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Archived Releases

News Center – 2015


April 20, 2015 -- Illinois community colleges approve use of PARCC for class placement
Students who earn certain scores on new PARCC assessment will be placed directly into credit-bearing classes
Illinois community college presidents have agreed to start using the state’s new elementary and high school assessment results to determine a student’s readiness for college-level courses. This decision means students who earn certain scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam can be placed directly into classes that earn credit toward their college degree without spending extra time and money on other placement exams or remedial courses.

April 15, 2015 -- State Board of Education names Dr. Tony Smith new State Superintendent of Education
Longtime educator and former Oakland, California, superintendent selected to lead Illinois’ K-12 education agency
The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday named longtime educator and administrator Dr. Tony Smith as the 28th Illinois State Superintendent of Education at its regular April meeting. Smith currently works as the executive director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, which annually awards more than $5 million in grants that support children’s development and education.

April 7, 2015 -- ISBE Chairman Meeks challenges ESL community to find a reading mentor for every third-grader
Six-week challenge begins April 11
Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks challenged the East St. Louis community to volunteer their Saturday mornings reading with third-graders to improve the students’ skills and prepare them for academic success. The “Read to Succeed” challenge begins Saturday, April 11, and will run for six consecutive Saturdays through May 16.

April 6, 2015 -- First PARCC test administration off to a smooth start
Students will take the second portion of the two-part PARCC assessment starting in late April and early May
Schools across the state report a strong start for the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment and praise the new exam’s utility, technological features and ability to engage students.


March 19, 2015 -- Illinois school finances continue to show impact of economic downturn and fewer state education dollars
ISBE analysis shows 64 percent of school districts expected to deficit spend
Illinois school district finances continue to show the strain of operating with fewer funds from federal, state and local sources, according to an annual statewide review of financial data by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The number of districts earning ISBE’s top financial rating dropped again this year while those districts that are projected to deficit spend this school year increased to 550 (or 64.2 percent) of all districts.

March 16, 2015 -- Illinois Green School Award Recipient Named
Mt. Prospect school earns state recognition for being green
A Mount Prospect Middle School’s commitment to environmental education and health and wellness practices earned state recognition under a program that celebrates schools’ efforts to “go green” -- and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. River Trails Middle School garnered the state’s Green Ribbon award and is among 87 nominees across the nation to compete in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools awards program. Winners will be announced next month.

March 12, 2015 -- ISBE announces poster contest winners to help celebrate annual Illinois Arts Education Week
Annual arts celebration begins March 16
Next week marks the 33rd annual Illinois Arts Education Week, a celebration reflecting and highlighting the importance of fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “Art is Timeless.”

March 6, 2015 -- Illinois students are 'Pumped for PARCC'
Videos help schools engage students in fun and creative ways to prepare for success on the new state assessment
Schools across Illinois are proving that test preparation doesn’t have to be stressful for students as they prepare to participate in the state’s new assessment for the first time next week. Educators have collaborated with kids to make fun, informative videos and popular music parodies to help students rest up, eat well and keep their minds sharp and ready for success on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.

March 2, 2015 -- Schools set to give state’s new assessment to third- through eighth-graders and high school students
PARCC assessment measures how well students are prepared for next grade and, ultimately, college and careers
Schools across Illinois are ushering in a new assessment system designed to better gauge how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school. Starting March 9, most third- through eighth-graders and some high school students across the state will begin taking the first of a two-part assessment completely aligned to the new internationally benchmarked Illinois Learning Standards.


February 24, 2015 -- ISBE’s PARCC Primer events help districts prepare families for state’s new assessment this spring
Family PARCC nights use sample test questions, practice tests and fun activities to familiarize parents with the new exam
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Parent Teacher Association (PTA) teamed up to give families a firsthand glimpse of the state’s new assessment system for third through eighth graders and high school students. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), set to debut next month, is designed to demonstrate how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school.


January 29, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education seeks sponsors/sites for summer food programs
Programs ensure low-income students are well fed when school is out
The thermometer might suggest otherwise, but summer is on its way and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) wants to make sure every child enjoys access to nutritious meals during the summer break. School districts, local government entities and nonprofit organizations are eligible to host children for free healthy meals and snacks as a summer food site sponsor and/or site.

January 27, 2015 -- Two Illinois schools to be recognized as National Distinguished Schools
Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 recognized for academic success
The Illinois State Board of Education today announced that two Illinois schools with a high percentage of children in poverty will be honored for their academic gains next month during the National Title I Association’s annual conference. Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 will be among schools across the nation honored for serving students in poverty and achieving academic success.

January 21, 2015 -- ISBE recommends nearly $730 million increase in education funding
Board members acknowledge fiscal challenges facing state, but urge lawmakers to fully fund General State Aid commitment, increase funding for early childhood programs
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today approved a fiscal year 2016 budget recommendation that seeks an additional $729.9 million from the current year to fully fund General State Aid (GSA). Board members acknowledged the reduction in revenue and increased spending pressures facing the state, but noted the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education budget would still be 5 percent less than FY 2009, when adjusted for inflation.

January 21, 2015 -- Grant Park School Board President honored at ISBE meeting
ISBE honors David Dickson, the 2014 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award Recipient, for his leadership and dedication
The Illinois State Board of Education today honored Dave Dickson of Grant Park CUSD 6 who was named the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award. The award annually recognizes outstanding school board presidents in the state. Dickson has served five years as president of his local school board and more than eight years on the board.

January 6, 2015 -- ISBE-developed guidance helps schools and teachers implement new math standards
Math models receive positive feedback and accolades
Illinois districts are piloting state-developed model math units to help students master concepts at each grade level as schools implement internationally-benchmarked learning standards that emphasize depth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The nationally-recognized units are the first of their kind, developed by a statewide team of educators following legislation that called for more math resources and support.

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