NEWS

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2012

More Illinois Schools identified for Improvement under No Child Left Behind Benchmarks


Schools implementing Common Core Standards and moving toward multiple measures to gauge progress

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education today reviewed statewide 2012 assessment data that show 713 or 82 percent of Illinois districts, and 2,545 or 66 percent of schools, failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind. The number of schools not making AYP grew over last year but only slightly as AYP benchmarks were frozen, allowing Illinois schools to meet last year’s performance expectations while the state – like much of the country – moves closer to a new accountability system that emphasizes student growth rather than performance at one point in time.

“We are truly in a transition period in education as we move away from the punitive and one-size-fits-all nature of No Child Left Behind and into a system that will provide more comprehensive and useful information for parents, educators and students themselves about each child’s progress over time,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We are hopeful that this is the last year we report on AYP results and can instead offer data that paints a fuller picture of each student’s and school’s learning experience.”

As evidence of the disconnect under NCLB, Superintendent Koch pointed out that only 11 high schools made AYP in 2012, though many more rank among the best high schools in the country. Schools can miss making AYP because of the performance of a sub-group, even when the school overall meets benchmarks and/or makes progress over last year.

The results were announced as part of the State Board’s statewide analysis of the 2012 State Report Card during their monthly meeting on Tuesday at Southland Charter School in Richton Park.

The statewide composite score for students meeting and exceeding standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) given to elementary students stayed nearly flat, going from 82.0 in 2011 to 82.1 in 2012.

The composite score for the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), given to 11th graders, increased from 50.5 in 2011 to 51.3 in 2012. New State rules, passed in 2011, better defined 11th graders who have been required since 2001 to take the PSAE, which includes the ACT. Those rules have led to an increase of more than 12,000 PSAE test takers in 2011 and 2012.

Students in third through eighth grades last March took the ISAT in reading and mathematics while fourth and seventh graders were also tested in science. Students in 11th grade last April took the PSAE, which tests students in math, reading and science. Only reading and mathematics results are used in calculating AYP.

Illinois’ NCLB waiver remains under review with the U.S. Department of Education. The federal education agency has indicated that the only barrier to approval of the Illinois waiver application remains the state’s disagreement regarding the timeline for when districts must use student growth in their new local teacher evaluation system. The U.S. Department of Education is calling for all districts to implement new evaluations in 2014-15, but Illinois law calls for a progressive phase in, with some districts beginning to use the new evaluation system as early as this year and all districts using it by 2016-17.

Superintendent Koch emphasized that the Board remains optimistic that the state will resolve this issue in time for next year. In the interim, the State Board requested and received a freeze to the Annual Measurable Objectives at the 2010-11 school year levels. The AMO freeze means the calculations for Adequate Yearly Progress targets for 2011-12 are based on the previous year’s levels, without increasing. Therefore, schools were expected to show 85 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards in 2012, same as last year. Attendance rate targets for elementary and middle schools in 2012 remained the same as the previous year at 91 percent. Targets for graduation rates also remained the same at 82 percent.

“I’ve spoken with Secretary Duncan and I’m confident that our waiver application, which really represents Illinois’ roadmap for preparing students for success in college and careers, will be accepted next year and we’ll be able to fully move forward with our reform agenda,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “In the meantime, we are already implementing many elements of our plan to better gauge each student’s and school’s performance.”

Reform Agenda

Some of the reforms that will be implemented in the 2012-13 school year include:

“As we take on some of these reforms, we know there will be growing pains,” said State Superintendent Koch. “We expect ISAT scores will drop next year under the new performance levels. But, we owe it to our students to better align the ISAT with the rigor and college and career readiness benchmarks of the PSAE. Now, 82 percent of students in the state meet or exceed on the ISAT, compared to 51 percent on the PSAE. We must raise our expectations at the elementary level so that students are on track to leave high school prepared to succeed in the workforce, career and daily life.”

Illinois is a member of the 23-state Partnership for Assessment for College and Careers (PARCC) that is developing a new generation of tests aligned to the new standards to better measure students’ knowledge, skills and growth. The new state tests are expected to be available by the 2014-15 school year.

New Report Card

Under legislation passed last year, ISBE, in collaboration with many education partners across the state, is developing a new `at-a-glance’ report card designed to be more readable and user-friendly. Set to debut in Fall 2013, Race to the Top funds are supporting the redesign that will feature  more academic information as well as feedback about learning conditions from a new survey of teachers and students. 

Illinois 5Essentials Survey

Between Feb. 1 and the end of March 2013, the survey of learning conditions will be administered to all K-12 teachers and students in grades 6 through 12  in public schools. The survey, developed by the University of Chicago, is based on more than 20 years of research and aims to help identify strengths and weaknesses in five essential areas: instruction, environment, leaders, teachers and family involvement.

To be called “Illinois 5Essentials Survey,” a version of this survey has been used for more than a decade in Chicago Public Schools and more recently in other districts across the nation. The University of Chicago has found that schools strong on three or more of the five essentials are 10 times more likely to make substantial gains in math and reading. Districts can also give the survey to parents on a voluntary basis.

Student Demographics & Performance    

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 under No Child Left Behind.

ISAT Statewide Averages in Reading/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade
Year
Percentage Meet
and Exceeds
3
2008
71.7
2009
72.2
2010
73.7
2011
74.7
2012
76.1
4
2008
73.2
2009
73.8
2010
73.7
2011
74.7
2012
76.0
5
2008
73.5
2009
73.5
2010
74.7
2011
76.4
2012
77.8
6
2008
79.0
2009
79.9
2010
81.2
2011
84.1
2012
81.7
7
2008
77.7
2009
77.5
2010
77.5
2011
78.8
2012
78.1
8
2008
81.4
2009
83.6
2010
84.1
2011
85.0
2012
86.2



ISAT Statewide Averages in Math/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade
Year
Percentage Meet
and Exceeds
3
2008
85.1
2009
85.2
2010
86.3
2011
87.3
2012
87.7
4
2008
84.6
2009
85.7
2010
86.0
2011
87.7
2012
88.1
5
2008
81.4
2009
82.4
2010
83.4
2011
84.0
2012
83.6
6
2008
82.6
2009
82.4
2010
84.6
2011
84.0
2012
85.0
7
2008
80.4
2009
82.8
2010
84.4
2011
84.3
2012
84.6
8
2008
80.4
2009
81.7
2010
83.7
2011
86.3
2012
85.0

 


ISAT Statewide Averages Science/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Grade
Year
Percentage Meet and Exceeds
4
2008
76.2
2009
76.8
2010
76.7
2011
79.3
2012
79.8
7
2008
79.1
2009
79.5
2010
82.4
2011
81.9
2012
79.9
 
PSAE Statewide Averages/Percentage Meet and Exceeds
Year
Reading
Math
Science
2008
53.3
53.0
51.2
2009
56.9
51.6
50.5
2010
54.0
52.7
52.4
2011
51.0
51.3
49.2
2012
50.7
51.6
51.7

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