Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 11:46 AM
Subject: Web Links Corrected - Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn - April 18, 2005

Web links in this week's have been corrected below:


Good afternoon.


Last week I promised to use this week's message as an opportunity to discuss the specific amendments we are seeking to make to Illinois' NCLB Accountability Workbook. State Board staff will be traveling to Washington D.C. this week to discuss those amendments with representatives from the U.S. Department of Education.


But if I could beg your indulgence, I would like to wait until next week's message to discuss the proposed changes.  At that time I will also be able to share general information regarding our visit to Washington. Instead, I would like to use this week's message as a venue for discussing yet another timely issue that affects many Illinois school districts.


As such, my missive to you today seeks to share progress on our efforts to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) by standardizing the English assessment of our Limited English Proficient students.  I wanted to focus on this issue in today's message as we are about to take a major step forward in this area—one that I believe will be highly beneficial in the long run.


As you know, the No Child Left Behind Act (Title III) requires that all K-12 English Language Learners be assessed annually for English proficiency and growth, as well as academic progress (per Title I).  Additionally, those assessments must be aligned to the State’s academic content area standards.  As a member of a ten-state consortium known as WIDA, last year Illinois adopted the new English Language Proficiency Standards, which were developed in conjunction with the other member states.  These standards, developed and adopted for all classroom teachers’ use, should help you develop district curriculum and improvement plans to better target and meet the needs of this student population.


We are also ready to move forward in fully implementing our new English language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLsTM (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners).  A bridge study for ACCESS is already underway.  I do want to take a moment to thank the 5,000 students and their schools, test administrators, and cooperating districts for participating in the study.   This bridge study (which is a required component of NCLB) compares the previous English proficiency standards with the standards designed to correlate with this English language test.  A work product of the bridge study will include a conversion chart that allows ISBE to compare ACCESS scores to current State-approved English language proficiency tests. 


Starting this fall, ACCESS will be the test given to all ELLs identified as Limited English Proficient, and will serve as our only state-approved English Language Proficiency test.  Adoption of this test will benefit schools and districts as the cost of assessment will now be borne by the State and data quality for this important student population will be more consistent.


In July we will begin providing “Train the Trainer” sessions on ACCESS for district-level facilitators; these facilitators will then train your district’s actual test administrators.  All of this training must be completed in time for testing to begin this fall.  It is critical that facilitators attend one of the five regional sessions below to complete their own ACCESS training: 



2005 Dates



July 11-12

College of Lake County, Grayslake


July 13-14

Lewis University, Romeoville


July 15-16

Harper Community College, Palatine


July 18-19

Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield


July 21-22

Carterville Community College, Carterville


As applicable, please make sure that someone in your district is assigned to participate in a “Train the Trainer” session.  Your program directors will also be receiving this information along with instructions for registration.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Division of English Language Learning at 312-814-3850. 


I would also like to draw attention to one aspect of the rule changes in today’s message that have been proposed in Parts 1 and 25.  An earlier decision to leave certain middle-grades requirements in place will be reversed by these amendments.  The requirements for a middle-grades endorsement for “reading teacher” or “library information specialist” are being changed to 24 semester hours in order to match the increased requirements instituted for those fields in last June’s rulemaking.


To be sure there is sufficient notice, and to resolve any remaining confusion surrounding the implementation of the reading change, the timeline for these changes has been significantly extended.  Reading teachers at all levels will now be able to qualify for that endorsement on the basis of the “old” 18-hour requirement, provided that they apply for the endorsement by June 30, 2006 (not 2005), and have completed the 18 semester hours either by that date or within one year after the issuance of a deficiency statement.  As is currently the case, teachers who meet these criteria will not be affected by the increase to 24 semester hours.  Please refer to Sections 1.720, 1.745, 1.755, and 25.100, and do feel free to send us any comments you may have.


Finally, a reminder that the State Board of Education meets in Springfield on Wednesday and Thursday, April 20-21.


Have a great week!

Randy Dunn



Also in today’s message:

Invitation to comment on rules

Six sets of proposed rules that were reviewed by the State Board of Education at its March meeting are now available for public comment.  These items have 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 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision)

Two separate aspects of Part 1 are involved in the present set of amendments.


Pupil Transportation

Existing Section 1.510 is being expanded to encompass nearly all of the current material in Part 275 of the rules (Pupil Transportation).  A new Section 1.515 is also being added to set forth the training requirements for individuals who train school bus drivers.  Insertion of this material will allow ISBE to repeal Part 275 in its entirety and include all district transportation-related requirements in one location.


