Illinois Record of Service
Great Lakes West State Manager: Monique Chism, Ph.D.
Statewide System of Support
For the past several months, Great Lakes West staff have worked with a seven-member state team to gather data about the Illinois statewide system of support (SSOS) using the self-assessment process developed by the Center on Innovation and Improvement and described in Strengthening the Statewide System of Support: A Manual for the Comprehensive Center and State Education Agency (Redding & Walberg, 2007). Guided by Great Lakes West, the team used the 10-step self-assessment process, which began with an introduction to an evidence-based framework for designing an effective system of support. During the process, school and district administrators along with RESPRO staff were contacted to help the team obtain information needed to conduct a careful analysis of the system. The Illinois team completed the SSOS self-assessment process, identified several key findings, outlined recommendations for strengthening the system, and determined three improvement goals upon which they will focus during the next year. In addition, the team decided to continue to meet quarterly and asked Great Lakes West to help monitor their progress toward implementation of the plan.
Senate Joint Resolution 59 (SJR59) (Students' College Readiness) directed the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), ISBE, and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to do the following:
- Develop a plan to utilize the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to gauge students' college readiness
- Utilize PSAE results to shape students' senior-year curricula, including any necessary remediation
- Develop a new High School Feedback Report in conjunction with testing services that would better inform high school administrators and education policymakers about students' performance during their first year of postsecondary education
- Ensure that the new High School Feedback Report be available to ISBE, IBHE, and ICCB, and that the report be public During the past year, IBHE, ISBE, and ICCB reviewed the method used to report to high schools about the academic progress and success of high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary institutions. A committee identified several recommendations for how to improve the current High School Feedback Report. The SEAs, along with a group of stakeholders, are working on a prototype to revise the Illinois High School Feedback Report. Great Lakes West is supporting ISBE's efforts on this committee and working with the committee to publicize this new report and provide opportunities for individuals to receive training on the use of the report. This committee also will design an evaluation plan to measure the impact and utility of the report.
ISBE has a number of state and federal programs that serve parents. These programs focus on various parental audiences and cover a broad range of topics, such as science, early childhood, and English language learners (ELLs). During the past year, Great Lakes West provided technical assistance to support ISBE staff with parent involvement activities. The work began in the Division of Federal Grants and Programs—specifically Title I—and has expanded to include other divisions of the agency. Most recently, Great Lakes West staff developed and administered a survey to all ISBE staff members involved with parent initiatives. An analysis of the survey results helped state staff recognize opportunities for collaboration across the various divisions. As ISBE staff began to see the multitude of programs and initiatives, they recognized the need for a cohesive approach that would maximize the use of the state's resources while meeting the needs of all students and their parents. To achieve this goal, ISBE formed a cross-divisional team that meets regularly to review state programs and coordinate parent involvement efforts. With assistance from Great Lakes West, one of the first steps this group is taking involves mapping their current programs and initiatives to identify program goals and activities.
Redding, S., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.) (2007). Strengthening the statewide system of support: A manual for the comprehensive center and state education agency. Washington, DC: Center on Innovation and Improvement. Retrieved July 9, 2008, from http://www.centerii.org/techassist/support/resources/Manual%20for%20Strengthening%20CCSEA%2010%2017%2007.pdf