The Sky Is Falling, State Says

Here's the ISBE press release describing how bad NCLB is and how desperately a change in the law (or a waiver) is needed and will help things.  Sixty five percent of schools didn't make AYP in 2011, up from 51 percent.  Only 8 high schools made AYP statewide.  Meanwhile, composite ISAT scores went up a tiny bit, from 80.9 percent to 82 percent and, as you already know, PSAE scores went down (at least in part because of more students taking the test).

My response?  Boo hoo, sorry for you.  Holding schools accountable for all their different student groups is a worthwhile thing to do, and not making AYP isn't the end of the world for schools (especially if it's just in one or two subgroups).   More important, changing NCLB won't have any effect on how well kids are actually learning. In fact, it's arguable that the end of NCLB will usher in a period during which state standards and student achievement stay flat but LOOK BETTER thanks to states coming up with their own assessment and reporting systems.  You can see how much they don't like having to give out bad news, and imagine how they would make things if they were masters of their own domain.


More Illinois Schools identified for Improvement under No Child Left Behind Benchmarks

State to seek flexibility from NCLB through federal waiver process


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education today released 2011 State Assessment data, showing a growing number of schools are identified for improvement under the federal accountability law, No Child Left Behind. Results show 695 or 80 percent of Illinois districts and 2,548 or 65 percent of schools, up from 51 percent last year, failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under NCLB. In total, only 8 high schools in the state made AYP based on test results in 2011.


The results were announced as part of the State Board’s statewide analysis of the 2011 State Report Card and more than a month after the U.S. Department of Education announced it would consider granting NCLB waivers to states that agree to certain reform provisions such as adopting more rigorous college and career-ready standards and assessments that measure student growth over time.


“We need a realistic, measurable accountability system based on growth and individual student progress rather than an absolute, unattainable goal handed down from Washington,’’ said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Illinois will request a waiver that builds upon the Board’s goals to better prepare every student for success in college and careers, raising expectations for all students and closing achievement gaps.”


The statewide composite score for students meeting and exceeding on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) given to elementary students saw an increase, going from 80.9 in 2010 to 82.0 percent in 2011. The achievement gap also shows signs of closing with an 11 percent increase in performance for Black students at



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the elementary level since 2006 and a 2.6 percent increase for Hispanic students

during that same time.


The composite score for the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), given to 11th graders, decreased from 53 in 2010 to 50.5 in 2011. One explanation for this year’s decline may be the increase of about 12,500 PSAE test takers in 2011, per new state rules emphasizing that all 11th graders must take the exam, which includes the ACT.


“It is great to see improvements being made at the elementary level in closing the achievement gap,” Said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “This progress is essential as we implement the common core standards and will help to ensure students enter high school performing at grade level and leave ready for college and careers.”


Students in third through eighth grades last March took ISAT in reading and mathematics while fourth and seventh graders were also tested in science. Students in 11th grade last April took the PSAE which tests students in math, reading, science and writing. Only reading and mathematics results are used in calculating AYP.


In 2011, schools were expected to show 85 percent of students meeting or exceeding proficiency standards, up from 77.5 percent in 2010. The target high school graduation rate increased from 80 percent in 2010 to 82 percent in 2011. Attendance rate targets for elementary and middle schools in 2011 remained the same as the previous year at 91 percent.


In 2010, the State Board of Education adopted the new Illinois Learning Standards in math and English Language Arts based on the internationally-benchmarked Common Core State Standards. Illinois is a member of the 26-state Partnership for

Assessment for College and Careers (PARCC) that is developing a new generation of tests aligned to the new standards to better measure students knowledge, skills and growth. The new state tests are expected to be available by the 2014-15 schoolyear.


Student Demographics & Performance    


  • ·         In 2010-11, the total enrollment in Illinois public schools was 2,074,806.
  • ·         Since 1999, the percentage of low-income students has increased from 36.1 percent to 48.1 percent in 2011.
  • ·         Minority enrollment increased to 48.6 in 2011 from 38 percent in 1999. The increase is accounted for mainly by Hispanic students who have increased from 13.9 percent in 1999 to 23.0 percent of all students in 2011.
  • ·         The composite score for all state tests increased slightly from 76.4 in 2010 to 76.5 in 2011.
  • ·         Eighty percent of districts failed to make AYP in 2011, an increase from 64 percent in 2010.



