Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 2:02 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn 3-21-05
Good afternoon!


At its March meeting this past week, the State Board of Education adopted and forwarded to the Governor and Illinois General Assembly a Preliminary Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Elementary and Secondary Education. This effort, while being the right thing to do, is also in response to Public Act 93-1036 (previously SB 3000) which created the new educational governance structure we now have in Illinois.


The Plan focuses on three broad goal areas: Enhancing Literacy, Improving Educator Quality for All Children and Expanding Data-Informed School Management and Support Practices. Within these goal areas, specific objectives address a variety of topics—each objective also directly relates to those topic areas set forth in PA 93-1036.


The planning process is underway, but far from complete. A final version of the Plan must be submitted by September 2005. In the meantime, the Agency will hold hearings around the state to assist staff in building implementation plans to accomplish these goals. The Plan will also receive ongoing review and evaluation to ensure that it remains a meaningful instrument to provide direction for education initiatives across Illinois. Of course, you should always feel free to contact me with ideas you may have regarding the Plan document.


The goals and objectives are listed below and the entire Plan is available at our website at


Enhancing Literacy

Goal Summary

Foster increased literacy by providing support for effective instruction and broad approaches to impact all students.


Strategic Objectives


Improving Educator Quality for All Children

Goal Summary

Expand and improve the pool of highly qualified educators by supporting the preparation, recruitment and retention of educators with expertise both in content areas and child development.


Strategic Objectives


Expanding Data-Informed School Management and Support Practices

Goal Summary

Support the utilization of data to assist school districts in providing more effective operational practices, opportunities to pool shared services and flexibility in balancing their budgets to increase educational outcomes.


Strategic Objectives


Have a great week!


Randy Dunn



Also in today’s message:


Revised ISBE Organizational Chart

The Illinois State Board of Education has revised its Organizational Chart, as required by Public Act 93-1036 (previously SB 3000). The revised chart has been posted at


First day of testing enrollment

At the close of business Wednesday, March 16, 2005, Pearson Educational Measurement reported that more than 2200 Illinois schools had not entered and/or approved their First-Day Enrollments on the NCS SchoolHouse website for ISAT and IMAGE Grades 3-8. This is a critical component of AYP calculation and must be completed by no later than Monday, March 28, 2005.


One percent exception application reminder

If more than one percent of students in grades 3, 5, 8 and 11 are identified as significantly cognitively disabled, districts must prepare a request for an exception to the one percent cap. If the conditions for the exception are approved, then all progressing and attaining scores earned by students taking the Illinois Alternate Assessment (IAA) will be counted as proficient in making determinations for school, district and state AYP.


K-8 districts must apply after ISAT testing is completed (March 18 for most districts). High school and K-12 districts must pply after the PSAE makeup test dates (May 11-12). The form is available at:

Instructions are available at: For additional information please contact Pearl Schneider at 217/782-5589 or via email at


All 2004-2005 applications are due on or before June 1, 2005.


Agenda for ISBE Student Information System pilot conference call, March 23, 2005

1)         IWAS Sign-up

a)         Dates

b)         Example


2)         Submission of Test Data to ISBE SIS

a)         Purpose

b)         Dates


3)         Submission of Live data to ISBE SIS (Initial Assignment of SIDs)

a)         Purpose

b)         Dates

c)         Live Data Returned – Date


4)         ISBE SIS Pilot Training

a)         Dates

b)         Locations

c)         Times

d)         Registration 


5)         Questions / Comments


Reading improvement block grant update

The Curriculum and Instruction Division is pleased to introduce Laurie Lee, who began working at ISBE on March 1, 2005. Laurie has an extensive background in reading and will be working with the Reading Improvement Block Grant. Laurie will contact districts soon with information regarding this grant program. Please feel free to contact her by phone at 217/557-7323 or e-mail her at with any questions.


2005 Service Learning Conference

The Illinois State Board of Education’s Division of Curriculum and Instruction will co-sponsor the Annual Illinois Service Learning Conference on April 29, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel and Convention Center in Tinley Park. Other sponsors include the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, the Illinois Campus Compact, the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn.


Service learning is an instructional method in which students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized volunteer service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities. Service-learning also can be used to effectively support program implementation and many of the parent and community involvement goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), including Title I and Title I, Part H; Title III; Title IV; and Title V.


This one day conference will be of interest to teachers, students, school board members, superintendents and local community leaders involved in school-based or community-based service learning, as well as others who want to learn more about this highly effective method for promoting academic learning and student civic engagement.


