Information on IL-EMPOWER


IL-EMPOWER will be the structure for new statewide system through which schools will be able to select a Provider Partner(s) and access school improvement services.

While IL-EMPOWER will be open to all schools, it will also become the structure through which schools identified as “Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools” and “Targeted Support and Improvement Schools” will access school improvement services.

Some important information that ISBE has shared about IL-EMPOWER includes:

  • Current Focus Schools and Priority Schools will receive support through IL-EMPOWER for the 2017-18 school year. For the purposes of IL-EMPOWER in 2017-18, Priority Schools will be classified as Comprehensive and Focus Schools will be classified as Targeted Schools.

  • Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools will be required to participate in IL-EMPOWER. (Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools, in basic terms, will be defined as the lowest 5% of Title I schools or high schools with graduation rates less than 67% not already in the lowest 5%.)

  • Any school accessing support through IL-EMPOWER will:

    • Conduct an equity audit and a needs assessment to determine opportunities for growth and set targets in one or more of the following areas: Governance and Management, Curriculum and Instruction, and Climate and Culture.

    • The equity audit and needs assessment process will include the use of the Illinois Balanced Accountability Measure (IBAM) Quality Framework. Additionally, you can access more information on IBAM.

    • Work with a pre-approved Provider Partner to select the additional Provider Partners that best meet the needs of the school community identified from the equity audit and needs assessment.

    • Work with their selected Provider Partner(s) to create a four-year improvement plan and targets with quarterly reporting to ISBE.

According to the ISBE ESSA Plan, the vision for IL-EMPOWER is, “to allow the lowest performing schools more flexibility to choose the evidence-based improvement strategies that will work best in their local context. IL-EMPOWER also places greater emphasis on sustaining improvement by building capacity and leadership.”

CEC is making preparations to be an IL-EMPOWER Provider Partner. We look forward to supporting districts and identified schools to complete their equity audits and needs assessments throughout the ISBE. If you have any questions about ESSA or IL-EMPOWER please contact David Osta or at 630-495-0507.

For more information about IL-EMPOWER and the overall ISBE ESSA Plan visit the following pages:

ISBE News Release and Summary

ISBE ESSA Visual One-Pager

ISBE ESSA Slide Presentation

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