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ISBE has produced the School Report Card since 1986 for every public school and district in Illinois. State report cards have been produced since 2002 and are required under No Child Left Behind.



ISAT Statewide Averages in Reading/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade Year Percentage Meet and Exceeds
3 2007 73.0
2008 71.7
2009 72.2
2010 73.7
2011 74.7
4 2007 73.7
2008 73.2
2009 73.8
2010 73.7
2011 74.7
5 2007 69.7
2008 73.5
2009 73.5
2010 74.7
2011 76.4
6 2007 73.4
2008 79.0
2009 79.9
2010 81.2
2011 84.1
7 2007 73.4
2008 77.7
2009 77.5
2010 77.5
2011 78.8
8 2007 81.8
2008 81.4
2009 83.6
2010 84.1
2011 85.0


ISAT Statewide Averages in Math/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade Year Percentage Meet and Exceeds
3 2007 86.8
2008 85.1
2009 85.2
2010 86.3
2011 87.3
4 2007 86.4
2008 84.6
2009 85.7
2010 86.0
2011 87.7
5 2007 82.5
2008 81.4
2009 82.4
2010 83.4
2011 84.0
6 2007 81.4
2008 82.6
2009 82.4
2010 84.6
2011 84.0
7 2007 79.4
2008 80.4
2009 82.8
2010 84.4
2011 84.3
8 2007 81.3
2008 80.4
2009 81.7
2010 83.7
2011 86.3


ISAT Statewide Averages Science/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade Year Percentage Meet and Exceeds
4 2007 79.8
2008 76.2
2009 76.8
2010 76.7
2011 79.3
7 2007 79.3
2008 79.1
2009 79.5
2010 82.4
2011 81.9


PSAE Statewide Averages/Percentage Meet and Exceeds

Year Reading Math Science
2007 54.1 52.7 51.0
2008 53.3 53.0 51.2
2009 56.9 51.6 50.5
2010 54.0 52.7 52.4
2011 51.0 51.3 49.2




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  • Here is what I found interesting in ISBE's press release. ISBE Board Chair Gery Chico state's: "Illinois will request a waiver that builds upon the Board’s goals to better prepare every student for success in college and careers, raising expectations for all students and closing achievement gaps.” I found it interesting that ISBE could inform the public it is seeking a wavier from NCLB requirements but it cannot tell the public in advance what exactly it will be asking the US Department of Education to waive or what the new targets for subgroups will be. Access Living is very interested in what the goal is that ISBE thinking about in relation to the special education subgroup. We realize Illinois can't close the gap with non-disabled students, but we are concerned about what target ISBE believes will reflect high achievement and expectations for the special education subgroup. I assume we are to be informed once the waiver request is on its way to Washington DC?

    Rod Estvan

  • Today, the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) struck a blow against union-busting and employee coercion and intimidation by unanimously voting to seek injunctive relief against the Chicago Board of Education’s (CBE) illegal push for a longer school day. Members of the labor board voted 5-0 to seek an injunction blocking the program from taking effect this year. If granted, nine schools that have currently extended their school day will revert to their previous schedule as outlined in the CTU contract and no other elementary school can amend its school hours.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    What is even more interesting is that the CTU made an audio recording of the hearing avaiable on its website. I just listened to it and recommend to others that they also listen to it.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Dear Anonymous, GREAT!

  • Everyone, you can go to the Chicago Teachers Union website and see their response to the IELRB ruling entitled "Illinois Education Labor Relations Board votes 5-0 to seek injuction blocking unlawful implemetation of "longer school day". You can go to the Chicago Public Schools website and see their response to the IELRB ruling entitled "CPS Statement in Response to Today's IELRB Decision" under Press Releases.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    How come they are leaving the schools that already implemented unaffected? I don't get it. CTU always claims to be winning but it never has any real consequence.