Featured speakers will include Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, a passionate advocate for service learning and Illinois Teacher of the Year Deborah Perryman, an environmental education teacher and service learning expert from Elgin High School in School District U-46.


The program will include general sessions, breakout sessions and student exhibits designed to celebrate the achievements of students, school staff and community partners and to promote continuing program improvement. Among the topics to be addressed will be:


Conference brochures will be distributed soon. The registration fee of $60 for adults and $40 for students will include continental breakfast, lunch and all conference materials. The program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with check-in and breakfast available at 8 a.m. The conference is again being coordinated for the State Board by The Center: Resources for Teaching and Learning, in Des Plaines. For more information, contact the Learn and Serve America Program Director at (847) 803-3535.


Advanced placement incentive program (APIP) RFP to be released

On March 21, 2005, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Curriculum and Instruction Division will host a live webcast which will feature the details of the Advanced Placement Incentive Program Request for Proposal. A copy of the RFP can be found on the ISBE website at


A list of eligible applicants can be found on pages 11-17 of the RFP. Please review the RFP prior to the webcast so that you are acquainted with the requirements and format. Questions can be e-mailed in advance or the day of the webcast, as well as after to


Please note that eligible districts must serve grades 6-12 and have a 40 percent free or reduced lunch count. The intent of the RFP is to fund twenty-five (25) AP teams at $10,000 each.


Applications with original signatures are due to ISBE by close of business on April 4, 2005. An interactive pdf format will be available on the website by March 21, 2004. This form can be filled in on the applicant’s computer, including cover page, school listing, abstract, objectives and activities, budget and assurances, but it must be printed off and mailed. This is a competitive grant. The Curriculum and Instruction division welcomes applications from all eligible districts.


The webcast will be broadcast from a link at on March 21.


Invitation to comment on rules

At its February meeting, the State Board of Education released nine sets of proposed rules for public comment. The last eight of these items have now been posted on the agency’s website at choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments.” Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to


Deadline for Public Comment:    April 25, 2005


Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision)

It has become apparent that, in at least one instance, access to a public early childhood education program has been denied to a child because of the child’s immigration status. The Governor’s Office and the State Board of Education were asked to intervene on behalf of the child’s family and ISBE has been directed to take action to prohibit denials of access such as this.


Free public education is guaranteed regardless of immigration status under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe. The present amendment to Part 1 will make this protection explicit in the rules of the State Board of Education.


Part 25 (Certification)

This set of amendments includes miscellaneous changes that are opportune at this time.


Section 25.11(f) is being revised with respect to the definition of “four years of teaching experience” so that an individual who is approaching the end of the fourth year and who is expected to complete that year in his or her current position will be able to apply for the standard certificate.


The slight revision in each of Sections 25.22, 25.32, 25.42 and 25.82 is technical in nature. Section 25.725 was recently repealed and its currently needed content was subsumed in Section 25.720, so these references need to be updated.


The addition of a new subsection (m) to Section 25.100 will create another exception to the general model for adding endorsements in the case of “technology specialist”. Since Section 25.100 was added last year, staff have found it very difficult to determine which coursework should be counted toward a major area of concentration relevant to this endorsement. Terminology in this area varies widely and it seems the more prudent course of action to require passage of the content-area test based on the applicable standards so as to ensure that candidates are prepared to perform the functions encompassed within the technology specialist’s area. Thus we are proposing that there be only one option available for adding this endorsement (passage of the test in conjunction with completion of 24 semester hours of coursework).


Section 25.115 is being revised to clarify that the “programs” under discussion in these rules are only those that prepare individuals for certification.


Section 25.125(d) discusses the review team that is involved in the on-site accreditation review. The requirement for ISBE team members and an ISBE co-chair on visits involving NCATE accreditation is being deleted. At the same time, the role of the ISBE consultant is being clarified, i.e., this individual does participate in the visit.


The procedure outlined in Section 25.160 has proven to contain one unnecessary step that will be eliminated in this rulemaking. When the State Teacher Certification Board’s recommendation is for approval or accreditation that is not provisional or conditional, there is no need for the affected institution to submit a response and consequently no need for a 30-day waiting period before the recommendation is forwarded to the State Board of Education.


The requirement that each candidate for a school psychologist’s credential have completed a program accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (Section 25.235(a)) was widely applauded during last year’s rulemaking on this subject but has since proven to create an untenable situation. This rule precludes the establishment of any new approved school psychology programs in Illinois, because accreditation by NASP requires data on graduates. Thus a proposed new program cannot attain that accreditation.


