News

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2009

Illinois students show gains on all state tests

39 schools and 3 districts make AYP for second consecutive year to move off academic improvement status


Despite improved performance more schools and districts face sanctions

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that students are showing improvement on all tests administered by the state and that more than 40 schools and districts are being removed from improvement status as a result of their student performance, attendance rates and graduation rates. However, despite the improvements students are making, more schools and districts are failing to meet performance targets that continue to increase under the federal No Child Left Behind law (NCLB). The results were announced as part of the State Board’s statewide analysis of the 2009 State Report Card.

“Schools and districts are making significant improvement, even as the required testing performance benchmark increased by another 7.5 points over last year,’’ said Christopher A. Koch, State Superintendent of Education. “Overall, our statewide averages continue to increase incrementally for all tests. But even though we are seeing gains, the number of schools making adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) continues to decline - another reason why No Child Left Behind needs to be re-examined.’’

Analysis of the statewide data for 2009 shows that 39 schools and 3 districts have been removed from improvement status by making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years by meeting the standards of NCLB. In addition, the data also shows that 53 schools and 9 districts in improvement status will not advance to further sanctions because they made AYP this year.

The tests were given in March and April. Students in third through eighth grades took the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in reading and mathematics while students in fourth and seventh grades were also tested in science and third, fifth, sixth and eighth grade students were also tested in writing. Students in 11th grade take the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), which tests students in math, reading, science and writing. Only reading and mathematics results are used in calculating AYP.

Overall results show the number of schools and districts that made adequate yearly progress decreased under NCLB performance targets. During 2009, the target for student achievement increased from 62.5 percent meeting and exceeding state standards to 70.0 percent and the graduation rate increased from 75 percent to 78 percent. Attendance rates remained the same as last year, at 90 percent. Results from 2009 show that 2,253 of the schools that were tested made AYP under the increasing performance criteria while 1,553 or 40 percent failed to make AYP in 2009, an increase from 31 percent in 2008. In addition, 440 districts made AYP in 2009 while 429 or 49 percent failed to make AYP, an increase from 39 percent in 2008.

Highlights of the 2009 Report Card include:


Student Demographics & Performance


Statewide Composite Scores

Year
All State Tests
IAA
ISAT
PSAE
2008
74.8
66.3
79.1
52.5
2009
75.5
66.5
79.8
53.0


ISAT Math/Reading Statewide Average Percentage Meets/Exceeds:

Year
Math
Reading
Grade 3
2003
75.7%
62%
2004
79.2%
65%
2005
79.2%
66.6%
2006
85.6%
70.7%
2007
86.8%
73%
2008
85.1%
71.7%
2009
85.2%
72.2%
Grade 4
2006
84.8%
72.9%
2007
86.4%
73.7%
2008
84.6%
73.2%
2009
85.7%
73.8%
Grade 5
2003
68.3%
60.4%
2004
71.8%
60.9%
2005
73.1%
62.8%
2006
78.6%
68.5%
2007
82.5%
69.7%
2008
81.4%
73.5%
2009
82.4%
73.5%
Grade 6
2006
79.1%
72.8%
2007
81.4%
73.4%
2008
82.6%
79%
2009
82.4%
79.9%

Grade 7
2006
76.1%
72%
2007
79.4%
73.4%
2008
80.4%
77.7%
2009
82.8%
77.5%
Grade 8
2003
53.1%
63.7%
2004
54.4%
67.1%
2005
54.3%
72.7%
2006
78.2%
79.2%
2007
81.3%
81.8%
2008
80.4%
81.4%
2009
81.7%
83.6%


ISAT Science Statewide Average Percentage Meets/Exceeds:

Grade 4
Year
Science
2003
75.7%
2004
79.2%
2005
79.2%
2006
85.6%
2007
86.8%
2008
85.1%
2009
85.2%
Grade 7
2003
68.3%
2004
71.8%
2005
73.1%
2006
78.6%
2007
82.5%
2008
81.4%
2009
82.4%


PSAE Statewide Averages Percentage Meets/Exceeds:

Year
Reading
Math
Science
2003
56.4
53.3
51.3
2004
56.8
53.1
52.9
2005
59.5
52.8
52.5
2006
58.4
53.6
50.8
2007
54.1
52.7
51.0
2008
53.3
53.0
51.2
2009
56.9
51.6
50.5

ISBE has produced the School Report Card since 1986 for every public school and district in Illinois. State report cards have been produced since 2002 and are required by the federal No Child Left Behind law.

A full list of the 39 schools and 3 districts that were removed from improvement status can be found online at http://www.isbe.net/pdf/improvement_2009.pdf.

A full list of the 53 schools and 9 districts that are in improvement status but will not advance to further sanctions because they made AYP this year http://www.isbe.net/pdf/ayp_improvement_2009.pdf.

Schools and districts are placed into improvement status when they do not make AYP for two consecutive state testing cycles. After two years, schools and districts enter academic early warning status. Failing to make AYP for four consecutive years in the same subject area, schools and districts are in academic watch status. After a fifth calculation, a school enters restructuring planning and will implement that plan should it fail to make AYP for the sixth time. Federal sanctions can include offering school choice and its supplemental education services for schools in improvement and corrective action which receive Title I funds. State and federal requirements merge for schools in restructuring. Districts are charged with developing a restructuring plan for schools after not making AYP for the fifth calculations.

NCLB requires all states to measure each public school’s and district’s achievements and establish annual achievement targets for the state. The overreaching goal is for all students to meet or exceed standards in reading and mathematics by 2014.

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