Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 4:22 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 8-27-04
Good afternoon,


Many of you are likely off and running with the new school year, and short of a few tears shed by children and probably parents, too, I hope that it has been a painless beginning to what I hope is a productive year.


We continue to work on the Annual Superintendents’ Conference to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, September 21-22, 2004 at the Hilton Springfield Hotel. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Big Picture: Education Prekindergarten through 20.” We are finalizing the program and will have that out to you next week. If you haven’t already registered, please do so as soon as possible, the deadline for registration is actually today.


Last week we were encouraged by the release of ACT scores, and next week, in coordination with the College Board the SAT results will be released. We will send you that information, under embargo, as we did last week with the ACT. Again we will not be releasing district information, only you can do that.


As we look forward to the coming school year, it is with great sadness that two individuals who have been stellar advocates for education will be departing the Illinois State Board of Education. David Wood, Assistant Superintendent of Fiscal/ Support Services and Peter Leonis, Director of Government Relations, will both be leaving ISBE in the weeks to come.


David will become the Bloomington School District 87 chief financial and legal officer.  Many of you know David and the fine work that he has done in the last six years as our Chief Fiscal Officer. David has worked in Illinois' state government since 1981, and came to ISBE from what was then the Bureau of the Budget, where he served as general counsel for the bureau from 1989 to 1998.  There are not many people in Illinois, let alone state government who understand the financial pressures and the funding inequities present at both the state and local levels. David has been an invaluable resource over the years as the State Board continually pressed the legislative and executive branches for fundamental reform and equitable funding of public education in Illinois. It is and will be a great loss for ISBE but a tremendous gain for Bloomington and we wish him the best.


Peter has been at the forefront of many issues over the years, from helping legislators understand the impact of unfunded mandates to illustrating the domino effect of how budget cuts translate to a decreased capacity to assist school districts. This year his role at ISBE was certainly his toughest yet, with the changes proposed in Senate Bill 3000, in addition to a large proportion of education bills pending this most recent and lengthy legislative session. Throughout all of it, Peter operated as he always did by setting the record straight on tough issues, and asking people the right questions like, “How will this improve education?” After four years with ISBE and a total of 15 years in state government, Peter will be starting with the federal government in a few weeks in a role with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  He will be sorely missed.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education


Included in today’s message:



Final FY 05 Title I Allocations Complete

The final FY 05 Title I Allocations for all local education agencies (LEAs) are complete and can be accessed by clicking on the underlined title.  Funding is based upon LEA eligibility for the four statutory formulas—Basic, Concentration, Targeted and Education Finance Incentive Grants; and upon a variable hold harmless.  These figures replace the earlier projected allocations.  To access any increases in funds, an LEA must submit a Title I amendment to the Illinois State Board of Education prior to obligating or expending the additional funds.


To access the allocations go to:


End of the Year Report Form is Past Due

This is a reminder that the End of the Year Report Form is past due. This data is submitted via IWAS and was due to ISBE by 8/15/04. If you have not submitted your End of the Year Report Form, please do so before the end of August. If you have questions about the content of the form call Niann Chern at 217-782-3950. If you have questions or problems with IWAS call 217-558-3600.


SES Approval Update

At the August 18, 2004, Illinois State Board of Education meeting the list of approved Supplemental Educational Service (SES) Providers was updated.  The current list of approved SES providers indicating an interest in serving specific districts is at


Contact information for each provider is also at the above website.  Since potential providers may apply at any time, districts will need to check the website monthly for updates to your district’s list.  Please refer to the Superintendent’s Bulletin for future updates.


The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) 1116(e)(2)(A)(iii) requires that districts provide a description of the services, qualifications, and demonstrated effectiveness of each supplemental service provider identified as a potential provider for its schools.  Each supplemental educational service provider must be contacted by the district for the information that meets this requirement.


If you have questions or need assistance, please call Cheryl Bradley at 217/782-2948 or email at


Teacher Service Record Reporting Package mailed

The Teacher Service Record reporting package for 2004-05 will be mailed on Monday, Aug. 30. Districts that complete paper forms must submit them to ISBE by October 1, and districts that file electronically must submit their files by October 15th. Any questions regarding the Teacher Service Record should be directed to Steve Scaife, Division of Data Analysis and Progress Reporting at 217/782-3950.


SchoolHouse Data Update

On behalf of the Student Assessment Division, thank you for your hard work in completing and approving the 2004 state assessment data on SchoolHouse.


Final school and district score reports for ISAT, PSAE, and IMAGE will be posted on SchoolHouse September 14.  Paper copies of final score reports, including reports for individual students, will be mailed to schools and districts at the end of September.


With the new changes in the state law (and budget), writing, social science, fine arts, and physical development/health will no longer be tested at any grade level.


Reading and math will be tested at grades 3rd, 5th and 8th.  Science will be tested at grades 4 and 7 and 11.  For PSAE, writing and social science will no longer be assessed on Day 2.


