Only one high school and nine elementary schools in the Tri-Cities school districts and Kaneland School District 302 made Adequate Yearly Progress this year, according to data release by the Illinois State Board of Education on Thursday.
Under No Child Left Behind, every child is expected to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.
Illinois has applied for a waiver of the federal education requirements imposed by No Child Left Behind. According to the ISBE, it remains under review with the U.S. Department of Education.
Overall this year, Batavia School District 101, Geneva School District 304, St. Charles School District 303 and Kaneland did not make AYP.
However, each district had schools that did.
Of the 40 schools among the four districts, those making AYP were Ferson Creek and Fox Ridge elementary schools in St. Charles; Grace McWayne, J.B. Nelson and Louise White elementary schools in Batavia; Western Avenue and Williamsburg elementary schools in Geneva; and Kaneland High School and John Shields and John Stewart elementary schools in District 302.
This is the first time Kaneland High School has made AYP since 2008.
“I think it certainly shows the efforts that they’ve made to improve learning for kids,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said.
But, he noted, it will take hard work to sustain improvement.
Because the ISBE raised performance expectations on the reading and math portions of the test third- through eighth-graders take, Geneva officials cautioned the community about drawing conclusions between this year’s and last year’s scores.
“We plan to use the state report cards as information, along with other indicators, to help us with our ongoing efforts toward continuous improvement,” Geneva Superintendent Kent Mutchler said in a written statement.
The requirements were raised to better align with the Common Core Learning Standards and to give a better indication of college and career readiness, according to the state education board.
“I know that it’s a lot of new expectations and it’s difficult to see school scores decline, but we needed to give families a better indication earlier on of college and career readiness,” State Board Chairman Gery J. Chico said in a written statement.
Each school’s and district’s performance is detailed at illinoisreportcard.com.
The school and district report cards have been reformatted to include information such as the various classes and activities offered at the schools, as well as student academic growth – a feature welcomed by local superintendents.
“I think it’ll be helpful for us in plotting out changes we need to make,” District 303 Superintendent Don Schlomann said.
The student academic growth section shows how much progress students have demonstrated from one year to the next in reading and math.
While it will take time to fully understand the report card’s new components, Schuler said it is a move in the right direction.
“It’s consistent with the way we’ve addressed learning in the school district,” he said.