August 18, 2008 – Illinois Assessment Letter

August 18, 2008

The Honorable Christopher Koch
Superintendent of Education
Illinois Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, Illinois 62777

Dear Superintendent Koch:

I am pleased to approve Illinois’ assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). I congratulate you on meeting this important NCLB requirement.

My decision is based on input from peer reviewers external to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and Department staff who reviewed and carefully considered the evidence submitted by Illinois. I have concluded that the evidence demonstrates that Illinois’ standards and assessment system satisfies the NCLB requirements. Specifically, Illinois’ system includes academic content standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science; student achievement standards in reading/language arts and mathematics; alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in reading/language arts and mathematics; and assessments and alternate assessments in each of grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school in reading/language arts and mathematics. Accordingly, Illinois’ system warrants Full Approval. This status means that Illinois’ standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements for reading/language arts and mathematics.

Please be aware that approval of Illinois’ assessment system under NCLB is not a determination that the system complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Finally, please remember that, if Illinois’ makes significant changes in its assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval.

We have found it a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations on your State’s approved standards and assessment system under NCLB. I wish you well in your continued efforts to improve student achievement in Illinois.


Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.

cc: Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
Connie Wise
Melina Wright
Joyce Zurkowski

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