Invitation to Comment on Rules

At its August meeting, the State Board of Education released one set of proposed rules for public comment. This item has been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments”.  Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to


Part 25 (Certification)


This set of amendments arises almost entirely from enactment of P.A. 93-679, which was signed by the Governor on June 30, 2004, and took effect immediately.  That legislation made significant changes in the requirements for:


·        renewal of administrative certificates;

·        renewal of teaching certificates;

·        teachers’ movement from the initial to the standard certificate; and

·        certification testing for out-of-state applicants.


The summary presented along with the proposed amendments outlines the major changes in each of these aspects of certification policy and explains the inclusion of other revisions not related to the recent changes in the law.


Special Note:  This rulemaking sets forth the requirements for Illinois teachers, including special education teachers, to be considered “highly qualified” for purposes of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.  These provisions are included because Illinois law now permits teachers to move from the initial certificate to the standard certificate, or to renew the standard certificate, based upon becoming “highly qualified” in an additional teaching field.


Deadline for Public Comment:                       October 18, 2004



Notice of Effectiveness of Emergency Rulemaking

Emergency rulemaking is needed while the proposed amendments to Part 25 are pending, because the changes in the law are already in effect but there are some portions that are not self-explanatory. Therefore the emergency amendments have been structured as completely new Sections whose goals are:



These emergency amendments have been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number. Once the ordinary rulemaking process is complete, the emergency amendments will be replaced by the more comprehensive set of changes.


Special Note: This rulemaking sets forth the requirements for Illinois teachers, including special education teachers, to be considered “highly qualified” for purposes of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. These provisions are included because Illinois law now permits teachers to move from the initial certificate to the standard certificate, or to renew the standard certificate, based upon becoming “highly qualified” in an additional teaching field.


Effective Date:            August 20, 2004


Important Information for Reading First Programs

The State Board has been asked to clarify who may serve as reading teachers and reading coaches in Reading First programs in light of recent changes to the structure of teaching credentials.  We hope you will find the following information useful.


The structure of endorsements that has recently been put in place differentiates between “reading teachers” and “reading specialists.”  A reading teacher is one whose assignment involves teaching reading to students, while a reading specialist is one whose assignment involves the provision of technical assistance and/or professional development to other teachers and may also include teaching reading to students.  Newly adopted rules discuss the requirements for attaining both these credentials.


We have been made aware that a fair number of the individuals who have been serving as “reading coaches” in Reading First programs do not hold the K-12 certificate endorsed for reading and therefore will not be considered “reading specialists” under the new structure. However, this will not make them ineligible to serve as reading coaches in the future.


Before the recent changes in the rules, it has been the case for a number of years that 18 specific semester hours of college coursework in reading were required of anyone whose major assignment was reading. No separate requirements were stated for persons who assisted other teachers with reading, the discrete function of today’s “reading specialists.” Therefore, persons who had completed the 18-hour requirement held both the required qualifications for teaching reading and those for serving as “coaches.”


Section 1.745 of the new rules provides that a person may be assigned as a reading teacher or a reading specialist if he or she “met the requirements of Section 1.740…when they were applicable…” This rule means that individuals who have completed the required 18 hours (or who do so on or before June 30, 2005), continue to be eligible for assignment as reading coaches in the Reading First program. [The 18 semester hours may be earned at the graduate or undergraduate level and must include: 1) foundation or survey of reading fundamentals including reading in the content areas; 2) testing procedures and diagnosis of reading disabilities; 3) diagnostic teaching techniques and materials; 4) clinical or laboratory practicum in reading; and 5) literature appropriate for the age of students included in the program.]


Please note that the requirements for the “reading teacher” endorsement change as of July 1, 2005, to 24 semester hours and passage of the content-area test. For the specifics of these new requirements, see Section 25.100(i) of the rules for certification [Can you please make the bold text a link to that rule?].


For further information, please contact Jamey Baiter at 217/557-7323 or


School Treasurer Bonds Deadline

This is a follow-up to the electronic memorandum sent to all Regional Superintendents of Schools on July 22, 2004, and the Superintendent’s Bulletin released July 26, 2004.


Section 3-8 and Section 8-2 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/3-8 and 105 ILCS 5/8-2) require Regional Superintendents of Schools to yearly file an affidavit with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) showing which treasurers of school districts in their region are properly bonded. This affidavit must be filed by Wednesday, September 1, 2004. Copies of the actual school treasurer bond do not have to be filed with ISBE.


An electronic version of the Affidavit, and other information, can be found on the ISBE website at:\sfms\html\t_bonds.htm


If you have questions, please contact Michelle Heninger at 217.785.8779 or e-mail her at


Safe School Activities for School Year 2004-05

The Illinois State Board of Education in cooperation with Regional Office of Education #12 announces the Safe School Activities for School Year 2004-05. Included are workshops on the Impact of Terrorism and War on School Security and Crisis Preparedness Planning, Bullying Prevention/Intervention Awareness, Updating Your School’s Emergency Plan, A Practical Approach to Threat Assessment, and the Fifth Annual Safe School Symposium. For a complete list of all programs and locations, please visit the ISBE web site link at


Current ISBE Vacancies


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