Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 5:36 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn - June 6, 2005
Good afternoon,


I think most everyone here in Springfield has now sufficiently recovered from the end-of-session excitement and is getting our work underway to implement the education legislation passed from a very busy spring political season.  More will be forthcoming in future weeks on these matters. 


Also, with respect to FY06 budget figures: For those of you who haven’t checked yet, if you go to the ISBE web site and click on “Budget,” you will see your Preliminary Estimated FY06 District allocations for General State Aid, GSA Hold Harmless and selected categorical programs.  Now, do we need to qualify our language on this even more (i.e., “preliminary,” “estimated”)?  The FY06 General State Aid, Hold Harmless and School Safety and Educational Improvement Block Grant will be finalized this summer.  However, the FY06 categorical programs cannot be finalized until all claims are received next fiscal year.  As such, the FY06 Transitional Assistance is estimated and won’t be finalized until next May, so be careful about placing these exact figures in your FY06 budgets as they stand now.  Did I say they’re estimates?


Now, to shift gears a bit: A large-scale effort has been underway here at ISBE without a great deal of fanfare and I wanted to take a few moments today and talk about it. 


We are moving forward with the rollout of our Student Information System (, a means for creating permanent and unique state student identification numbers.  This is a project that many other states now have underway as well and it is really driven by the requirements of NCLB.  A unique identification number for every individual student is necessary to provide better data for following a student’s progress over time, while reducing the overall data collection burden on schools and districts.  The identification number is not associated with any student demographic information or social security number.  


We are now “live” with the system and creating permanent state student IDs for our pilot districts in this project.  Allendale School District No. 17 was the first district in the state to have identification numbers assigned.  This massive project is moving forward in phases.  We are just completing Phase 1 as of June 30 with the district pilots.  In Phase 2, which will occur during FY06, ISBE will be conducting training starting in late July/early August as we move toward the collection of SIS data statewide beginning this September.


I sense that in some school systems, the importance and impact of this SIS initiative has slipped under the radar.  It really is a sea change in the way we collect data and make it more relevant for use by districts and schools.  To be sure, it is an essential component of any value-added assessment and accountability model we may want to consider for the future.  Many people have worked on this project at the Agency over the past year and special kudos go to Dr. Connie Wise, Administrator for Data Analysis, Terry Chamberlain, Administrator for Data Systems and Dennis Powell, Principal Consultant, Data Systems for providing the leadership on this project.  Stay tuned…there will be much more to come on this.


Have a great week,

Randy Dunn



Also in today’s message:

            Editing of schoolhouse data and posted test results

            New deadline for FY 05 NCLB consolidated amendments

            2004-05 General State Aid claim statutory dates

            NHTSA restates rollover warning for users of 15-passenger vans

            The school report card data collection forms on IWAS-reminder

            Kindergarten focus groups

            ISBE employment opportunities

            News clips


Editing of schoolhouse data and posted test results

Student Assessment Division staff would like to thank all district personnel who worked on correcting demographic data posted on SchoolHouse for tested students—grades 3 through 8—who took ISAT, IMAGE or IAA.  This first post-test correction window for grades 3 - 8 closed June 1.


Grades 3 – 8 - test scores and editing - There will be another opportunity to make needed changes during a second correction window that opens June 20. During this second post-test correction window, you will again be able to make edits to first-day-of-testing enrollment counts and to demographic information for tested students.


On June 20, test scores for students in grades 3-8 who took ISAT, IMAGE or IAA will be posted on the “Reports” tab of SchoolHouse.  Discrepancy reports will be updated daily on IWAS starting on June 21.


Grade 11 data editing - From June 13 until July 1, demographic data for tested grade 11 students who took PSAE, IMAGE or IAA will be posted on SchoolHouse.  For the PSAE, posted records will reflect scored Day 2 answer documents only.


During this first post-test correction window, you will be able to make edits to first-day-of-testing enrollment counts and to demographic information for tested students. No discrepancy reports will be available during this first post-test correction window for grade 11 since posted PSAE records will be based on Day 2 testing only.


Test scores for Grade 11 will NOT be posted until late July.


More schoolhouse editing info coming - Next week, the Student Assessment Division will send via this email listserv a “one pager” on process and procedures for the correction work to be done on SchoolHouse.  Please look for this information and pass it to the appropriate personnel.