  • I'm wondering how soon schools will revert to their original (legal) schedule?

  • I thought if they voted the waivers illegal that the longer day would immediately end. ????

  • I saw at Catalyst that CTU offered to leave the 9 (?) schools that had already adjusted their sy11/12 scheudle as-is. The other would not move ahead, and CPS would not keep pushing it. That's the offer, it appears. Anyone confirm?

  • absolutely not. the Union requested that all schools re-vote using the proper waiver procedures and be allowed to understand fully what it meant to to them as a school and individually, without any coercion or interference from CPS administrators.

    Listen to the recording to Franczek to hear how much they tricked these teachers out of their salaries.

    Chicago Public Schools attorneys said for the first time that teachers who voted for waivers were giving up about $6,200. That’s what teachers would have been paid for the longer day under the current contract terms.

  • Rahm is a coward! A small man and a bully. Dialogue with CTU you corporate thug!

  • Confused. CTU says that it won but now there are news reports that the schools that extended the day will be unaffected. Who's right?

  • CPS is not right--However, to not change schedules for student benefit--CTU is not pushing to change these hoodwinked school schedules--CPS is lucky that these schools are not being made to vote again and do it right. Stopping CPS thugs from doing this is the win.

  • Dunn said. “They will no longer have the time to focus on reading, math, science and social studies. They will not have time for recess or a standard lunch.”
    Then why were these schools offered $150,000 if they were not focusing on reading, math and science. Standard lunch is 20 minutes--were these school only allowing 10-15?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CPS lunches are a joke, all the kids are jammed into crowded rooms to scarf down their food. School is for kids not the teachers. You chose this profession!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1250 for 6 weeks? wah wah wah especially to those making 40 -65 thousand a year and certainly don't deserve it

  • Any one know how much the taxpayers of Chicago have just paid CPS $$$ attorney Franczek for his 5-0 loss today? How that money could have helped schools. Anyone think about the hurt CPS put on other poverty schools as it steals their poverty funds to give the intimidated schools $150,000?

  • Dear CPS Teachers and Principals:

    As many of you may already know, the Chicago Teachers Union recently asked the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) to block CPS schools from extending their school day through the Longer School Day Pioneer Program. 

    Today, the Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the Union’s filing. The IELRB now will have to make a request to the Attorney General on today's decision, and then a circuit court judge will have to be petitioned to hear the case. The case will have to be won before that judge in order for the Pioneer Schools to roll back the time they've added. This could take several weeks.

    Until then, it’s business as usual for the principals, teachers and students at schools that have added or will add 90 minutes of additional instructional time to their day. And moving forward, we remain committed to supporting any teachers that want to do the same at their school because we believe our students and teachers deserve more time together in the classroom on task in subjects like math, reading, science, music and art to help prepare them for success in college and career.


    We will keep you posted with new information as it becomes available.


    Thank you,


    Jean-Claude Brizard

    Chief Executive Officer

    This was sent through CPS mail tonight. Although I realize that this is a thinly veiled, rather sophomoric attempt, to cloud the issue I was more appalled at the low level writing skills.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CPS is general is a joke. Teachers bully students then students bully other kids. Then the system bullies the teachers and the cycle starts again. The kids need better environments to learn in thats for sure. I wouldn't want my child in longer school day because he is not supported in CPS. As a matter of fact CPS damaged my child. Brizard doesn't give a crap I called his office. Hire more competent social workers to deal with the students issues rather than someone who sits on their duff and hand print outs to the teachers with outdated information for guidance. There are only a handful of teachers that are worth anything at all. I say fire them all and start again. The teachers I know were all over 60 grand a year and aren't worth it.

  • In reply to AwareMom:

    Maybe you are not aware that CPS schools do not have full time social workers. They are assigned to several schools and, at best, are in a school one or possible two days a week. If your child is having such severe problems in school, and you feel that CPS has caused damage to your child, you might want to ante-up and provide your child with some counseling outside of the school setting. You know, the kind that you have to pay for. You might want to "get off your duff" and get your child some help. You are the parent, after all!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I must say, that's an ignorant comment. AwareMom might already be providing such supports in the community, or might not have access to mental heath care. Most parents who are seeking in-school support for their child under IDEA 2004 are very aware that CPS starves schools of the staffing needed by these students. And, unfortunately, some of the staff hired are truly evil and do harm to the children (and get away with it scott-free). Your attitude is just one more obstacle in parents' efforts to get their students educated well.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Well, Anonymous, ignorant comments abound here.

    AwareMom is just bitc--er, complaining--about one side of an argument that we'll never hear the full story. Because of this experience AwareMom is unable to tell the difference between the teachers/staff members involved and 23,000 Chicago teachers. (Aware, AwareMom isn't.)

    The first reply was just stating that AwareMom is ultimately the person responsible for her child (along with AwareDad). Neither Brizard, nor the teachers, social workers or taxpayers of this city brought AwareMom's bouncing bundle of joy into this world. The responsibility for parenting lies with the parent.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Did anyone hear the Q&A on WBEZ's series on childhood mental illness this week, where Dick Smith of OSS seemed ignorant of what's not working for educating students with mental illness in CPS? I wonder why so many parents of children with disabilities "complain", Dan. Maybe they're just woefully unaware of their parental duties.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    This is the alleged Rahm "The Bully" and Brizard the " Stooge" opus operandi:

    From CTU Oral Argument:
    To increase the odds that its proposition would succeed, CBE administrators and many of the school principals that sponsored the votes engaged in a campaign of coercion and intimidation.
    As alleged in the complaint:
    - - -
    Threatened teachers with loss of jobs & possible school closing if didn’t approve the change
    Discouraged teachers from speaking with the CTU, including by expelling CTU representatives from schools & disrupting Union meetings about the votes
    Interrogated teachers about their Union contacts
    & as alleged in amended complaint issued yesterday, - Directed teachers to preserve their communications from CTU for review by management
    By threatening and inducing teachers to supplant their labor contract with a new school day and new compensation terms, CBE sought to make the CTU irrelevant as the teachers’ collective bargaining representative.

  • I too listened to the recording of the IELRB hearing, but I have not yet read the written decision. I assume Alexander will link it or post it at some point.

    I thought this post above was very interesting: "How come they are leaving the schools that already implemented unaffected? I don't get it. CTU always claims to be winning but it never has any real consequence." It is my understanding too that the written order on the injunction does not order restoration of the standard school day at the nine schools.

    I have not read the order but that is what I am hearing. I know some teachers may not like what I am going to say, but I believe in not ordering immediate restoration of the standard day the IELRB did the right thing. It also did the right thing in ordering CPS to stop the future waiver votes that are associated with the bonus payments pending a full hearing on the issues.

    Why? Because the CPS argument that there would be public costs involved in reverting back to the standard day would be a powerful one in the court system, one that courts would be likely to show deference to CPS on. Assuming this is how the actual ruling reads this was a judicially wise ruling.

    I am also interested in how the argument CPS made on the language of SB7 actually trumps the existing contract by making the contractual school day null and void will ultimately be ruled on. The CTU lawyers argued that the CPS position on that issue was wrong because the CPS had already agreed to bargain over the length of the school day. CPS did not respond to that argument in the oral discussion, they made a mistake in not doing so.

    I happen to agree with the CPS on this legal issue. I think because of the fact that we are talking about public sector workers any Act of the General Assembly can and should be able to void provisions of contractual agreements. Just for the record I publicly opposed SB7 at legislative hearings based on what the Act proposed to do.

    I see this issue beyond the current case and see it in terms of legislative bodies having the right to void contractual agreements in general that are not in the public interest. For example I would like the General Assembly to pass an Act voiding the City of Chicago's current deals on the parking meters and Skyway. Contracts with the government need to be viewed differently than those in the private sector.

    The real debate about voiding contracts or provisions in them should be over what is in the public interest, in this case it is my opinion that it was not in the public interest for the General Assembly to void provisions in the contract that defined a work day for only CPS teachers in Illinois.

