ISBE Education Priorities Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              FOR INFORMATION CALL
March 2, 2001                                                                                                            (217) 782-4648

March 2, 2001

Chicago – Illinois State Board of Education staff last month made good progress to address the State Board’s five education priorities of Standards/Assessment/Accountability; High Quality Educators; Reading and Mathematics; Early Learning (Birth to 8); and Schools in Academic Difficulty.

Here is a synopsis of highlights of some of the work done in the last month. The complete Board Priority Report is available through the State Board’s Communications division at (217) 782-4648 or by clicking


  • Completed all of the pilot tests for ISAT
  • Completed classroom assessments for 55 standards at 10 grade levels
  • Completed plans for the 16 Prairies State Achievement Exam (PSAE) Test Administration Workshops to be held Feb. 26-March 9
  • Completed final draft of PSAE manuals and student, school and district reports

Early Learning Initiative (Birth through 8):

  • Mailed 2,800 Guidelines for the 26th annual Young Authors Conference to all public and non-public schools (K-8). The conference is a collaborative project between ISBE/Early Childhood and the Illinois Reading Council
  • Met with Head Start Collaboration Office and the Department of Human Services to discuss the Heads Up! Reading initiative in Illinois
  • Met with Futures for Kids, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Department of Human Services and Workforce Advantage to discuss early childhood initiatives and possible collaborations

Reading and Mathematics:

  • Developed outline and major components of an Administrator Academy for recognizing and supporting best practices in mathematics using Mathematics Materials for Teachers of Teachers (M2T2) materials
  • Began discussions and planned meeting to design training for post-secondary personnel using M2T2 materials
  • Oversaw printing of the first in the Educators’ Reading Monograph series. Distribution plans call for the statewide distribution of over 50,000 copies
  • Hosted a proposal writing feedback session for districts writing Reading Excellence Act grant proposals. Representatives from 11 of the 16 qualifying districts attended

Schools in Academic Difficulty:

  • Received federal grant award ($5.6 million) for Title I accountability
  • Completed East St. Louis School District comprehensive educational audit
  • Initiated comprehensive educational audits in Posen-Robbins, Rockford, St. Anne High School and Cahokia
  • Began assisting schools to select appropriate interventions

Quality Educators:

  • To date, Certificate Renewal staff has made 720 presentations statewide to about 82,000 people on the certificate renewal process
  • Thirty-six workshops have been held with Local Professional Development Committees since the Certificate Renewal Manual was published in October 2000
  • To date, 1,356 professional development provider applications have been approved
  • Have convened six meetings for Administrators’ Academy to discuss new standards and obtain agreement from partners.