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ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Division of Data Analysis and Progress Reporting

2002 REPORT CARD DEFINITIONS

The Better Schools Accountability Law (Section 10-17a of the Illinois School Code) is reprinted below, one paragraph at a time, with terms to be defined underlined. The definitions for each paragraph then follow immediately below the paragraph. In some instances, terms have already been defined in statute, or they derive from current state practice.

Legislative Citation

(1) Policy and Purpose. It shall be the policy of the State of Illinois that each school district in this State, including special charter districts and districts subject to the provisions of Article 34, shall submit to parents, taxpayers of such districts, the Governor, the General Assembly and the State Board of Education a school report card assessing the performance of its schools and students. The report card shall be an index of school performance measured against statewide and local standards and will provide information to make prior year comparisons and to set future year targets through the school improvement plan.

Definitions

School districts, for purposes of this legislation, include all regular operating elementary, high school, and unit districts. Excluded are other state-funded education agencies such as area vocational centers, special education cooperatives, university laboratory schools, the Illinois Math and Science Academy, and education organizations within the Departments of Rehabilitation Services and Corrections.A special charter district is any city, township, or district organized into a school district and operating in whole or in part under a special Act or charter of the General Assembly. (Section 1-3 of the School Code.)Submit to parents: The report card will be disseminated to all parents whose children are enrolled in the school by the district's usual means of distributing student report cards, by a comparable method, or by making it available on the district’s Internet web site as detailed in paragraph (2).A parent means the natural or adoptive parent, a guardian, or a person acting as a parent of a child. (See 23 Ill. Adm.Code 226.5.). . . to taxpayers: The report card will be kept on file by the district and the respective regional superintendent. According to the Freedom of Information Act, copies must be made available upon request. A fee to recover actual costs may be charged.A taxpayer is anyone who owns property, resides, or pays taxes in the school district. . . . to the Governor, the General Assembly: The report cards will be transmitted to the Governor and the General Assembly by the State Board of EducationSchool, in current State Board of Education use, is synonymous with "attendance center." A school is a division of the school system consisting of students comprising one or more grade groups or other identifiable groups, organized as one unit with one or more teachers to give instruction of a defined type and housed in one or more buildings. More than one school may be housed in one building, as is the case when elementary and secondary schools are housed in the same building.A student is an individual of legal school age who is enrolled in an educational program in grades K-12 or in an age-appropriate placement under the jurisdiction of a school or school district.An index of school performance is an indicator that represents accomplishment.Statewide and local standards are measures or criteria established by local and state authority.Future year targets refers to "Areas for planned improvement" in paragraph (2) of the legislation.

Legislative Citation

(2)  Reporting Requirements. Each school district shall prepare a report card in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this Section which describes the performance of its students by school attendance centers and by district and the district's financial resources and use of financial resources. Such report card shall be presented at a regular school board meeting subject to applicable notice requirements, posted on the school district’s Internet web site, if the district maintains an Internet web site, made available to a newspaper of general circulation serving the district, and, upon request, sent home to a parent (unless the district does not maintain an Internet web site, in which case the report card shall be sent home to parents without request). If the district posts the report card on its Internet web site, the district shall send a written notice home to parents stating (i) that the report card is available on the web site, (ii) the address of the web site, (iii) that a printed copy of the report card will be sent to parents upon request, and (iv) the telephone number that parents may call to request a printed copy of the report card. In addition, each school district shall submit the completed report card to the office of the district's Regional Superintendent which shall make copies available to any individual requesting them.

Definitions

Financial resources include the amount of money that districts receive from all sources as listed in paragraph (3)(b) of the legislation.

Use of financial resources refers to "District expenditure by fund" in paragraph (3)(b) of the legislation.Applicable notice requirements are the terms and procedures of notification specified for regular meetings in the Open Meetings Act.

Posted on the school district’s Internet web site: Districts must provide parents with information relative to the availability of report cards on the districts’ Internet web sites and also provide printed copies upon request. Districts that do not maintain Internet web sites must continue to send printed copies of report cards home to parents.

Made available to a newspaper of general circulation means that the information must be provided to a newspaper that is circulated in the district and in which the school district usually publishes notices. This does not include newspapers that are available for free distribution.Sent home is the same as "submit to parents" in paragraph (1) of the legislation.Make copies available means that the report card is kept on file. According to the Freedom of Information Act, copies must be made upon request. A fee to recover actual costs may be charged.

Legislative Citation

The report card shall be completed and disseminated prior to October 31 in each school year. The report card shall contain, but not be limited to, actual local school attendance center, school district and statewide data indicating the present performance of the school, the State norms and the areas for planned improvement for the school and school district.

Definitions

Disseminated is the same as "submit" in paragraph (1) and "made available" in paragraph (2) of the legislation.The actual local school attendance center is the location where a child is housed and counted as enrolled in school in the fall of the school year.Present performance refers to the most recent data available for the various indicators.State norms are the quantitative values that constitute the typical performance in Illinois.Areas for planned improvement include academic and other areas targeted for improvement by local administrators.

