The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the 2019 Illinois Report Card recently, and the 2019 data show historic increases in students taking and succeeding in rigorous college and career preparation courses.
Schools are given a summative designation, which is a measure of progress in academic performance and student success. Those designations are:
• Exemplary – Schools performing in the top 10% of schools statewide with no underperforming student groups.
• Commendable – A school that has no underperforming student groups, a graduation rate greater than 67% and whose performance is not in the top 10% of schools statewide.
• Underperforming – A school in which one or more student groups is performing at or below the level of the “all students” group in the lowest performing 5% of schools.
• Lowest performing – A school that is in the lowest performing 5% of schools in Illinois and any high school with a graduation rate of 67% or less.
Local schools performed well, according to data released in the report.
Nettle Creek District 24C
Nettle Creek School District, with one school that holds 91 K-8 students, ranked as an exemplary school. Academic progress as determined through the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) exam shows that in ELA, 53% of students meet expectations, 14% exceed expectations and 17% are approaching expectations. In math, 41% meet expectations, 8% exceed expectations and 39% are approaching expectations.
Morris School District 54
Morris School Dist. 54 is a pre-K-8 district. While White Oak Elementary and Shabbona Middle School combined in the 2016-17 school year, and the school was renamed Morris Elementary School in 2019, White Oak and Shabbona are still listed separately on the state site. District-wide academic progress for Dist. 54 shows that per the IAR’s ELA results, 28% of students meet expectations, 5% exceed expectations and 31% are approaching expectations. In math, 21% meet expectations, 1% exceed expectations and 29% are approaching expectations. Enrollment in District 54 is 1,188.
Saratoga District 60C
Ranked as a commendable school, academic progress at Saratoga School per IAR shows that in ELA, 50% of students meet expectations, 15% exceed expectations and 25% are approaching expectations. In math, 43% of students meet expectations, 9% exceed expectations and 27% are approaching expectations. Enrollment at Saratoga school, a pre-K-8 district, is 794 students.
MCHS District 101
Ranked as a commendable school, academic progress at Morris Community High School, per SAT scores, shows that in ELA, 29% of students meet expectations, 6% exceed expectations and 37% are approaching expectations. In math, 33% of students meet expectations, 7% exceed expectations and 32% are approaching expectations. At MCHS, 87% of ninth graders are on track to graduate, and the school saw an 89% graduation rate. Enrollment at MCHS, a 9-12 district, is 867 students.
According to the report, Illinois now has its most racially and linguistically diverse student population in recent history, which amplifies its gains.
“Illinois has focused intensively on college and career readiness for all students,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Illinois’ gains demonstrate that each and every child can succeed when provided the rigor, resources, and academic and social-emotional supports they need. I am proud of Illinois’ students and educators and energized for the future of Illinois’ schools.”
Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2020 budget included an additional $375 million for Evidence-Based Funding, which largely goes to the least well-funded school districts.
School districts across Illinois have invested new Evidence-Based Funding in educators – hiring additional teachers, social workers and counselors; reducing class sizes; and investing in professional development.
According to the report, students in the 10th through 12th grades took a combined 169,217 dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate courses in 2019, approximately 10,000 more than in 2016 when data collection began.
Students recorded the highest-ever pass rates on AP Exams, even with the expansion in access among historically underrepresented student groups.
Meanwhile, the ISBE announced last week it has launched an online survey to get feedback about how to make assessments “more useful, inclusive, equitable and balanced.”
The state switched to the IAR last year. The ISBE is considering at least three major changes to the way it administers those tests and is seeking public input about which changes should be given highest priority. Tests given this coming spring will remain the same; changes will go into effect in 2021.
The 2019 Illinois Report Card can be viewed online at www.IllinoisReportCard.com.