We have determined that the long-standing rule on lapsed certificates (Section 25.450) is unnecessarily stringent in terms of the timeframe within which individuals serving on reinstated certificates must complete the statutorily required five semester hours of college credit. The proposed revision would allow semester hours earned either during the certification year of reinstatement or during the five immediately preceding years to be counted for this purpose.


Part 51 (Dismissal of Tenured Teachers)

Part 52 (Dismissal of Tenured Teachers and Civil Service Employees Under Article 34)

The procedures for the dismissal of tenured teachers in school districts outside of the City of Chicago and within the City of Chicago were previously separated into Parts 51 and 52. The proposed amendments to Part 51 represent the consolidation of these two Parts.


Where required by the School Code, distinctions have been made within the rules to accommodate differences between the processes for the City of Chicago and for districts outside of the City of Chicago. Previously, Parts 51 and 52 had duplicated the statutory requirements for the provision of reasonable warning to remove remediable conduct, approval of a motion for dismissal, notice to a teacher, selection of a hearing officer, scheduling of the hearing and suspension of a teacher pending the hearing. The new version of the rules does not include requirements that are sufficiently specified by statute, as ISBE does not want to force districts, teachers and other constituents to review both the statute and rules to determine where differences occur.


Under the new version of the rules, hearing officers for hearings involving the City of Chicago may be residents of the City of Chicago. Part 52 previously required Chicago hearing officers to be non-residents, even though the statutory restriction on resident hearing officers only applies to hearings outside of the City of Chicago. Finally, the per diem payment of $300 is no longer specified in our rules. ISBE is currently reviewing its ability to increase this per diem amount.


The proposed amendments to Part 51 are accompanied by the repeal of Part 52 in its entirety.


Part 145 (Temporary Relocation Expenses)

As a result of the general review of these rules, it has been determined that the process for repaying loan funds to the State Board can be simplified. Instead of requiring that districts submit to ISBE the proceeds of tax levies related to these expenses within 30 days after the proceeds are received, we believe it will be sufficient for each affected district to make one payment annually, consisting of all proceeds received to that point.


It is not necessary for the State Board to receive the entire total for a given calendar year at the end of that year. Therefore, to accommodate later receipts it seems a reasonable solution to move the collection date into the early part of the subsequent year and to provide explicitly that amounts not received by the annual payment date can be held by the affected districts until the next annual payment is due. In this way it will be clear that there is no penalty for a district whose levy proceeds arrive too late to be included in the relevant annual payment.


Part 155 (Electronic Transfer of Funds)

These proposed changes represent the results of the general review of this set of rules. In addition to general technical updating, the revisions include elimination of the option for certain participants to designate multiple bank accounts for the receipt of electronically transmitted funds. We have not found that many entities have used this option, perhaps because it entails time-consuming maintenance not only on ISBE’s part but also on the part of payees.


Part 475 (Contested Cases and Other Formal Hearings)

Part 480 (Hearings Before the State Teacher Certification Board)

Part 475 is being generally updated and also revised to incorporate a number of provisions that are currently found Part 480 (Hearings Before the State Teacher Certification Board). These two Parts cover similar topics and therefore lend themselves to being combined.


Part 475 will now require evidentiary hearings that are under the jurisdiction of the Certification Board (STCB) to be conducted by a hearing officer in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act (IAPA), unless the STCB specifically elects not to appoint a hearing officer. A hearing can be held in the presence of the entire Certification Board or independent of it. In any case, the STCB will make the final decision.


Others of the amendments change timeframes for notices and responses in order to give the parties more time to prepare their material. Finally, the language of the rules is generally being brought into conformance with the requirements of the IAPA and current rulemaking style. The proposed amendments to Part 475 are accompanied by the proposed repeal of Part 480.


Notice of completed rulemaking

Please be advised that a rulemaking item recently adopted by the State Board of Education is now in effect. This set of rules has 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.)


Access to information of the State Board of Education under the Freedom of Information Act (Part 5001)

Several of ISBE’s Freedom of Information Act rules were repeated verbatim from the text of the Act or are otherwise adequately addressed by statute. These sections were determined to be unnecessary and have been deleted. The procedures for providing public records and the procedures for providing access to materials incorporated by reference in administrative rules were consolidated into one Subpart. While the amendments have streamlined ISBE’s FOIA rules, they do not represent a substantive change in ISBE’s FOIA procedures.


Affected Sections: 5001.100, 5001.110, 5001.210, 5001.300, 5001.310, 5001.400, 5001.410, 5001.500, 5001.510, 5001.520 and 5001.600

Effective Date: February 22, 2005


News clips

To access highlights of this week’s news clips, please visit