Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 12:22 PM
To: zzALL
Subject: Weekly Message from Interim State Superintendent Randy J. Dunn 1-10-05

As a courtesy to staff, Public Information will be sending the weekly Supertintendent's message to everyone at ISBE.  These are also kept and posted on the Intranet.




I bid you all a happy 2005! I hope your holidays were enjoyable, and that you aren’t having too much trouble easing back into the routine as we thaw out from the latest round of winter weather.

I would like to touch on two or three items in today’s update:

  1. P.A. 93-0679 changed the requirements for renewal of administrator certificates on June 30th of last year. I understand there is still some confusion regarding the renewal of certificates for school and district administrators (i.e. those serving in public schools; there are no renewal requirements for administrators not working in public schools).
Basically, holders of administrator certificates who work in administrative positions in public schools must complete one Administrator’s Academy course annually and professional development activity (averaging out to 20 hours per year) for each year worked in an administrative position. Administrators have no forms to complete, and need only use the Certificate Renewal Tracking System (CeRTS) to record the professional development completed and to submit an assurance statement at the end of the certificate’s validity period. More details can be found on the ISBE website at:


  1. The State Board has received a number of requests, including one recently sent by an administrators’ group, for ISBE guidance on the grant-writing process. While we develop a response, I want to recommend to you a brief article in the fall 2004 issue of Learning Point magazine, published by the North Central Regional Education Laboratory in Naperville. That issue focuses on supporting equity through technology, but also contains a short piece on targeting grant proposals for success. There are also some other resources listed in the article that may be of help to local school district personnel. The complete fall issue can be accessed at NCREL’s website, at

  1. Following the historical tradition of taking stock of the “First 100 Days,” I recently spent a moment with executive staff here at ISBE to review and congratulate them on the work that has been accomplished during our first 100 days at the State Board. From reducing the certification backlog, to correcting Report Card data , to working with the community of Venice on its charter school, to identifying $6 million over two years in agency cost-saving proposals, to developing interagency agreements to support child health care and feeding programs, I’ve been very proud of the accomplishments of all of our staff members. However, we have much more to do.

 At their meeting on January 13, the State Board members will initiate discussion on the Strategic Plan for elementary and secondary education in Illinois (called for by Senate Bill 3000 (P.A. 93-1036)). While I’ve tried to provide them with a number of ideas for moving forward, whatever shape the Strategic Plan ultimately takes should build on our accomplishments at the Board over the past few months. Your input will be needed in every step of the process, and we will be sure to keep you apprised of developments.




Randy Dunn

State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)


Also included in this week’s message:

·         Misinformation on District AYP

·         E-Rate Program temporary numbers available for new or recently consolidated districts

·         Final FY 2005 state mandated categorical prorations calculated

·         Funding available for districts serving migratory children

·         Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Grants awarded

·         Helping children cope with disaster

·         ISBE employment opportunities

·         Weekly news clips


Misinformation on District AYP

Due to an error in information provided by the ISBE Public Information Office to the Chicago Tribune, Oak Lawn Hometown District 123 was erroneously included in a listing of Illinois School Districts that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2003-2004. Oak Lawn Hometown District 123 made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2003-2004 and should not have been included in this list. The ISBE Public Information Office apologizes for the error.


E-Rate Program temporary numbers available for new or recently consolidated districts

Thanks to the enterprising work of a local school district administrator, ISBE has learned that new or recently consolidated districts can now obtain temporary National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Codes. These seven-digit codes are required for access to the Schools and Libraries Program, also called the E-Rate Program.

Affected districts should contact the Federal Community Commission’s School and Libraries Division at 888-203-8100. For more information on this program, go to


Final FY 2005 state mandated categorical prorations calculated

The final FY 2005 state mandated categorical prorations have been calculated and are listed below. Questions regarding these programs can be directed to staff in the Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256.

Special Education Personnel 100 percent

Special Education Private Facility 75 percent

Special Education Summer School 88 percent

Special Education Orphanage 100 percent

Special Education Transportation 100 percent

Regular/Vocational Transportation 99 percent

Regular Education Orphanage 100 percent


Funding available for districts serving migratory children

The State of Illinois receives funding under Title I, Part C of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 to identify and serve migratory children. The Illinois State Board of Education Migrant Education Program is conducting a survey to identify districts that may have mobile children of migratory workers residing in their attendance areas that might benefit from this funding. In particular, we are interested in children whose parents migrate to obtain work in agricultural production, fishing or food processing industries. Districts that participate in the New Generation System for reporting do not need to respond to this survey. Please respond to the survey below if you have identified such children in your district.

For more information, contact Beth Robinson at (312) 814-3607.

See to access the survey.


Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Grants awarded

A list of schools receiving the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnership (IMSP) grants will be released by this agency on Monday, January 10.

This grant was designed to increase the academic achievement of students in math and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers.

The grants are federally funded through Title II, Part B of the No Child Left Behind Act. Illinois’ appropriation for 2005 is approximately $5,200,000. Twenty-one IMSP partnerships will be participating in the 2005 program, set to officially begin early next month.


Helping children cope with disaster

In the wake of the tsunami devastation, Save the Children has developed a list of ten tips designed to help children cope with the images they are seeing on television and in other forms of media. The organization also provides resources and kits for teachers. Please visit for additional information.


ISBE employment opportunities

An ISBE external vacancy list is available at


Weekly news clips

Some of this week’s articles include:

"Service tax may fund education"

"Schools finally get a passing grade"

"Ranking behind in math, U.S. can't expect to excel"

"Schools struggle to reduce high teacher turnover"

"Amid testing stress, some teachers cheat"

"Some in House look to roll back Bush plans"

News clips may be accessed at: