Illinois has defined three areas of focus within its exit criteria.
However, the lack of specifics within two of these criteria is a cause for concern. Another point of concern is that the plan indicates the criteria are “proposed” and potentially still in development.
The first criterion is that schools would simply no longer have to be identified for the list. This may not be sufficient to demonstrate real, sustained progress. By failing to identify numeric targets in advance, the state is not providing schools with sufficient information about what they need to do in order to demonstrate satisfactory progress.
The state should be commended for proposing a requirement that schools develop a sustainability plan prior to exiting their identification status, although this language is still somewhat vague.
In addition, the state should be commended for requiring a growth trajectory as part of the state’s exit status. For this to be effective, it is necessary for the state to set specific targets and timelines in advance.