Qualifications of Personnel

All the revisions in Section 1.630 are being made for technical reasons only.  Since this Section was amended last year, it has been clarified that individuals who only conduct parental involvement activities and do not perform any other paraprofessional duties are not required to be qualified as paraprofessionals; that illustration will be struck from subsection (b)(1).  At the same time, we think it advisable to insert into subsection (b)(3) some additional language that conveys specific federal requirements for the work of individuals who provide instructional support (paraprofessionals).  Finally, there will be new material in Part 25 setting forth requirements for educational interpreters; accordingly, subsection (e) will be incomplete without the insertion of a reference to those provisions.


Most of the changes in Sections 1.720, 1.745, and 1.755 will eliminate a discrepancy in requirements that resulted from the comprehensive changes that took effect June 1, 2004.


At the time of that rulemaking, it was our intention not to change the requirements for teachers in the departmentalized middle-grades because other work on middle-grades credentials was in progress.  Therefore, the existing requirements in Section 1.720 were stated to remain in place and to apply as exceptions to the new provisions for endorsements that are found in Section 25.100 of the rules for certification.  The subject-area requirement for a middle-grades endorsement involves 18 semester hours of college credit, and the requirement for reading at all grade levels was also 18 semester hours until the rules changed in June of 2004.  As a result, 24 semester hours are now required for reading at the elementary and high school levels, while the number of semester hours required for a middle-grades endorsement has stayed the same.  The same changes were made with respect to library information specialists, and we know that the 24-18-24 “hourglass” is leading to confusion in the field.  Because the generally applicable requirements for these two fields have been increased, it seems far preferable to make the requirements for these fields uniform across all grade levels. 


With this in mind, new language is being inserted into subsections (a)(4) and (5) of Section 1.720, which deal with these two fields in the middle-grades.  The effect of these changes will be to institute the 24-semester-hour requirement at the middle-grades.  By extending the time period during which applications for endorsements in reading based on the 18 semester hours can be accepted, we will give adequate notice of the change.  The same extension will also be afforded to those at other grade levels.  Like deficiency statements for endorsements in other fields, the rule is also being changed so that these endorsements will be honored for one year after their date of issue.


The new subsection (b)(4) in Section 1.720 is intended to clarify the fact that assignment based on meeting minimum requirements is also available in the middle grades.


The amendment to Section 1.737 makes clear that for teachers of Safety and Driver Education, the “minimum requirements” for the endorsement are the same as the long-standing requirements. There is no content-area test in this field, so there is no feasible way to set minimum requirements that differ from the full set of requirements for that endorsement.


Deadline for public comment: May 23, 2005.


Part 25 (Certification)

This set of amendments addresses a number of disparate issues that have been identified within the rules and makes several technical corrections.


Accessibility of Special K-12 Certificates and Supervisory Endorsements

(Sections 25.37 and 25.497)


Section 25.37 sets forth the method by which subsequent certificates may be issued.  An amendment making the special K-12 certificate available to certain teachers as a subsequent certificate via a streamlined procedure will serve to address a shortage of teachers who are able to serve as department chairs and supervise other staff.  Section 21-4 of the School Code authorizes special certificates to be endorsed for supervision, but that authorization is not provided for early childhood, elementary, or secondary certificates.  However, few preparation programs lead to the issuance of a special certificate in various subject areas.  Consequently, many high school teachers hold secondary certificates, and high schools may lack sufficient personnel authorized to perform certain supervisory functions.


An individual who holds a secondary certificate has completed a great deal of the requirements for the special certificate in the same subject area:  an approved program, the coursework required in a major field of specialization, the pre-student teaching clinical experience, and the student teaching (and, in all recent cases, the Basic Skills test and Content-Area test).  We believe that the “gap” between the secondary certificate and the special certificate can adequately be filled by requiring passage of the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test that is relevant to the special certificate; that test encompasses the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, technology standards, and English language arts standards that apply to all teachers across the full range of grades.


Therefore, we believe ISBE can reasonably facilitate secondary teachers’ access to supervisory endorsements by enabling them to attain K-12 certification. If a secondary teacher meets the additional requirements for supervision that are imposed by Section 21-4 of the School Code, he or she can then acquire that endorsement.


Section 25.497, which currently discusses only supervisory endorsement of the school service personnel certificate, is being revised to acknowledge the availability of this endorsement on teaching certificates as well.  The relevant sections of the School Code establish the same requirement for graduate-level coursework in each case, and that requirement does not need to be restated in the rule.  The rule need only establish the content that the coursework is required to address.


Requirements for Teachers in the Middle-Grades

(Section 25.100)

The revision to Section 25.100(k) will eliminate a discrepancy in requirements that resulted from the comprehensive changes that took effect June 1, 2004.


