 is being suspended until further notification from the Illinois State Board of Education. This information is to assist you in planning for future services funded by these programs in your school. Whatever happens to these programs in FY04, it is essential that you fulfill all requirements of these grants received in FY03.

If you have any questions, contact David Wood at 217/557-1485 or dwood@isbe.net.

Transferred:                                                               Eliminated:

Technology for Success (CMS)                                    School Safety and Improvement BG

Career and Technical Education (ICCB)                       Chicago Retirement

Illinois Scholars (ISAC)                                                Textbook Loans

Philip Rock Center (DHS)                                            Gifted Education

Agriculture Education (Agriculture)                                Truant Alternative Optional

                                                                                    Regional Supt. of Education

Eliminated (Continued):

Administrators Academy

GED Testing

Charter Schools

Jobs for Illinois Graduates

Universal Preschool

Emergency Financial Assistance

Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention

District Consolidation

Career Awareness

Materials Center for the Visually Impaired

Mathematics Statewide

Community Residential Services Authority

Mentoring and Induction for Administrators

Teach for America

Illinois Learning Partnership

Family Literacy

Tax Equivalent

American Education Institute

Illinois Economic Education

Middle Level Education

Additional Information about Obtaining Subsequent Certificates

Last week’s message provided updated information on the requirements for teachers with a valid Illinois certificate to obtain an additional or subsequent certificate. Based on questions received from the field, we want to make you and your teachers aware of the following:

·        Any teacher who signed up to take a subject matter knowledge test on June 14, 2003, solely to qualify for an additional certificate may request a full refund of the test fee. This refund can be obtained if the teacher provides our staff with his or her name, social security number, mailing address for the refund, and the test(s) for which he or she is registered. Please advise your teachers to send a fax with this information to Beth Hanselman at 217/524-1289. This should be received in our office no later than May 23, 2003.

·        The State Board will honor, for up to three years, deficiency statements that are issued to individuals who apply for an additional or subsequent certificate before the current transcript review provisions expire (see dates in the April 18 Weekly Message or on the Web at http://www.isbe.net/teachers/reqsubcert.htm).

Illinois National Board Candidate Subsidy Application is Online

Teachers who have applied for National Board certification may apply for the ISBE candidate subsidy online. The ISBE application is available at https://sec1.isbe.net/nbpts.

In addition to the application, a new chart provides a one-page reference that lists the NBPTS certificates and corresponding Illinois certificates.

Teachers seeking National Board certification will also find information on how to receive technical assistance with their applications and preparations for the National Board assessments on the ISBE Web site at http://www.isbe.net/profprep/nbpts.htm. The site includes lists of state coordinators and mentors, information on local school district incentives, special instructions for Chicago Public School teachers, as well as direct links to key Web sites at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Professional Development – An ISBE Resource for Illinois Master Certificate Teachers, Teachers Seeking National Board Certification, and Administrators

The ISBE Web site (http://www.isbe.net/profprep/nbpts.htm) has been updated to assist certified Illinois Master Certificate teachers, teacher candidates involved in the National Board certification process, teachers who wish to submit an application for a candidate subsidy, and school administrators.

Administrators and Master Certified teachers will be interested in the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program that provides an annual stipend of $3,000 to teachers who achieve a Master Certificate, as well as payment for mentoring and professional development services to classroom teachers. Master Certificate teachers can receive payment for providing mentoring and professional development services for classroom teachers. Teachers can receive up to $3,000 for providing mentoring services to classroom teachers serving in schools on the Academic Early Warning List and in schools in which 50 percent or more of the students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Master Certified teachers can also receive up to $1,000 for providing professional development to new and experienced teachers, as well as assisting teachers who are seeking National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.

The Frequently Asked Questions section provides answers to many of the questions teachers and administrators may have on applying for a Master Certificate, meeting the recertification expectations, as well as applying for the stipend and mentoring payments. The ISBE forms for these processes are also available at this Web site.

Page Collation Problem on the Grade 8 ISAT Reading Test

The grade 8 ISAT reading test is given in two forms – Form A and Form B. The difference between the two forms is in the passages and accompanying test questions that students are given on each form. Each form has a separate scoring key used to score the student’s tests.

Because of a page collation problem by the testing contractor, some of the Form B tests were mistakenly labeled as Form A tests. The contractor is currently investigating how this collation problem occurred.

This collation problem will not affect a student’s reading score because of scoring procedures we have instructed our contractor to put into place. To ensure that each student is scored with the correct scoring key, all grade 8 reading answer documents will be scored with the scoring key for Form A and Form B, and the student will be given the higher of the two scores. In this way no student will be adversely affected by this collation problem.

This additional step should not significantly affect the processing time for these tests and the state test reports.

April Meeting of the State Board of Education

The April State Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in the State Board offices, 100 North First Street, V-tel, third floor in Springfield, and in the James R. Thompson Building, 100 West Randolph, V-tel, fourteenth floor, Chicago. The meeting can also be heard on the Internet by clicking on the link on the ISBE home page, www.isbe.net. This will be the regular monthly meeting, but will be a single day instead of the usual two days. The meeting agenda is posted at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/apr03meeting/schedule.html

 

Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education

statesup@isbe.net