Legislative Citation

(3)(a) The report card shall include the following applicable indicators of attendance center, district, and statewide student performance: percent of students who exceed, meet, or do not meet standards established by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 2-3.25a [105 ILCS 5/2-3.25a]; composite and subtest means on nationally normed achievement tests for college bound students; student attendance rates; chronic truancy rate; dropout rate; graduation rate; and student mobility, turnover shown as a percent of transfers out and a percent of transfers in.

Definitions

Percent of students who exceed, meet, or do not meet standards established by the State Board of Education refers to the distribution of students in the various performance levels based on their Illinois Grade 2 Assessment, ISAT, PSAE, IMAGE, or IAA scores. These performance levels are defined in the school report cards. Composite and subtest means on nationally normed achievement tests for college bound students refer to the average ACT scores based on the most recent performance of students in the school’s class of 2002 who sat for the ACT on a national test date or PSAE testing. The composite mean is the reported average composite score while the subtest mean is the reported average for each of the ACT subtests which include English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Student attendance rate is the aggregate days of student attendance divided by the sum of the aggregate days of student attendance and aggregate days of student absence multiplied by 100.Chronic truancy rate is the number of chronic truants divided by the average daily enrollment multiplied by 100. Chronic truants include students subject to compulsory attendance who have been absent without valid cause from such attendance for 18 or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days.Dropout rate is the number of dropouts divided by the fall enrollment less post-graduates multiplied by 100. Dropouts include students in grades 9-12 whose names have been removed from the district-housed roster for any reason other than death, extended illness, graduation/completion of a program of studies, transfer to another public/private school, or expulsion.Graduation rate is the number of 2001-02 high school graduates divided by the first-time ninth grade 1998 fall enrollment less students transferred out plus students transferred in multiplied by 100. [Numerator = number of graduates; denominator = (9th grade enrollment-transfers out) + transfers in]. Transfers as used here refer to this specific graduation class and are accumulated over a four-year period. In compliance with federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, graduation rates disaggregated for various student categories were also reported (beginning in 2002).Student mobility (Turnover) reflects any enrollment change between the first school day in October and the last day of the school year. It is the sum of the students who transferred out and the students who transferred in, divided by the average daily enrollment multiplied, by 100. Students are counted each time they transfer out or in during the reporting year. Thus, individual students may be counted more than once.

Transfers out, relative to student mobility, comprises all incidents of students being removed from the enrollment roster for any reason.

Transfers in, relative to student mobility, comprises all incidents of students being added to the enrollment roster.

Legislative Citation

(b)  The report card shall include the following descriptions for the school, district, and state: average class size, amount of time per day devoted to mathematics, science, English and social science at primary, middle and junior high school grade levels; number of students taking the Prairie State Achievement Examination under subsection (c) of Section 2-3.64 [105-5/2-3.64], the number of those students who received a score of excellent, and the average score by school of students taking the examination; pupil-teacher ratio; pupil-administrator ratio; operating expenditure per pupil; district expenditure by fund; average administrator salary; and average teacher salary. The report card shall also specify the amount of money that the district receives from all sources, including without limitation subcategories specifying the amount from local property taxes, the amount from general state aid, the amount from other state funding, and the amount from other income.

Definitions

Average class size is the sum of specified class enrollments in kindergarten and in grades 1, 3, 6, and 8 for schools having grades below grade 9 and in all subject areas in high school divided by the number of classes. For high schools, and optionally for grades 6 and 8, an average for the 2nd and 5th class periods is used.Amount of time per day devoted to mathematics, science, English, and social science at primary, middle, and junior high levels is the average number of minutes of instruction per 5-day school week reported as allocated for instruction in each of the specified subject areas at grades 3, 6, and 8 divided by 5.

Number of students taking the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) include all students in the school who received at least one PSAE score.

Number of those students who received a score of excellent may be derived by multiplying the number of students taking the PSAE by the percent in Level 4 (Exceeds Standards) for each subject at the school.

Average score by school, for each subject, is the sum of the individual student scores divided by the total number of students tested in that subject. Average scores range from a low of 120 to a high of 200.

Pupil-teacher ratio is the fall enrollment for the school year divided by the number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers in the district. Excluded are teachers classified as special education teachers.Pupil-administrator ratio is the fall enrollment for the school year divided by the number of full-time equivalent administrative staff.Operating expenditure per pupil is the gross operating cost of a school district (except summer school, adult education, bond principal retired, and capital expenditures) divided by the Average Daily Attendance for the regular school term. Previous year data are reported.District expenditure by fund is the total expenditure from each of the eight funds: education; operations and maintenance; transportation; bond and interest; rent; municipal retirement/social security; fire prevention and safety; and site and construction/capital improvement.Average administrator salary is the sum of the salaries for all administrative staff divided by the number of full-time equivalent administrative staff.Average teacher salary is the sum of the salaries for all classroom teachers divided by the number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers.

Local property taxes. The receipt of taxes that apply to prior year’s levies as well as those available from the current levy. Also included are payments in lieu of taxes as monies from the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax.