At the time of that rulemaking, it was our intention not to change the requirements for teachers in the departmentalized middle-grades because other work on middle-grades credentials was in progress.  Therefore, Section 25.100(k) stated that the existing requirements in Section 1.720 would remain in place and would apply as exceptions to the new provisions for endorsements.  The subject-area requirement for a middle-grades endorsement involves 18 semester hours of college credit, and the requirement for reading at all grade levels was also 18 semester hours until the rules changed in June of 2004.  As a result, 24 semester hours are now required for reading at the elementary and high school levels, while the number of semester hours required for a middle-grades endorsement has stayed the same.  The same changes were made with respect to library information specialists, and we know that the 24-18-24 “hourglass” is leading to confusion in the field.  Because the generally applicable requirements for these two fields have been increased, it seems far preferable to make the requirements for these fields uniform across all grade levels.  The revision to Section 25.100(k) corresponds to other changes being made at this time in Part 1 of the rules.


Requirements for School Social Workers and School Counselors

(Sections 25.215 and 25.225)

The changes in these two Sections represent a technical correction only.  Section 25.720 has recently been revised to reflect the legislative changes that affect testing for out-of-state candidates, and the internal cross-references need to be updated.  This correction is also being made at this time in Sections 25.245 and 25.252, whose substantive aspects are discussed below.


Requirements for School Nurses

(Sections 25.245 and 25.425)

The current rule for school nurses requires an evaluation of the preparation of out-of-state applicants with respect to the relevant content-area standards.  Rather than requiring these applicants to seek certification through Illinois-approved programs, the certification staff recommends a simpler method relying upon the existing degree and licensure requirements, the completion of an out-of-state program or certificate, and the Illinois standards-based examination.  This change requires a corresponding change in Section 25.425 (Individuals Prepared in Out-of-State Institutions), which will make school nurses subject to that Section’s general provisions rather than providing for an exception.


Short-Term Authorization

(Section 25.464)

It has come to our attention that the list of entities given in the introduction to this rule omits regional offices of education.  The point of the rule is to permit short-term authorization to be issued to any entity that is required to employ certified staff. So that no entity will be unintentionally left out, we have determined that the list should be replaced with a statement to that effect.



(Section 25.510)

The change to this Section is a technical one, reflecting the recent proposed repeal of Part 480 and the inclusion of its remaining distinctive provisions within Part 475.


Educational Interpreters

(Section 25.550)

Public Act 90-200, enacted in 1997, established requirements for individuals who wish to represent themselves as interpreters for the deaf; the Act exempted educational interpreters, among others, from those requirements.  Instead, the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission was established and required to work with ISBE to develop recommended requirements for interpreters who serve in schools.


The content of new Section 25.550 conveys the requirements that have been developed under P.A. 92-200.  There are two types of interpreters: sign language interpreters and cued speech interpreters. Approval for each type will be available at the initial, standard, and master levels.  Emergency approval will also be available.  Although the levels are modeled on the teacher certification structure, there is no requirement that an individual progress through lower levels to reach higher ones.  Each applicant can be approved to reflect the level of educational attainment and interpreting skill that he or she has demonstrated.  Standard and master approval will be renewable based upon evidence of having completed specified continuing education.


Requirements for Approved Providers of Continuing Professional Development Activities

(Section 25.855)

Section 25.855(c)(1) currently requires that approved providers notify the State Board of Education in advance of the first offering of any new activity in the fields for which the providers are approved.  This requirement has proven cumbersome in that it results in a large volume of paperwork without any substantive value in terms of quality.  Consequently agency staff recommends its deletion.


Deadline for public comment: May 23, 2005.


Part 120 (Pupil Transportation Reimbursement)

These amendments result from the comprehensive review of the agency’s rules.  In addition to streamlining and general technical updating, these changes include elimination of the requirement for the “Resident Pupils Transported Work Sheet” from Section 120.110.


Deadline for public comment: May 23, 2005.


Repeal of Part 275 (Pupil Transportation)

Existing Section 1.510 within the rules for Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision is being expanded to encompass nearly all the current material in Part 275.  A new Section 1.515 is also being added to set forth the training requirements for individuals who train school bus drivers.  Insertion of this material will allow ISBE to repeal Part 275 in its entirety and include all district transportation-related requirements in one location.


Deadline for public comment: May 23, 2005.


