October 30, 2001
Honorable Glenn W. McGee
Superintendent of Education
Illinois Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, Illinois 62777
Dear Superintendent McGee:
The purpose of this letter is to grant Illinois a waiver of timeline until December 31, 2002 for meeting the final assessment requirements of Title I as requested in your letter of June 29, 2001.
Illinois has completed most of the requirements for its grades 3, 5, and 8 assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics. This additional time will allow Illinois to complete its high school assessments, the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE), in reading and mathematics for the eleventh grade. When these assessments are completed and administered in 2001, the State will need to submit documentation of its development of performance standards, inclusion policies, and participation rates for these assessments and reporting for individual students and schools and the use of results in the State’s accountability system. For the PSAE, you must also address alignment of content and performance standards with the assessments, including a description of your approach for ensuring alignment, and present a plan for addressing identified gaps or weaknesses, and evidence of technical quality of all components of the PSAE.
Failure of Illinois to complete the activities as scheduled may make it necessary for this office to consider the other courses of action available to the Department. Potential actions include requiring Illinois to enter into a compliance agreement in order to remain eligible to receive Title I funds or initiating proceedings to withhold Title I funds from the State. However, with Illinois’ proven track record, I am confident none of these steps will be necessary.
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I ask that Illinois provide quarterly updates of progress in completing the remaining Title I assessment requirements. When all of the action steps for the final assessment system are completed, please provide evidence to the Department’s Title I office on or before December 31, 2002.
We will work with you and your staff to support and monitor the implementation of your timeline waiver. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Susan B. Neuman, Ed. D.