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Illinois 5Essentials Survey Security

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016 08:41PM CDT
Illinois 5Essentials: Security Fact Sheet on Rostered Surveys

This past school year was the fourth year in which ISBE administered an online, statewide survey to collect feedback on individual schools’ learning conditions and environment. The 5Essentials Survey is an evidence-based system designed to drive school improvement by measuring change and providing individualized, actionable reports for each school. The 5Essentials Survey is for all certified pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and students in sixth through 12th grades across the state. The survey is based on 20-plus years of research by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research on five components found to be critical for school success.

Enhancing Security with Rostered Surveys

In the 2013-14 administration, five districts piloted the use of teacher and student rosters to enhance survey security while preserving student and teacher confidentiality. This year, all Illinois 5Essentials student and teacher surveys will use rosters.

Using rosters for teacher surveys helps to minimize the possibility that teachers will take the survey more than once or that unauthorized people will participate. In order to protect teacher confidentiality in a rostered survey, school and district staff and ISBE staff will never receive identifiable teacher data. That is, they will never know how individual teachers responded to specific questions. In addition, neither school staff nor ISBE staff will know which teachers did or did not respond.

Protections of student confidentiality are slightly different. Administrators at the school level can see which students did or did not respond—but they will never know how an individual student responded to individual questions.

The 5Essentials is a confidential survey. No student or teacher names or other unique identifiers are connected with individual responses or used in any report. Teachers, students, and parents should all feel comfortable to respond honestly to the survey. If individuals feel that they cannot respond honestly or that they are being forced to participate, they may contact 5Essentials at

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