Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 12:38 PM
To: 'Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents '
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 4/04/03

Good morning.


This week marked the first rally held to urge the governor and legislators to make public education the number one priority in Illinois. Students, local superintendents, and legislators as well as State Board Chairman Ron Gidwitz and I spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of educators, parents and students in front of the Capitol on April 2.

As many of you know, Illinois education ranks 48th among the states in the percentage of local school funding provided by the state: in Illinois, the state pays only about 38 percent of local school costs. Of the 94 school tax votes on ballots in the April 1 referendums, fewer than half were approved. Voters also approved fewer than 50 percent of bond authorizations on the April ballot, rejecting 13 of 22. The result is that schools already pinched financially will be forced to make deeper cuts. This crisis situation illustrates the need to revamp our school finance system to provide more state support and less reliance on local property taxes.

More information about the school-funding crisis and video excerpts from the rally are at

Other topics in this message include the following:


At the end of the message there are two sets of rulemaking notices:



April Meeting of the State Board of Education


The April State Board meeting has been rescheduled from the third week in April to Wednesday, April 30, 2003, at the State Board offices, 100 North First Street, Springfield. In Chicago, interested parties may listen to the meeting at the ISBE office on the 14th floor of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph. The meeting can also be heard on the Internet by clicking on the link on the ISBE home page, This will be the regular monthly meeting, but will be a single day instead of the usual two days.






School Report Card Data (ISBE Form 86-43) to Be Collected Online


Districts and schools will submit data for the school report card online for the first time this year. ISBE data collection form 86-43, which schools previously submitted on a paper form, will be available online. To access the form, school personnel must use their IWAS (ISBE Web Application Security) account. In the next week or so we will mail information to each principal explaining how to create a personal IWAS account and how to sign up to use the 2003 e-Report Card system. This system will be piloted by 12 principals and superintendents during the week of April 15, 2003.


The data collection effort has been modified in several ways:

For elementary and middle schools, attendance information is the additional academic indicator that will be used in calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP). For this reason, we strongly encourage you to check the accuracy of this information before you submit it.



Call for Presenters to the Illinois Education & Technology Conference Extended to April 15, 2003


Please share the following information with the appropriate schools and staff.


The Illinois Education & Technology Conference will be held November 13–14, 2003, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois. The conference committee will accept proposals for presenters until April 15, 2003. Those interested in presenting should complete the online application at Click on “Call for Presentations” at the top of the page.



Rulemaking Information


Invitation to Comment on Rules


At its March meeting, the State Board released two sets of proposed amendments for public comment. These rulemaking items have been posted on the agency’s Web site at; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments.” Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to Also, note the closing date for another set of rules released at an earlier State Board meeting.


Standards for Certification in Specific Teaching Fields (Part 27)

This rulemaking originated in the determinations issued on June 22, 2000, by the court-appointed monitor in the Corey H. litigation, which addressed required changes in Illinois certification policy. After content standards had been developed for general education teachers in the various subject fields, ISBE would be required to “develop content area standards that relate to the general curriculum for all certificate designations contained in the Final Proposal.” (“Certificate designations” in this context are the various endorsements in the field of special education.)


These proposed standards and indicators emphasize reading and mathematics but also include fundamental requirements in the natural and social sciences. They represent a synthesis of selected standards that are now in place with respect to elementary and special education as well as reading, mathematics, social science, and natural science. The guiding principle in their development was to state expectations for content knowledge that would enable special educators to afford their students access to the general curriculum as required by IDEA without unduly extending their preparation programs.

Deadline for Public Comment:          May 30, 2003



Certification (Part 25)

The main group of changes in this set of amendments pertains to procedural matters connected with accreditation reviews leading to the approval of programs that prepare educators (found throughout Subpart C of the rules). Chief among them are incorporation of the 2002 version of the NCATE standards; a change in the role of the State Board staff member who serves with each review panel; and a change from “Fifth-Year Review” to “Accreditation Review” to accommodate the potential for a different review cycle in the future. The other changes involve technical clean-up and updating.

Deadline for Public Comment:       June 2, 2003



Reminder: Amendments to the rules for the Alternative Learning Opportunities Program (Part 240) are also pending. These provide for the submission of claims for general state aid by regional superintendents who operate programs on behalf of school districts.

Deadline for Public Comment:       April 21, 2003.



Notice of Completed Rulemaking


Two rulemaking items recently adopted by the State Board of Education are now in effect. Both these rulemaking items have 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.)

Certification (Part 25)

New Section 25.444 implements the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program as amended this year by P.A. 92-796 (HB 1436). The revisions found in Sections 25.800 through 25.875 reflect several changes in the certificate renewal requirements enacted as part of P.A. 92-510 and others enacted in P.A. 92-796. A new Section 25.872 has also been added to deal specifically with providers of continuing professional development activities that are electronically mediated. The revisions to Section 25.728 reflect changes made by P.A. 92-734 regarding institutions’ use of test results.


Affected Sections:      25.15, 25.444, 25.728, 25.800, 25.805, 25.832, 25.835, 25.845, 25.855, 25.860, 25.865, 25.870, 25.872, and 25.875

Effective Date:        March 21, 2003


Standards for Administrative Certification (Part 29)

These amendments put in place a new credential that will eventually be required of all individuals who wish to serve as directors or assistant directors of special education. The set of standards set forth in Section 29.140 will be the basis for a new endorsement, “Director of Special Education.” The remaining provisions in that Section and Section 29.150 describe how individuals may earn this credential and how individuals who are currently qualified to serve as “State-approved director of special education” may receive the new endorsement.


Affected Sections:      29.140 and 29.150

Effective Date:        March 21, 2003



Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education