Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 3:00 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 8-13-04

Good afternoon,


I spent the morning at the Illinois State Fair this morning, where our staff has set up a booth in Tech Town. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of public education in Illinois and to commemorate it we are assembling an electronic memory book. I was one the first people this morning to record the memory of my favorite teacher, and my memory will be joined with hundreds of others on a DVD, which later this year will be buried in a time capsule.  For a photo and more go to our homepage at


I invite each of you out to the booth, where staff is on hand to answer questions about teacher certification, School Report Cards, and more.


Secondly, I would like to let each of you know that based on our preliminary performance data we have determined AYP and have notified those schools who may need to offer additional services and options to students. While this AYP calculation excludes, attendance, graduation and participation rates (each of which is due to be submitted next week), it does represents the best information that we have available at this time. We have sent letters out to the 694 schools that will be affected. Because of pending Freedom of Information Act requests, we will be releasing the list of schools that have been designated as being in need of improvement to the press next Tuesday.


Also below today is a reminder to each of you for filing your School Report Card data and reviewing and approving your assessment performance data.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education


Also in today’s message:





On August 13, 2004, a letter was sent to district superintendents who currently have schools in school improvement status. The letter serves as an “early alert” that some schools have been identified as not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based only on preliminary 2004 state assessment results and may be required to offer:

·        public school choice; or

·        public school choice and supplemental educational services; or

·        public school choice, supplemental educational services, and corrective action; or

·        public school choice, supplemental educational services, corrective action, and first year of restructuring.

Schools identified as having to offer any of the above, except for restructuring (first year is a planning year) should be prepared to implement these efforts at the beginning of 2004-05 school year.


As a reminder – the status determinations have been made by using preliminary 2004 assessment data. We need to remember that not every district has completed its revisions and/or made necessary approvals of their performance data on Schoolhouse (This window closes August 21st). The preliminary status may possibly change if revisions to the performance data positively impact a school’s AYP.


If you suspect you should be offering Choice and or SES and have not been notified, please contact Data Analysis (217) 782-3669.


2002-2003 NCLB Performance Report Reminder

ALERT: approximately 110 school districts still have not completed the 2002-2003 NCLB Performance Report in spite of the deadline having been extended and telephone calls made to all districts not having yet filed the report. It is very important that this report be completed as federal funds for 2004-05 will be frozen if it is not received promptly. If your district received Title I, Title II, Title IV or Title V funds in 2002-03, the superintendent or his/her designee should immediately go into IWAS and complete the report.


SchoolHouse Update (2004 Assessment Data Corrections) - Reminder

The first window for verifying 2004 state assessment data on Pearson’s SchoolHouse system closed on Monday, June 28, 2004. By this date, district superintendents were to have reviewed and approved demographic data that were collected on answer documents of tested students and first-day-of-testing enrollment data that were previously entered by districts on SchoolHouse (March 22 - May 21, 2004).


During the second correction window (July 27 - August 21, 2004):

When the second window closes on August 21, 2004, only data that have been approved by the district superintendent in SchoolHouse will be used to produce final score reports and to calculate AYP status. Districts with schools that participated in the Grade 2 Assessment of Reading and Mathematics must return a final approval form.


There will be NO additional opportunities after August 21, 2004, for district superintendents to review and approve their 2004 state assessment data. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Student Assessment Division at 217/782-4823.


REMINDER:  Report Card Data Due by August 16, 2004.

The school report card data collection form (ISBE 86-43) is available online via IWAS.  Please enter, verify and approve all the data for your school(s) by the due date which is August 16, 2004.  All data, including those related to educator characteristics need to be approved by the district superintendent as a final step in this process.  If you have any questions, please call 217/558-3600.


Preliminary GSA

The following link will provide each of you our most recent estimates of General State Aid for Fiscal Year 2005. Because we have yet to receive the final Cook County EAVs from the Illinois Department of Revenue, in addition to required calculation changes resulting from SB2349, these Gross and Net GSA estimates remain preliminary (


Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for Title III (AMAO) Performance Report

The Illinois State Board of Education has set the 2004 Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for English language proficiency in response to a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate.  These targets are listed in the table below.


This fall, school districts receiving Title III monies will be notified for the first time of their pass/fail status in meeting these established AMAOs. These AMAO targets apply to all school districts which received Title III funds.  The AMAOs are measured from the performance of a cohort* of LEP students in local-state approved tests that measure their  proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing English – not IMAGE or ISAT.  A school district must have a percentage of the students score within the “Proficient” category for the test administered in the district to meet AMAOs.  “AMAO Proficient” is a composite score computed by taking a weighted percentage of proficient students in each domain (listening, reading, speaking, and writing).

AMAO Progress Targets 2004

(Based upon 2003/04 Student Data)


AMAO Proficient

2004 LAS


2004 IPT


2004 LPTS


2004 Maculaitis II



If the State determines, based on the annual measurable achievement objectives, that a school district fails to make progress toward meeting such objectives for 2 consecutive years, the agency will require the school district to develop an improvement plan that will ensure that the schools meet such objectives.  School districts which failed to meet the AMAOs must also notify parents of students participating in the school district’s Title III programs, of such failure.  If the State determines that the district has failed to meet the AMAOs for 4 consecutive years, the agency shall,


Require the district to modify the curriculum, program, method of instruction; or make a determination whether the district shall continue to receive funds and require the district to replace educational personnel relevant to the district’s failure to reach the objectives.


The State may also recognize local school districts whose programs have demonstrated significant progress in assisting students to learn English and to meet the same challenging academic content standards as all students are expected to meet. These AMAOs apply until the State of Illinois implements a statewide English language proficiency test, at which point new baseline data will be gathered and new targets will be set.  For more information, please contact the Division of English Language Learning at 312-814-3850. The U.S. Department of Education has also established a Superintendent Hotline which you can access toll-free, at 1-888-NCLB-SUP (625-2787). Questions can also be e-mailed to  


*A cohort is defined by grade level clusters that are specific to each State-Approved Local Test.  ISBE-approved local tests are the Idea Proficiency Test (IPT), the Language Assessment Scale (LAS), the Language Proficiency Test Series (LPTS), and the Maculaitis (MACII). For local individual assessment level information go to

Education Funding Hearing Set for Bloomington

On Monday, August 16th at 1 p.m. Senator Miguel del Valle will host the first of several senate hearings to focus on Education Funding, specifically House Bill 750. Supt. Schiller has been invited and will an overview of the fiscal condition of school districts throughout Illinois. The remainder of the Committee time will be spent hearing from Ralph Martire and his proposal to raise the revenues to address the school funding problem as out lined in amendments 1 and 2 to HB 750 (