On March 15, the Illinois State Board of Education approved our state ESSA Plan. The state of Illinois has until April 3 to formally submit our plan to the United States Department of Education for the mandated peer review process.
Peer review will ensure maximum collaboration and attempts to promote effective implementation of academic standards through state and local innovations. Parents, educators, researchers, and others will compose the peer review committees that will provide input and feedback on each state plan submitted for consideration.
Unless the Secretary of Education determines the Illinois state plan violates ESSA requirements, it must be approved after a 120-day review period. If Illinois submits its plan on April 3 for consideration and review, the 120-day period would lapse on July 31.
Each state will receive peer review notes and a formal communication from the Department of Education on specific plan issues if a state plan is not approved for whatever reason. Assuming our state plan is approved, Illinois will have the option to begin plan implementation during the 2017-18 school year.
You can find the approved plan here: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/ESSAStatePlanforIllinois.pdf
Once again, we'd like to thank all ISLMA members who spoke at the second round of the ISBE ESSA Listening Tour meetings in November and December 2016 and all those who sent their comments to the ISBE.
Illinois State Draft Plan #2 Recommendations
The ESSA listening tour meetings are now over. We thank you for your support at the listening tours and with your emails. ISBE has definitely taken note of our strong, consistent message.
There is still time to comment. You have until Dec 27 to send your stories to email@example.com. Besides sending your own emails, ask your staff and students to send their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask them to send a story about how a library has impacted them and it isn't equitable that there are students in Illinois without library access. Not every student in Illinois is served by a licensed library information specialist; we need to advocate for those students also.
Here is a link to the most recent talking points. https://goo.gl/YpkR5a Please note the information highlighted in yellow. This focuses on what was added to the original state plan. However, you can still continue to share your stories and information on the original 6 points (located toward the bottom of the document).
Thank you for all your support.
Thank you to everyone who helped this fall by attending the ESSA listening tours and sending your comments to ISBE. An update of what ISLMA and the ESSA task force has done this summer and fall can be found here: http://bit.ly/2g0j1QN
ISBE recently announced that it is holding another ESSA listening tour. You can find the dates and locations here: http://www.isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour3-schedule-1116.pdf We once again ask you to volunteer your time to attend one of these meetings. We need you speak at the meeting AND/OR send your thoughts to email@example.com. You can sign up for the listening tour at this link: http://bit.ly/2giYSc9 Signing up will allow the ESSA task force to email you the talking points and help you organize with other librarians attending the same meeting.
You can find Illinois’ ESSA State Draft Plan #2 here: http://www.isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-Illinois-State-Plan-draft-2.pdf Please continue to check http://www.aisled.org/essa.htm for updates. Thank you for being so willing to share your time and stories this fall.
Many thanks to all ISLMA members who spoke at the ISBE ESSA Listening Tour meetings between September 5 and October 6, 2016. We appreciate the time you've all given to show ISBE how important effective school library programs and licensed school librarians are for Illinois students. We have taken your feedback from the listening tour and the policy points we originally drafted and share our recommendations with ISBE.
Illinois State Draft Plan #1 Recommendations
The ISLMA ESSA Task Force has prepared talking points and policy recommendations for six ESSA topics: Accountability, Standards, Assessment, School Improvement, the “Whole Child”, and Funding Formulas. These topics are all areas covered in the Draft ESSA State Plan that ISBE recently released. You can find that Draft Plan (dated 8/25), along with other ISBE ESSA documents at http://isbe.net/essa/
In August 2016, ISLMA sent a letter to Superintendent Smith and Chairman Meeks of the ISBE. We asked to be included in the ESSA implementation talks as a stakeholder. We're pleased to report that ISLMA is formally included in the work of the Task Force as a stakeholder organization. ISBE letter
Here are the prepared remarks that Jacob Roskovensky, President-Elect, made at the August 29, 2016 Illinois Balanced Accountability Measures (IBAM) committee meeting. Prepared Remarks
In December 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind and includes language regarding “effective school library programs.”
ISLMA has been working very hard over the summer to ensure that the ISBE includes school librarians as they implement ESSA here in Illinois. A task force is working with John Chrastka from the nonprofit group Everylibrary.org. We have written letters to Chairman Meeks and Superintendent Smith of ISBE and spoken at an ISBE meeting about the importance of school librarians and effective school library programs. The task force is also working on getting the support of various coalition partners, including IFT, IEA, ILA, ICE, Heartland and RAILS library systems and others.
ISLMA now needs YOUR help in this process. Beginning Tuesday, September 6, ISBE is hosting a second round of listening tours to collect feedback on ESSA. It is imperative that school librarians, as major stakeholders, are actively involved in these listening tours. ISLMA needs members to attend and speak at these events. We need to have at least one, if not more, school librarians at EACH location. ISLMA will provide you with talking points. (These will be available on the islma.org website soon.) We then ask you to report your feedback to ISLMA. After all the listening tours, your feedback will be shared with ISBE.
The dates and locations for the listening tour are listed at http://www.isbe.net/essa/pdf/ESSA-tour2-schedule-0916.pdf; you can also see a map of locations at http://tinyurl.com/ESSA-listening-tour
Please go to this link (http://tinyurl.com/jjqnf8t) to let us know that you are attending one of the listening tour meetings. We will make sure that you receive the talking points directly. After attending, we ask that you give us feedback from your experience on this form: http://tinyurl.com/hxduk9z
This is an exciting and important time for school libraries. We look forward to sharing more on this in the coming weeks and months. We are working on scheduling a free AASL ESSA Advocacy Workshop this fall. We will also be sharing more information in a session at the ISLMA Conference in Tinley Park in November.