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ISAT standards slated to increase

Will impact ability to make AYP

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 5:00 a.m. CDT

CHANNAHON — Channahon District 17 — and all other Illinois public schools — will likely see the percentage of students meeting and exceeding state standards decline.

The dark prediction, however, is through no fault of the schools involved.

Instead, beginning with this spring's Illinois Standards Achievement Test, the bar for “exceeds” and “meets” scores will be higher.

“This is going to be a huge difference,” Channahon District 17 Superintendent Dr. Karin Evans told the school board this week. “The state just gave us a drastic change on cut scores on the ISAT, which will make a difference on meets standards and exceeds standards.”

Evans gave an example of third-grade reading scores. Previously, students had to score 191-226 to meet standards. Now, they will have to score 207-235 to be in that category. For a student to be in the “exceeds” goals category, the old requirement was a score of 227 or above. Now it will be a 236.

That may not look like a large difference, but Evans said it could be around 20 percent. It could mean, for example, going from an 86 percent of students meeting standards to 60 percent of students meeting standards.

E-mails went out to parents of students in District 17 last week regarding the new cut scores. Teachers will also be available at this week's Parent-Teacher conferences to discuss with parents the implications of the changes.

It’s all due to a new set of common core standards established by the Illinois Board of Education, Evans explained to the board.

“The assumption is that students who score proficient on the assessments will be on track for success in college and the workplace,” she wrote in the board packet. “The new assessments will be. . . better aligned with higher education demands.”

The new word is “rigor,” she said, and higher expectations of the students.

Evans said she’s not sure what the situation will do to AYP, or adequate yearly progress, demands by the state as of yet.

The board this week also approved some personnel items, including hiring Janice Selfridge as a substitute bus driver at $35.70/run; hiring Carol Koran as a Three Rivers School cafeteria server for $9/hour; hiring Stacy Odegaard as a substitute cafeteria server for $8.50/hour; and accepting the resignation of Three Rivers School cafeteria server Peggy Hyalka.

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