Message From State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch
At our meeting in Champaign last week, members of the Illinois State Board of Education received an overview of the State Report Card, which will be released later this month. The Report Card has new metrics and additional capabilities that build on the functionality and enhanced features of the redesigned Report Card introduced last fall and rated tops in the nation by the Education Commission of the States.
Districts were provided with access to begin reviewing drafts of their Report Cards this week by logging into their MyIIRC accounts at https://iirc.niu.edu/MyIIRC/. The 2014 Report Card, set to go online Oct. 31 atwww.illinoisreportcard.com, also reflects a state and national move toward monitoring school districts based on multiple measures of growth and performance as opposed to a single test score at one point in time.
Some of the new metrics on the 2014 Report Card include 12-month and 16-month enrollment statistics for former Illinois high school students in two-year and four-year colleges. Also added this year is the percentage of students who finish their freshman year on track for college readiness, meaning they have earned at least five full-year course credits (10 semester credits) and have earned no more than one semester F in a core course (English, math, science or social studies). This data will be reported at the high school, district and state levels.
A new metric on principal turnover has been added, reporting the number of principals who have worked at a particular school in the past six school years. The current state average for this metric is about two principals per school over six years. The 2014 Report Card also includes data on teacher retention rates, which show the percentage of teachers returning to the same school over the last three school years. The current state average for teacher retention is more than 85 percent.
This year is also the first in which each school's 5Essentials Survey results will be posted on the School Report Card. This year's Report Card will link to Illinois.5-Essentials.org and provide in-depth features for examining 5Essentials results.
Report Cards will be made available to the public on Oct. 31. We have provided districts with access to their report cards and we have also allowed media access, on an embargoed basis, until the Oct. 31 release. We have prepared fact sheets and other materials you can use when communicating about the 2014 Report Card and 5Essentials information to your communities. You may access this additional information at www.isbe.net/hot-topics.htm.
Finally, I want to congratulate Illinois State Board of Education member Dr. Vinni Hall, who received the National Association of State Boards of Education 2014 Distinguished Service Award. Vinni has been a member of our State Board since 2004 and currently serves as board secretary. She brings experience, compassion and a wealth of knowledge to each and every discussion. Vinni lives in Chicago and her term expires in January. She's given us more than 10 years of her time and wisdom and rightfully deserves this honor from her peers.
Have a great week!