Those of you who have known me personally for a number of years are aware that support of the arts in schools is an important issue for me. In fact, I spent a semester in music education, until I realized that I might be doing my future students a favor by switching to another teaching major! Even today, I get great personal fulfillment (and sometimes almost a spiritual rejuvenation) from attending a concert or live theatre or strolling through an art gallery.
Today marks the start of the 23rd Annual
Two items that I randomly heard about in the news last week come to mind as I write this message: First, the National Association for Music Education just announced its National Anthem Project to respond to the recent Harris poll finding that two-thirds of American adults don’t know the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I can’t help but think that the lack of knowledge surrounding this keystone of democratic awareness is due in some part to the diminution of school music programs across the country.
Second, a commentator on National Public Radio shared a statistic I had heard before: In a given year, more people attend arts performances than are present for sports contests. The arts really do touch a large number of individuals throughout their lives, making those lives richer and more meaningful. To quote a ten-year-old listed on the back of the poster we recently sent to schools to publicize this week: “Art is a wonderful thing. You probably couldn’t live without it.”
I say all of this to acknowledge my awareness of the financial stress that school districts have to address in their struggle to continue to provide arts education. Additionally (and especially during these weeks each spring), the ongoing press for test preparation related to the ISAT and PSAE also takes time and attention from the arts in schools.
But please keep up your support. We know now that learning in the arts builds new mental “schema” and cognitive pathways that contribute to each child’s creativity and intelligence. We gain nothing by lessening our attention to the arts—indeed, there is a cost in the academic and social development of our students.
Thanks for listening as always—and have a great week.
State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)
Also in today’s message:
Seeking changes in Illinois’ Accountability Workbook
There are several bills before the Illinois General
Assembly this spring that address aspects of accountability of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Districts encouraged to double-check 2004-05 Teacher Service Record data
ISBE encourages school districts to double-check their
Teacher Service Record data before the end of the current school year. The
Teacher Service Record data provides the educator information used in
Districts are encouraged to make sure that all staff
listed on their Teacher Service Record work in positions that require an
If you have any updates or have any questions about the Teacher Service Record, please contact Steve Scaife, Data Analysis and Progress Reporting at 217/782-3950 or email@example.com.
Student Assessment/enrollment counts
Thanks! Districts are finishing testing for grades three, five and eight. ISBE’s Student Assessment staff thanks everyone for all the work that goes into teaching and preparing students for the statewide tests.
Enrollment Counts -
February 28 through
For more detailed descriptions of the data collection/correction process, please visit http://www.isbe.net/assessment/htmls/schoolhouse_data.htm
Student Information System (SIS) – overview online
The passage of the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” increased accountability and reporting requirements regarding student academic achievement. In order to better respond to these and other federal and state reporting requirements, ISBE and the IBM Corporation are in the process of developing and implementing a state-level student information system. Through the project students will be assigned a unique identification number. All data to and from the state will use that unique identifier. The use of individual student records will:
An overview of the SIS plans, schedule and other details are at http://www.isbe.state.il.us/sis/
Invitation to Comment on Rules
At its February meeting, the State Board of Education released nine sets of proposed rules for public comment. The last eight of these items have now been posted on the agency’s web site at www.isbe.net/rules; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments”. Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for Public
Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision)
It has become apparent that, in at least one instance, access to a public early childhood education program has been denied to a child because of the child’s immigration status. The Governor’s Office and the State Board of Education were asked to intervene on behalf of the child’s family and ISBE has been directed to take action to prohibit denials of access such as this.
Free public education is guaranteed regardless of immigration status under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe. The present amendment to Part 1 will make this protection explicit in the rules of the State Board of Education.
This set of amendments includes miscellaneous changes that are opportune at this time.
Section 25.11(f) is being revised with respect to the definition of “four years of teaching experience” so that an individual who is approaching the end of the fourth year and who is expected to complete that year in his or her current position will be able to apply for the standard certificate.
The slight revision in each of Sections 25.22, 25.32, 25.42 and 25.82 is technical in nature. Section 25.725 was recently repealed and its currently needed content was subsumed in Section 25.720, so these references need to be updated.
The addition of a new subsection (m) to Section 25.100 will create another exception to the general model for adding endorsements in the case of “technology specialist”. Since Section 25.100 was added last year, staff has found it very difficult to determine which coursework should be counted toward a major area of concentration relevant to this endorsement. Terminology in this area varies widely and it seems the more prudent course of action to require passage of the content-area test based on the applicable standards so as to ensure that candidates are prepared to perform the functions encompassed within the technology specialist’s area. Thus we are proposing that there be only one option available for adding this endorsement (passage of the test in conjunction with completion of 24 semester hours of coursework).