Repeal of Part 1100 (Procurement by the State Board of Education)

New Part 1105 (Procurement by the State Board of Education)

This rulemaking effort results from the comprehensive review of the agency’s rules.  When the Procurement Code was adopted in 1998, the State Board of Education was directed by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to adopt administrative rules implementing the new Code.  JCAR’s Executive Director outlined two options for ISBE:  (i) adopt rules naming the Chief Procurement Officer for the Board or naming the CMS CPO as ISBE’s Chief Procurement Officer, and then cross-reference CMS rules in their entirety, or (ii) develop totally separate rules.  ISBE chose to develop totally separate rules, although these rules do not differ in any substantive way from the procurement rules adopted by CMS.  As a result, ISBE staff and Board time must be spent adopting amendments to ISBE’s procurement rules to reflect changes in law to the Procurement Code.  In addition, the General Counsel believes that the incorporation of CMS’ rules is more consistent with the Procurement Code’s structure and intent.


Therefore, existing Part 1100 is being repealed at this time and replaced with a new, much shorter Part that relies upon the rules of the Department of Central Management Services


Deadline for Public Comment:           May 31, 2005


Release of the 2005 School District Financial Profile

At this week's Board meeting, Board members will be reviewing the 2005 School District Financial Profiles.  The Profile, which gives each district a designation of Financial Recognition, Finance Review, Financial Early Warning or Financial Watch, is based on the Annual Financial Reports (AFRs) from Fiscal Year 2004.


If the Board approves the 2005 Profiles on Thursday, details will be available on our website at on Friday, April 22.  For further information, please contact Lou Ferratier or Ken Wargo at or respectively, or by calling 217-785-8779.


SCHOOLHOUSE reminder from Student Assessment

Please note that all 2004 assessment reports will be removed from the SchoolHouse web site at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2005. It is necessary to remove the 2004 assessment reports before the 2005 data correction windows for grades 3 through 8 open on May 2, 2005. If your district would like to retrieve these reports from SchoolHouse, please download them prior to this date. Pearson will charge districts to retrieve the reports after that date.


If needed, follow these steps to download your 2004 assessment reports.


Go to; log in by entering the User ID and Password sent to you from Pearson; click on the REPORTS tab; from the Test drop down menu, select “Reports-Demographics Spring 2004;” select the reports you would like to save or print

(.PDF reports require Adobe Acrobat to open .CSV reports can be opened in Excel).


Please visit for detailed descriptions of the 2005 data correction windows and activities.


Last chance to register

Schools that have been identified as piloting the new ISBE Student Information System are advised to attend a half-day session designed to demonstrate the features of this system and provide hands-on practice for school staff who will be managing it. Each participating school district should send one or two participants. The training will be offered at four locations around the state. Registration and logistical information is included.


The next ISBE SIS Pilot Conference Call is scheduled for April 20th, 2005. The calls will take place between 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The call-in number is 1-800-640-0097. The confirmation number is 1 1 1 9 5 0 9 3. You will be asked to give your name and school district or company.


Professional Development Needs Assessment Survey

In conjunction with our efforts to prepare an application for a federal special education grant for State Personnel Development, the Illinois State Board of Education is seeking your input on the professional development needs of school personnel and parents in the state.  The grant is designed to support “projects that assist state education agencies in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities.”  ISBE is interested in focusing the grant application on establishing a regionalized system of professional development that will ultimately help school districts better meet certain NCLB and IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) requirements, particularly those related to student performance. 


In order to prioritize the areas in which professional development will be provided, we are asking that school administrative, instructional, and related services personnel, along with parents, complete a Professional Development Needs Assessment Survey.  The survey may be accessed at  and will be available from April 18 through April 30, 2005.  It will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Questions about the survey may be directed to Kathryn Cox at or 217-782-5589.


State TBE/TPI and federal Title III consolidated application workshops

The Division of English Language Learning (DELL) is offering a series of five, free workshops to facilitate submission of the State Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE)/ Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) and Federal Title III Consolidated Application for FY06.  Please be aware that there are several changes to the FY06 electronic document. 


The five workshops include three in the Chicago area, one in Springfield and one in Carterville.  All registrations must be made through the Illinois Resource Center and mailed in to the Center. DO NOT FAX OR SEND REGISTRATIONS TO ISBE.  To download information and the registration form please go to


For questions about the workshops or the application please call DELL at 312-814-3850.


