Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 4:48 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from Interim State Superintendent Randy J. Dunn 12-10-04
Dear Superintendent,


Good afternoon and happy Friday. I have just a few updates this week, which I’m sure is much appreciated given the typical superintendent schedule for the weeks prior to the winter holiday break!


We received a number of requests from you asking the Board to extend the deadline for completion of your K-4 textbook requests, and it’s become another example of a recommendation solicited through that we were able to implement. I’m happy to report the deadline has been extended (see information below). Hopefully that decision will generate a little holiday cheer in each of your districts. Please continue to provide us with examples of how we can better serve your schools.


Having carefully considered both sides of the issue, I am leaning towards retaining the college entrance exam as one portion of the Prairie State Achievement Exam. Many constituent groups, along with a number of our divisions, have weighed in on the decision; I believe that given the rigor of the exam, as well as its usefulness as a gauge for college readiness, its inclusion in the PSAE will be an overall positive move for our schools and students.


Finally, the Report Card data embargo will be lifted on December 15, 2004, making that information public to parents and community members. Thanks to all of you for your hard work getting that data accurate; I know it was a somewhat grueling process!


Enjoy a warm and safe weekend.



Randy Dunn

State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)


Also in today’s message:


Extending the Textbook Loan Program deadline

We have received a number of requests from school districts including through our e-mail address to allow school districts additional time to complete their K-4 online textbook and educational materials requests. As a result we will be extending the December 15, 2004 deadline for the School Textbook Loan Program.


School districts that have already finalized their request will have them processed and their order will have a delivery date of April 30, 2005. Districts that finalize their order by January 18, 2005 will also have a delivery date of April 30, 2005. The program will be closed on January 19-20, 2005 to allow for the issuance of purchase orders resulting from these requests and will reopen January 21, 2005 for those districts/schools using the March 15, 2005 deadline.


The final deadline for the program will be March 15, 2005 with a delivery date of June 30, 2005. This new deadline date will remain the same for all future textbook programs. I’m sure you will welcome the additional time. If you have any questions or wish to revise your order in light of the extension please contact Charles Hayes or Frank Hanselman at 217-782-0734 or via e-mail at


New census estimates affecting Title I released for 2001 and 2002 income years

The U.S. Census Bureau has provided an accelerated release of the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) for income years 2001 and 2002. The estimates can be accessed at Information on changes in estimation procedures for 2001 and 2002 is also available at this si