Number of area elementary school districts fall short of standards
Updated: December 4, 2011 10:15AM
Elementary school districts in Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills performed significantly better than the state average on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, but many districts still fell short of meeting the adequate yearly progress (AYP) standards set forth in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The Illinois State Board of Education released 2011 school report cards for districts across the state on Monday. The report cards included results of ISAT scores and other standardized tests taken by students last spring.
Diamond Lake School District 76
In Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein, 83.5 percent of district students met or exceeded state standards in overall performance on the ISAT test for the 2010-2011 school year, compared to the statewide average of 82 percent. That is an improvement over the 2009-2010 school year where 81.1 percent of district students met or exceeded state standards.
The district did not met all of the AYP requirements because only 78.4 percent of students met or exceeded state reading standards and only 79.3 percent met or exceeded state math standards. To achieve AYP, 85 percent of district students needed to meet or exceed standards.
Overall, however, Superintendent Roger Prosise said he was very pleased with the district results. He said West Oak Middle School did meet the requirements of AYP with 85.7 percent of the school’s students meeting or exceeding standards.
“West Oak Middle School made AYP, which is obviously a very good sign,” he said. “Diamond Lake School did not make AYP, but even though it did not make AYP all the subgroups made progress.”
Prosise said one area that the district will work to improve is reading scores at Diamond Lake School. In third and fourth grade reading, 74.7 percent met or exceeded state standards.
Fremont School District 79
Fremont School District 79 in Mundelein performed extremely well on the ISAT test with 94 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards for 2010-2011. Despite this, the district did not meet all of the requirements for AYP.
“The district did not meet AYP even though its overall performance was 93.9 percent of students who met or exceeded state standards,” said Kara Coglianese, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment for District 79. “This is due to students with a disabilities subgroup that scored 74.4 percent in the math category, about 3 percent less than the mandated amount. The district met AYP in reading but not in mathematics.”
Coglianese said the district has seen significant improvement in reading for subgroups, which include students with disabilities, limited English proficient and low-income students.
“In the reading category, some of the subgroups saw an increase in a single year of anywhere from 15 to 40 percent,” she said.
Coglianese said the district will continue to strive for improved performance in all areas, with a particular focus on helping students with disabilities in mathematics.
Hawthorn School District 73
Hawthorn School District 73 in Vernon Hills also was well above the state average on the ISAT test, with 89.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards compared to the state average of 82 percent.
“I think overall our district did very well, although we did not make AYP,” said Superintendent Susan Zook. “I think overall our scores were very good district wide. At the different grade levels, we’re seeing between 85 to 90 percent of our students meeting or exceeding state standards.”
The district did not meet all of the AYP requirements because some of the subgroups such as students with limited English proficiency, Hispanic and disabled students at some schools did not meet or exceed state standards in reading and math.
Zook believes the state standards for AYP are unrealistic and need to be changed for those subgroups to better reflect overall student progress.
“It’s those subgroups across the state that have a very difficult time making AYP goals,” she said. “We will continue to work with individual students in those subgroups to hopefully fill in those gaps.”
Libertyville School District 70
Overall 95.8 percent of students in Libertyville District 70 met or exceeded state standards on the ISAT test across all five district schools, well above the state average and a slight improvement over last year’s district average.
“I think it bodes well for our entire community—our students, our staff and our families—to have such strong performance,” said Superintendent Guy Schumacher.
Schumacher said district schools performed well in all subject areas, with some categories in a few grade levels reaching 100 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.
“Some of the scores are just extraordinary at all our schools and were well above the state average at all of our schools,” he said.
While all of the individual schools met the AYP requirements, Schumacher said there were some subgroups where the district failed to meet AYP goals. The areas where the district fell short were primarily small pockets of students with disabilities, he said.
“We’re always looking at target populations to see what we can do to improve and certainly the special needs population is one area we’re looking at to address to the needs of those students,” he said.
Mundelein School District 75
In Mundelein District 75, 89.6 percent of students met or exceeded state standards on the ISAT. Overall district achievement was significantly above the state average and met the state’s AYP requirements of 85 percent for the No Child Left Behind Act, according to District 75 Superintendent Cindy Heidorn.
Heidorn said the district’s strongest performance was in math where 93.8 percent of all students met or exceeded state standards, an increase of .4 percent over last year. “We really knocked math out of the park,” she said.
Mechanics Grove Elementary School met all of the AYP requirements but Carl Sandburg Middle School fell short of meeting AYP for one of its subgroups. Only 62.7 percent of disabled students at Carl Sandburg met or exceeded state standards, falling below the goal of 69.1 for that group.
“They are working on a school improvement plan to help the students with disabilities subgroup meet those expectations,” she said.
Oak Grove School District 68
In Oak Grove School District 68 in Green Oaks, 95.4 percent of district students met or exceeded expectations on the ISAT and the district met all AYP standards.
“We were over 90 percent in every area, which is very good. We did make AYP, even though the bar is being raised every year,” said Superintendent Janice Matthews.
Matthews said district students performed particularly well in math. She said their third grade math scores for the district were 98.8 percent and fifth- and sixth-grade math was 98.2 percent.
Matthews said district students performed extremely well in all categories and she would eventually like to see 100 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards.
Rondout School District 72
Ninety-five percent of students in Rondout School District 72 met or exceeded standards on the ISAT test, a significant improvement over last year’s overall performance of 90.4 percent. The district met all of the AYP requirements.
“I can say based on preliminary scores we’re very pleased with the school’s performance. We continue to see growth over time,” said Superintendent Jenny Wojcik.
In a few categories, Wojcik said the district had 100 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards including third-grade math scores and sixth-grade reading and math scores.
Wojcik said the district will continue to work to improve ISAT test scores in all categories and will also focus on other academic areas such as writing, which are no longer part of the state test.