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For Immediate Release
July 29, 2004

Nearly 450 schools see AYP improve

(Springfield) - Following a six-month data verification process of 2003 State Assessment data, the Illinois State Board of Education unveiled an new area of its web site Thursday, providing parents and educators a place to review their school's updated school status.

More than 800 schools applied for verification, and of that amount 720 schools did make changes. In the end, 448 schools saw their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status change for the better. The verification process also decreased initial estimates of 1,688 schools failing to make AYP in 2003 to 1,239.

"This was an arduous process," State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller said. "Last year, we saw the stakes raised because the No Child Left Behind Act required that schools make Adequate Yearly Progress in each student subgroup.

"Unfortunately, many of the numbers didn't add up and the ramifications could have continued for years to come if the schools didn't check that their data reflected all of their students being both tested and correctly represented."

The process began in January and ended this last month, when the Illinois State Board of Education sent schools their final AYP status and a revised AYP page from their report card. ISBE held off on releasing the web site, until all affected schools had time to review their revised AYP information. Several of those schools have contacted ISBE wanting to make additional corrections to the 2003 assessment information, but the information is now final. Schools that did participate in the data verification process signed assurances that the information was accurate, and that no further revisions would be permitted. Updated Report Cards for the 720 schools will not be available until the 2004 Report Cards are completed this fall. The process to date has cost $300,000.

"I think it's fair to say that there have been growing pains along the way," Schiller said. "But with higher standards under NCLB there is greater accountability and we have to make sure that the information that schools submit is correct."

The Illinois State Board of Education held workshops statewide to ensure that all schools file their assessment information properly. In 2003, many schools did not have their enrollment information match their test participation data and consequently saw their AYP status negatively affected.

"We are currently working with districts as they continue to review their 2004 assessment information, and will do what we can to make sure that this does not happen again next year."

Attachments will include final AYP page for all schools and link to AYP site.

bullet item Final AYP List for 2003 PDF File
bullet item Revised AYP page from 2003 Report Card for 720 Schools

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