Section 25.115 is being revised to clarify that the “programs” under discussion in these rules are only those that prepare individuals for certification.
Section 25.125(d) discusses the review team that is involved in the on-site accreditation review. The requirement for ISBE team members and an ISBE co-chair on visits involving NCATE accreditation is being deleted. At the same time, the role of the ISBE consultant is being clarified, i.e., this individual does participate in the visit.
The procedure outlined in Section 25.160 has proven to
contain one unnecessary step that will be eliminated in this rulemaking. When
the State Teacher
The requirement that each candidate for a school
psychologist’s credential have completed a program accredited by the National
Association of School Psychologists (Section 25.235(a)) was widely applauded
during last year’s rulemaking on this subject but has since proven to create an
untenable situation. This rule precludes the establishment of any new approved
school psychology programs in
We have determined that the long-standing rule on lapsed certificates (Section 25.450) is unnecessarily stringent in terms of the timeframe within which individuals serving on reinstated certificates must complete the statutorily required five semester hours of college credit. The proposed revision would allow semester hours earned either during the certification year of reinstatement or during the five immediately preceding years to be counted for this purpose.
Part 51 (Dismissal of Tenured Teachers)
Part 52 (Dismissal of Tenured Teachers and Civil Service Employees Under Article 34)
The procedures for the dismissal of tenured teachers in
school districts outside of the City of
Where required by the School Code, distinctions have
been made within the rules to accommodate differences between the processes for
the City of
Under the new version of the rules, hearing officers for
hearings involving the City of
The proposed amendments to Part 51 are accompanied by the repeal of Part 52 in its entirety.
Part 145 (Temporary Relocation Expenses)
As a result of the general review of these rules, it has been determined that the process for repaying loan funds to the State Board can be simplified. Instead of requiring that districts submit to ISBE the proceeds of tax levies related to these expenses within 30 days after the proceeds are received, we believe it will be sufficient for each affected district to make one payment annually, consisting of all proceeds received to that point.
It is not necessary for the State Board to receive the entire total for a given calendar year at the end of that year. Therefore, to accommodate later receipts it seems a reasonable solution to move the collection date into the early part of the subsequent year and to provide explicitly that amounts not received by the annual payment date can be held by the affected districts until the next annual payment is due. In this way it will be clear that there is no penalty for a district whose levy proceeds arrive too late to be included in the relevant annual payment.
Part 155 (Electronic Transfer of Funds)
These proposed changes represent the results of the general review of this set of rules. In addition to general technical updating, the revisions include elimination of the option for certain participants to designate multiple bank accounts for the receipt of electronically transmitted funds. We have not found that many entities have used this option, perhaps because it entails time-consuming maintenance not only on ISBE’s part but also on the part of payees.
Part 475 (Contested Cases and Other Formal Hearings)
Part 480 (Hearings Before the State Teacher
Part 475 is being generally updated and also revised to
incorporate a number of provisions that are currently found Part 480 (Hearings
Before the State Teacher
Part 475 will now require evidentiary hearings that are
under the jurisdiction of the
Others of the amendments change timeframes for notices and responses in order to give the parties more time to prepare their material. Finally, the language of the rules is generally being brought into conformance with the requirements of the IAPA and current rulemaking style. The proposed amendments to Part 475 are accompanied by the proposed repeal of Part 480.
Notice of Completed Rulemaking
Please be advised that a rulemaking item recently adopted by the State Board of Education is now in effect. This set of rules has been posted on the agency’s web site at www.isbe.net/rules; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number. (If you print only the affected Sections, remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.)
Access to Information of the State Board of Education Under the
Freedom of Information Act (Part 5001)
Several of ISBE’s Freedom of Information Act rules were repeated verbatim from the text of the Act or are otherwise adequately addressed by statute. These sections were determined to be unnecessary and have been deleted. The procedures for providing public records and the procedures for providing access to materials incorporated by reference in administrative rules were consolidated into one Subpart. While the amendments have streamlined ISBE’s FOIA rules, they do not represent a substantive change in ISBE’s FOIA procedures.
Affected Sections: 5001.100, 5001.110, 5001.210, 5001.300, 5001.310, 5001.400, 5001.410, 5001.500, 5001.510, 5001.520 and 5001.600
Technology training for educators- summer institutes
Applying for exemptions from the school breakfast requirement in the Childhood Relief Act
As a follow-up to the School Breakfast letters sent out last week, Regional Superintendents are authorized to grant exemptions to the school breakfast program requirement in the Childhood Hunger Relief Act if it is determined that the expense reimbursement would not fully cover the costs of implementing and operating a school breakfast program (provided that the circumstances are specific to the district). For more information on this option please contact your Regional Office of Education.