    Rod Estvan

  • Dear District 299 readers, Substance News has an good article on the IELRB ruling entitled "If permitted to pursue this conduct, the Chicago Board of Education would and collective bargaining as we know it in Illinois'...Labor Board Approves injuction to Stop CPS's Violations in 'Waiver' votes."

  • Here is the written decision, posted on

    Chicago Teachers Union IELRB Victory...
    The complete text of the decision... Brizard claims 'business as usual' for illegal campaign...

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The actual written ruling confirms that there is no injunctive relief granted relating to the 13 schools that voted for the longer school day. The relief is:

    1. To prevent the Employer from dealing directly with employees about the length of the school day or compensation for working a longer school day.
    2. To cease and desist from offering inducements to employees to vote in favor of lengthening the school day.
    3. To cease and desist from unilaterally modifying the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

    The decision also recognizes that the actual case will become moot because of SB7. The decision states: "...the existing collective bargaining agreement will expire on June 30, 2012. After that date, the Respondent will be free to adopt a longer school day without obtaining the consent of the Union, and has already announced its intention to do so. The hearing and appeal process in this case could well last beyond the expiration date of the current collective bargaining agreement."

    So given this what would make sense? The CPS should give up its immediate attempts to get more schools to break with the union contract and make the programs at the schools which voted for the longer day as effective as possible. The CPS should offer teachers a salary increase for the extended day in a new contract, certainly a far larger increase than the proposed 2%, but something less than the hourly rate.

    I would be shocked if CPS took such a rational approach however. What at this time seems more likely is that CPS will again offer the 2% for a longer day that will not be contractually defined and will be subject to change at the determination of CPS. CPS, like some districts in Wisconsin have imposed following the law change there, may offer either no vacation pay for teachers or limited pay. The CPS will ask teachers to accept increased payments for health care and pension costs.

    Will 75% of teachers reject such an offer? I have no idea, but CPS does not think the CTU can get a 75% vote for a strike. If there is no strike and there is no contract the CPS can impose a longer school day and year even while discussions are still underway due to SB7. A situation that could last for years, like it did for police officers.

    CPS cannot however pay teachers even the 2% it has offered for that time without a contract because the IELRB ruling has declared that illegal.

    I don't think CPS can cut vacation pay or impose increased health costs while the contract is still under discussion, but that is an issue for labor lawyers. CPS can lock out teachers even if they do not vote to strike, but that would not be politically popular.

    We are headed for a crisis folks.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Not all 13 schools have gone to a longer day yet. Some are scheduled to do so in January. The hearing is in December. If a decision were reached before the January implementation of the longer school day (and that's a pretty big "if"), one should think the order would prohibit those schools from moving to the longer day.

    Rod Estvan writes: "CPS can lock out teachers even if they do not vote to strike, but that would not be politically popular."

    It would also be counterproductive. The whole point of SB7's 75% strike vote provision is to eliminate/greatly reduce the possibility of a strike. (Remember the original proposal was to eliminate strikes statewide.) CPS is afraid of a strike because it will keep children out of school. Why then would it even consider a lock-out?

    "CPS cannot however pay teachers even the 2% it has offered for that time without a contract because the IELRB ruling has declared that illegal."

    Talk about a moot point. There is absolutely no way that teachers and PSRPs are going to ratify (50% plus 1) such a provision even if the Board offered it.

    "I don't think CPS can cut vacation pay or impose increased health costs while the contract is still under discussion..."

    No, they can't. In the absence of an agreement (and there likely won't be one) the previous CBA remains in force for most matters. Salary and benefits stay in place.

    Only those items in IELRA Section 4.5 that are designated as "permissive" subjects may be unilaterally changed by the Board: "(3) Decisions to layoff or reduce in force employees.
    (4) Decisions to determine class size, class staffing
    and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, length
    of the work and school day, length of the work and school
    year, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    One reason CPS would lock out teachers if there was a prolonged impass would be caused by the district's inability to actually, not retorically, fund a contract without actual wage and benefit concessions. Another reason CPS would lock teachers out in the situation of an impass would be to break the union completely. I am not saying CPS will do this, but if it did those would be the logical reasons for doing so.

    Rod Estvan

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