All data corrections must be FINAL by August 22. 


Districts that are not working to clean up their data will be contacted by either ISBE or Pearson Educational Measurement staff.


For more details, please go to


New deadline for FY 05 NCLB consolidated amendments

Last week, the deadlines for transmitting NCLB Consolidated and Early Childhood Block Grant amendments/applications were suspended due to technical problems with the electronic Grants Management System (e-GMS).  The technical problems have been resolved and a new deadline of JUNE 15, 2005 has been set for transmitting final FY 05 NCLB Consolidated amendments for projects that end on June 30.


You may continue to transmit FY 06 initial applications for the NCLB Consolidated and Early Childhood Block Grant (Birth-3 and 3-5 continuation) programs.  Please note that any FY 06 initial grants transmitted to the Illinois State Board of Education after July 1 will be issued start dates on the date that they are received.


If you experience any further technical problems please contact the ISBE Call Center at 217-558-3600 during business hours: Monday - Friday, 7 AM - 5 PM.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.


2004-05 General State Aid claim statutory dates

The statutory dates are fast approaching for all school districts and regional offices of education to transmit the 2004-05 General State Aid claim.  Please note that per Section 18-12 of the Illinois School Code all school district claims must be transmitted to the appropriate Regional Offices of Education for districts with an official school calendar end date before June 15 or within 2 weeks following the official school calendar end date for districts with a school year end date of June 15 or later.


The regional superintendent shall certify and file with the State Superintendent of Education district State Aid Claims by July 1 for districts with an official school calendar end date before June 15 or no later than July 15 for districts with an official school calendar end date of June 15 or later.  Failure to so file by these deadlines constitutes a forfeiture of the right to receive payment by the State until such claim is filed and vouchered for payment.  Questions about the General State Aid Claim can be directed to Jim Mathes, Division of Funding and Disbursements, via email at or by phone 217-782-5256.


NHTSA restates rollover warning for users of 15-passenger vans

On May 26, 2005 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new research that reinforces its existing concerns about 15-passenger vans.  Please see the full text of their press release and findings at  In addition please see the ISBE’s Fact Sheet on 15-passenger vans at


Federal law prohibits the sale or lease of 15-passenger vans for the school-related transport of high school age and younger students.  NHTSA believes that school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation in this country and therefore strongly recommends that all buses that are used to transport school children be certified as meeting NHTSA's school bus safety standards.  Further, using 12 to15-passenger vans that do not meet the school bus standards to transport students could result in increased liability in the event of a crash.


The Illinois School Code in Section 29-6.3 authorizes school districts to transport up to 15 students to and from interscholastic or other school-sponsored activities over non-regular routes of the district in a van that does not meet the requirements of a school bus.  School-sponsored activities are activities of a district that do not require student participation as part of the students’ regular credit schedule and the required five clock hours of instruction.


If you have any questions about School Bus Safety issues, please contact Cinda Meneghetti, Division of Funding and Disbursements, via email at or by phone at 217-782-5256.

The school report card data collection forms on IWAS-reminder

The School Report Card Data Collection form (86-43) is on IWAS and available for your use.  The deadline for submitting the data is June 15, 2005. Since the attendance and graduation rates are automatically calculated as part of the data submission process, please make a copy of the form before it is approved and submitted. These rates will be used in AYP calculations for your school and district.


Kindergarten focus groups

The Illinois State Board of Education, Division of Early Childhood Education, in conjunction with Regional Office of Education #27, is holding a series of focus groups for kindergarten teachers and administrators. The purpose of the meetings is to identify critical issues and challenges specific to kindergarten Those identified as greatest concerns will serve as a guide for crafting a network of kindergarten support.


Meetings are scheduled as follows:

June 10, 20059 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Four Points Sheraton - 319 Fountains Parkway - Fairview Heights, IL


June 17, 20059 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Double Tree Hotel - 5000 W. 127th Street - Alsip, IL


June 24, 20059 a.m. to 3 p.m.

IEA Professional Development Center - 3440 Liberty Drive - Springfield, IL


To register or for more information, please contact:

Jodi Scott, Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools

ROE #27

200 West Broadway

Monmouth, IL 61462

Phone 309/734-6822,

Or e mail


ISBE employment opportunities

External Vacancy List (05-13), was recently released and can be accessed through the following link:


News clips

This week’s news clips are available at