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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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May 6, 2003

State Board of Education approves graduation and attendance rate targets for Adequate Yearly Progress under federal No Child Left Behind law

High schools would have to meet specific graduation rate targets adopted April 30 by the State Board of Education as one aspect of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In addition, elementary and middle schools would need to meet attendance rate requirements as one aspect of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress.

No Child Left Behind requires schools to have 95% test participation and meet achievement targets as well as one additional academic indicator in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress criteria under the law. The State Board previously adopted graduation rate as the additional academic indicator for high schools and attendance rate for elementary and middle schools.

In 2003, high schools would initially need to have a 65% graduation rate. The required graduation rate for AYP would increase gradually to reach the ultimate target of 85% by 2014, under the schedule adopted by the State Board.

Elementary and middle schools would need an attendance rate of 88% in 2003, a target rate that would increase to 92% by 2014.

The State Board previously adopted achievement targets for determining AYP that move from 40% meeting or exceeding standards in reading and mathematics on the 2003 test to 100% meeting or exceeding standards by 2014. Achievement targets would apply, for reading and for mathematics, to the entire group of students within a school as well as eight demographic groups of students within the school. The same calculations will also apply to districts.

The targets adopted by the State Board were recommended by the Assessment and Accountability Task Force, which has been studying various assessment and accountability issues since being appointed by State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller in September 2002.

Additional Time for State Tests

The Task Force raised concerns that many students could not complete Illinois Standards Achievement Tests within the allotted time, suggesting that students be allowed additional time to demonstrate fully their knowledge of the Illinois Learning Standards. The State Board responded to this concern by proposing to increase the time for each ISAT test by five minutes “if that would not exceed the maximum amount specified in state law for ISAT testing.”

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777