High schools do not reach adequate yearly progress goals
Updated: December 4, 2011 10:26AM
Mundelein High School test scores showed steady improvement on standardized tests in the 2010-2011 school year but still fell short of meeting state goals in a number of categories.
Meanwhile, Community High School District 128 students for both Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools performed better than the state average but were still below the state’s adequately yearly progress (AYP) standards for the No Child Left Behind Act. The scores reflected state standardized tests that were taken by students in the spring of 2011.
Mundelein High School 120
Overall, 57.9 percent of Mundelein High School students met or exceeding state goals on all state tests, an improvement of almost 2 percentage points over the previous school year where 56 percent met or exceeding goals. The high school still short of the statewide overall composite average of 76.5 percent for all state tests.
On the Prairie State Achievement Exam, 56.8 percent of Mundelein High School students overall met or exceeded state goals, which was better than the state average of 50.5 percent. On the ACT exam, the average composite test score at MHS was 21.3, also above the state’s average score of 20.6.
Superintendent Jody Ware said overall she was “very pleased” by the district’s result on the PSAE and other state tests.
“We increased in reading, math and science (on the PSAE),” she said. “We are above the state in all three areas. There’s nice steady increases in student performance.”
Still, MHS did not meet the state’s adequate yearly progress standards for No Child Left Behind because only 56.9 percent of all students met or exceeded state reading standards and only 61 percent of students met or exceeded state math standards. In order to meet the AYP standards, 85 percent of all students tested have to meet or exceed state standards in reading and math.
“We still did not meet AYP but there was only one high school in this region that met AYP,” said Ware. “The challenge is that it is getting to be insurmountable at this point (to meet AYP).”
The school’s Hispanic students also did not make state goals in math and the school’s disabled and low-income students fell short of meeting state goals in reading and math.
Despite falling below state goals in some of the subgroup population areas, Ware said the district is making steady progress in those areas.
Community High School District 128
Students at both Libertyville and Vernon Hills high school’s performed better than the state average on all state tests. Overall, about 80.8 percent of students met or exceeded goals on all state tests for the 2010-2011 school year, compared to the statewide average of 76.5 percent.
Between 79 to 81 percent of district students met or exceeded goals in reading, math and science on the Prairie State Achievement Exam.
“We had 814 students take the PSAE test and the average composite PSAE score was really great,” said Deb Larson, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at District 128.
However, overall the district failed to meet the state’s AYP standards for No Child Left Behind, falling short of the state’s goal of 85 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards in the different subject areas.
Larson said it’s unfortunate that the state labels schools as failing when 80 percent of the students overall are meeting or exceeding state standards. She believes the No Child Left Behind legislation needs to be revised to more fairly assess student growth, particularly for students in certain subgroups such as children with disabilities or limited English proficiency.
“Sometimes, it’s not fair to assess special education students with this difficult tests,” she said. “There may be better ways to assess student growth.”
Meanwhile, district students performed very well on the ACT test, with an average composite ACT score of 24.5, compared to the statewide average score of 20.9.
Larson said particularly noteworthy were ACT scores in mathematics, where VHHS had an average score of 25.6 and LHS had an average score of 24.6.
“That’s a great average score in mathematics,” she said. “We’re really making a lot of progress.”