The sessions are scheduled as follows:

Palatine - Thursday, April 28, 2005; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Harper College, Wojcik Conference Center Auditorium

1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine, Illinois 60067, 847-348-5100



Springfield - Friday, April 29, 2005; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Lincoln Land Community College, Workforce Development Resource Ctr., Classrooms 2-3 5250 Sheppard Road, Springfield, Illinois 62794, 217-786-2200



Elgin - Tuesday, May 3, 2005; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Elgin Community College, Segal Auditorium

1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, Illinois 60123, 847-697-1000



Lake County - Wednesday, May 4, 2005; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: College of Lake County, High Schools Technology Campus facility

19351 W. Washington, Grayslake, Illinois 60030, 847-543-2430




Carterville -  Thursday, May 5, 2005; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

John A. Logan Community College, Workforce Development Building, Room H127

700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 618-985-2828



Illinois Learn and Serve America grants awarded

Forty-five Illinois school districts and regional programs have been awarded K-12 School-Based Learn and Serve America (LSA) two-year grants to support incorporation of service-learning into their local schools and regional special education, vocational education, and alternative education programs.


The State Board’s Learn and Serve America program is designed to enhance student academic learning, social-emotional development, civic responsibility and leadership, and student volunteer service to their communities by encouraging the use of service-learning as a teaching methodology in all Illinois K-12 elementary and secondary schools. This approach combines meaningful student service to the community with inquiry-based learning, aligned with Illinois academic and social-emotional learning standards.


The recipients of the grants include: Chicago Public Schools 299, Elgin U-46, Sangamon County ROE 51, Community Unit School District 300, Thornton 205, South Cook ISC 4, Berwyn South 100, Newark 18, Sesser-Valier 196, South Holland 150, Knox County ROE 33, West 40 ICS 2, Charleston 1, Iroquois-Kankakee County ROE 32, Park Forest-Chicago Heights 163, North Suburban Special Education District, Waukegan 60, Homewood 153, Oak Grove 68, Sterling 5, Community High School District 94, West Northfield 31, Adams/Pike ROE 1, Cornell 426, Alden-Hebron 19, Rural Champaign County Special Education, Wabash 348, South Holland 151, Lewistown 97, Atwood-Hammond 39, Special Education District of Lake County, Sparta 140, Norris City-Omaha-Enfield 3, Carmi-White Country 5, Jersey 100, Tazewell County ROE 53, Iroquois West 10, Mannheim 83, Plainfield 202, Vermillion Vocational Education Delivery System, Des Plaines 62, DeKalb County ROE 16, North Shore 112, New Trier 203, and Bushnell-Prairie 170.


The grants are provided through funding from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, under Title B of the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-82).  Illinois’ appropriation for 2005 is approximately $800,000.


Video tool kit for Refugee and Bilingual Program students

Two videos that premiered last fall at the “Challenges and Opportunities in Educating Refugee Children Conference" are now available as part of a video tool kit.  The videos, “Welcoming New Learners: A Professional Development Tool” and “In Our Country: Educating Newcomers in American Schools,” were developed by the Illinois Refugee Children School Impact Grant (RCSIG) program (comprised of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Public Schools).  The productions are based upon conversations with newcomer refugee children and parents, refugees who have been in the United States for some time, and their teachers (including some teachers who themselves had been refugees). 


These videos generated a very positive response from conference participants representing educators and refugee social service agency staff from Illinois and 16 other states.  Both videos are part of a tool kit that includes:

While created for use with refugee students and their parents, these videos also have value in assisting non-refugee immigrants to understand life in American schools.  The professional development video provides valuable background about the lives of newcomers and relates life experiences to pedagogic concepts of educational and social integration of new students into school life.


For further information about the Illinois RCSIG Video Tool Kit, please contact Sherry Johnson, RCSIG coordinator for the Illinois State Board of Education, at 312-814-3850 or .  The videos and study guide are also available at.


"Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings"

Schools frequently offer opportunities for students and staff to learn more about animals that involve contact with those animals (e.g., field trips to petting zoos or farms, animal exhibits that visit schools, and animals housed in schools).  A recent outbreak of an intestinal, bacterial infection due to Escherichia coli O157:H7 is probably linked to petting zoos in Florida. This outbreak illustrates one of the risks associated with public contact with animals. 


In an effort to reduce such risks, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued the annual "Compendium of Measures To Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings" for 2005; that document is attached. 


The Compendium considers the various human health risks associated with contact with animals. Risks include intestinal disease infections, injuries, and exposure to rabies and other infections (including those caused by bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic agents).  The report outlines recommendations for managing public and animal contact, and guidelines for visiting animals and bringing animals into the school building. It also contains recommendations for animal care and management. The single most important disease prevention recommendation from the report is simply to wash hands after exposure to animals.


Schools are encouraged to review the information in the report and use the guidelines to minimize risks due to animal contact.  IDPH understands the benefits of human-animal contact and hopes this information will be useful in continuing to provide these opportunities to students while minimizing any heath risks involved.


Weekly newsclips

This week’s clips may be accessed at