General state aid. Amounts received from the state for the general apportionment (flat grants) and the equalization portions of the State Aid Formula as authorized in Section 18-8 of the School Code.Other state funding. The apportionment of state funds such as Transportation Aid, Bilingual Education, Gifted Education, etc., excluding General State Aid.Other income. Revenue from sources including Federal Funding (federal programs, grants and contracts) and Other Local Funding (such as interests on investments, tuition, and sale of property).

Legislative Citation

(c)  The report card shall include applicable indicators of parental involvement in each attendance center. The parental involvement component of the report card shall include the percentage of students whose parents or guardians have had one or more personal contacts with the students' teachers during the school year concerning the students' education, and such other information, commentary, and suggestions as the school district desires. For the purposes of this paragraph, "personal contact" includes, but is not limited to, parent-teacher conferences, parental visits to school, school visits to home, telephone conversations, and written correspondence. The parental involvement component shall not single out or identify individual students, parents, or guardians by name.

Definitions

Percentage of students is the number of students whose parents or guardians had one or more personal contacts with the students' teachers during the school year concerning the students' education, divided by the average daily enrollment multiplied by 100. There are no multiple counts; each student is counted only once even if his or her parents made more than one contact with the teachers during the school year. Teachers, referred to in this section of the legislation, include all certified staff.Such other information may include matters related to students' behavior, social, and physical well-being that a district chooses to report.Personal contact includes visits in person and individualized communication. The following are excluded: form letters or notices, parental letters relating to student absences, regular notification of grades, student progress report cards, school report cards, attendance at school athletic, music, drama events, and other co-curricular activities.

Legislative Citation

(d)  The report card form shall be prepared by the State Board of Education and provided to school districts by the most efficient, economic and appropriate means.

Definition

The report card form is a document designed by the State Board of Education to reflect the minimum required content to be reported by school districts and provide districts with the necessary statewide data.Most efficient, economic and appropriate means refers to electronic dissemination.

Supplemental Information

The report cards also contain information not specifically required in state legislation. Some of the data elements are required by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Following are definitions of the supplemental information.

Definition

Enrollment total is the total student enrollment in the school and district in the fall of the school year.The percent of students for each racial-ethnic group (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian- Pacific Islander, and American Indian-Alaskan Native) is the count of students belonging to a particular racial/ethnic group divided by the total fall enrollment multiplied by 100.Low-income students are pupils aged 3 to 17, inclusive, from families receiving public aid, living in institutions for neglected or delinquent children, being supported in foster homes with public funds, or eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches. The percent of low-income students is the count of low-income students divided by the total fall enrollment multiplied by 100.Limited-English-proficient students are those students who have been found to be eligible for bilingual education. The percent of limited-English-proficient students is the count of limited-English-proficient students divided by the total fall enrollment multiplied by 100.The percent of teachers by race/ethnicity is the number of classroom teachers belonging to that particular racial-ethnic group as reported for the district divided by the total number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers multiplied by 100.The percent of teachers by gender is the number of classroom teachers for a particular gender divided by the total number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers multiplied by 100.Pupil-certified staff ratio is the fall enrollment divided by the number of full-time equivalent certified staff, excluding adult education personnel.Average teaching experience is the sum of the years of teaching experience for all classroom teachers in the district divided by the total number of classroom teachers.Percent of teachers with Bachelor's degrees is the sum of all classroom teachers with Bachelor's degrees as reported in the district divided by the total number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers multiplied by 100.Percent of teachers with Master's degrees and above is the sum of all classroom teachers with Master's degrees and above in the district divided by the total number of full-time equivalent classroom teachers multiplied by 100.Percent of teachers with emergency or provisional credentials is the number of teachers teaching with emergency or provisional credentials divided by the total number full-time equivalent teachers multiplied by 100.Percent of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers is the number of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers as defined by NCLB legislation, divided by the total number of classes multiplied by 100. Equalized assessed valuation per pupil, an indication of district wealth, is the district’s equalized assessed valuation divided by the 9-month average daily attendance.Total school tax rate per $100, an indication of district effort, is the district’s total tax rate for education (per $100) as shown on local property tax bills.Instructional expenditure per pupil includes the direct costs of teaching pupils or the interaction between teachers and pupils, divided by the 9-month average daily attendance.Expenditure by function consists of expenditures for instruction, general administration, supporting services, and other expenditures.The most recent two-year trend in state testing is the percentage of student scores meeting or exceeding Illinois Learning Standards, reported for each grade and subject tested in all the state assessments for the most recent two years, in compliance with NCLB legislation.Percentage of students not tested in state testing programs is the number of students not tested for each state assessment divided by the enrollment on the first day of testing multiplied by 100. This is another NCLB requirement.Illinois Grade 2 Assessment is a test in reading and mathematics administered in schools that (1) provide Title 1 services and also (2) have grade 2 as the highest grade. This test is administered to comply with federal law.Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English (IMAGE) is taken by students who have been in state-approved transitional bilingual programs for less than three academic years and for whom the ISAT or PSAE is not appropriate due to their lack of proficiency in English.Illinois Alternate Assessment (IAA) is administered to students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Programs indicate that participation in the ISAT or PSAE, even with accommodations, is not appropriate.

School Improvement Status. NCLB legislation requires that schools identified as being in need of school improvement be listed in all district and state report cards.

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