More About The ISBE 40

Theres this perception going around in the schools and in the press that the group of
schools called the ISBE 40 are the worst when it comes to special ed services -- that they all get F's -- but Im told today by some helpful folks at central office that is actually not the

The 40 see list below are a group of schools picked by the state for
focused monitoring and intervention, but include a wide variety of schools as
far as Cory H goes, according to CPS officials.  The state, not CPS, picked the schools out of the list of
285 CPS schools being monitored under Cory H, in response to a request from CPS
to do more focused work this year than in the past. Or at least so Im told. 

The state is doing its monitoring visits now
anyone participate in those? and will start reporting back after spring
break. They dont get any special budget, though they have gotten more
attention, training, and technical assistance under this new format. They also were assessed using a new
district-developed tool to come up with an intervention plan. 

ISBE 40:

The 40 schools are:





































































































































School Cluster Area   School Cluster Area
Belding 1 1   Joplin 5 14
Canty 1 1   Fermi 5 15
Burbank 2 3   Dyett 5 23
DePriest 2 3   Hope 5 23
Ellington 2 3   Kenwood 5 23
Howe 2 3   Curtis 6 16
Piccolo 2 4   Fort Dearborn 6 16
Carpenter 2 6   Foster Park 6 16
Schiller 2 6   Kohn 6 16
Brown 3 7   O'Keefe 6 17
Faraday 3 7   Parkside 6 17
Morton 3 7   Warren 6 17
Paderewski 4 10   Carver Middle 6 18
Bontemps 4 12   Lawrence 6 18
Copernicus 4 12   Schmid 6 18
4 12   Smith 6 18
Goodlow 4 12   Songhai 6 18
Woodson 4 13   Corliss 6 24
Deneen 5 14   Morgan Park 6 24
Johns 5 14   G. Washington 6 24

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  • Thanks for the post. I was interested to read the list but was surprised more schools aren't on it.

  • 11:59 PM should be informed that the issue of "putting caps on referrals for evaluation" done by CPS did appear in an ISBE report some time ago. CPS stated case managers did not understand that it was not a block on referrals, but an over referral warning system on the OSS information system. Most case managers in these "over referral schools" believed they were blocked until ISBE ordered CPS to eliminate the so called "warning system." I would add that there are some schools that were referring students in order to try and get them out of the NCLB testing pool and this was wrong.

    More often than not, however, so called over referral schools were also ones that had community health data indicating higher numbers of low birth weight babies. This data correlates in many cases to higher rates of special education identification for schools in those communities.

    I do not know about the day school placement issue that 11:59 PM raised, I do know that day school placements are required to be approved at a level higher than that of school based IEP teams and this has been going on for many years.

    Dr. Mitchell was appointed to her current position before the last round of special education budget cuts. So I do not see her position as a reward for "budgeting efficiencies." I know she argued publicly at CPS board meetings these cuts would not have an adverse impact on students with disabilities. I was in some cases one of the people she argued against at Board meetings.

    I do not see Dr. Mitchell as the instigator of the special education budget cuts. Directives for these cuts came down from everything I know from CPS budget and CEO Duncan. Dr. Mitchell did implement the cuts. I would suspect that she internally also opposed the scope of the cuts, but was largely powerless to stop them.

    I do understand how teachers can see Dr. Mitchell as the personification of the cuts. We at Access Living hold the Board itself directly and the Mayor,and State of Illinois indirectly responsible for these budget cuts. The cuts have not helped students with disabilities attending CPS learn and have made the working lives of special teachers and aides far more difficult.

    Rod Estvan

    Access Living of Metro Chicago

  • In relation to this issue of failure to provide services I recieved the following request from the Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois:



    LDA of Illinois is working hard to assure that students with learning disabilities are evaluated in a timely manner and are receiving the services they need.

    LDA of Illinois has become aware of instances where children have been denied an evaluation by the school district to determine whether they may be eligible for special education services. We are also hearing of instances where children were receiving special education services and are now being denied those services. Some of these instances are as

    a result of districts implementing RTI (response to Intervention).

    We want to hear from parents and teachers who have concerns that their children may not be evaluated or may not receive services. If your child has not received an evaluation or needed services after

    a request for an evaluation has been made, LDA needs to hear from you. We do not need your childs name but need information about your childs age, school, and district, and the specific denial of services. We will not share any identifying information about your child but are looking as much information as you can provide. The information that is gathered will be utilized as examples to policy makers who can stop the denial of these evaluations and services.

    Please send information to: LDA of Illinois at:

    with cc :

    As part of the mission of LDA of Illinois to monitor and advise on special education

    legislation at the federal and state levels, we need your assistance to accomplish this objective.

    Thank You,

    Penny Richards, Bev Johns, Robert Abbott, Karen Tipp,

    Governmental Affairs Committee LDA of Illinois

  • I think the future of special education is scarey unless things can be turned around. Some of the best teachers are leaving the system and others are being prevented from doing their best job.

    Right now, bilingual teachers are being required to give the Access test which is an individual test requiring hours of 1 on 1 testing. This year the Board decided to severely limit the number of subs available to make the testing program work without removing services. In the school that I serve on the LSC, the number of subs was cut from 30 to 10 which means resource programs will have to be shut down for at least a month. I know that this will affect special education students as well as bilingual students.

  • I know that students are being kept in grade school longer (15 years old by Dec. 1st of the following school year) and I know they keep trying to raise this age by changing the grade. I have talked to many parents in private school who tell me that their children are not pressured by tests the way that ours are. I've been talking to one parent recently who is amazed that children can fail 3rd grade because of the IGAP and told me that she has never heard of this happening in the Jewish schools or in the suburbs. Why is Chicago putting so much emphasis on one test? I know that I was told that it was state mandated but that does not appear to be true if the suburbs and private schools are not doing it. I would love to know whether there are statistics on whether this over-emphasis in test scores makes for students who do better on a daily basis or worst!!!!!

  • In regards to 8:45's question IDEA is clear if the student with disabilities is an ESL student CPS is required to provide those services to the extent necessary for the student recieve a free appropriate public education. The teacher should advise the parent to file for due process because the teacher is indicating the ESL pull out is not adequate for the student to learn to read. The teacher can contact me at Access Living (312) 253-7000 if he or she wants to. But the parent must take the initiative to go to due process or mediation. The teacher should be aware that he or she could be called on in a formal hearing to testify as to the lack of appropriate services for the student.

    Rod Estvan

    Access Living of Metro Chicago

  • I agree that SPED teachers are the scapegoats. During the whole time that I taught we were the orphans given out of date textbooks (if we got any at all). When I first started we had money to spend each year but when that became part of the general school budget/special education teachers had to do without or spend our own money (it was not unusual for me to spend $3000 or more each year). Our class sizes were too large to individual the way that our students needed and then we were blamed when progress was not made on the level which the state/board/etc. wanted. The cross categorical rooms became a dumping ground for the students who were severely emotionally disturbed and most of our time had to be spent trying to prevent fights. Many of us got hurt trying to protect our students. For resource teachers, a case load of 20 students (all in different rooms) makes it difficult to meet with the Gen. Ed. teachers to suggest modifications and to monitor whether IEPs are being met. I think most teachers do the best that they can but it is easy to get burned out.

    As a guardian of a child with Special needs, I believe that most parts care but it is getting harder and harder to get the Board to test and provide services.

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