Scores show District 105 met state standards this year
Updated: December 4, 2011 10:31AM
Standardized test scores inched higher in 2011 for La Grange-Countryside Elementary District 105 to meet federal No Child Left Behind expectations for adequate yearly progress, unlike a year ago.
“We were happy to see that subgroups that did not make it last year, made it this year,” said Kathryn Heeke, director of curriculum and instruction. “We are also happy to see that the district made AYP this year.”
Among all students in the district, 86.3 percent met the reading benchmark and 90.1 percent achieved the math goal.
“Each year is a new year,” Heeke said. “When we address our needs and remain committed to implementing the best programming and instructional practices in the classroom, our goal is to make AYP each year.”
Subgroups of at least 45 students met the 85 percent standard or lowered safe harbor targets — a lower standard allowing schools that failed to reach the benchmark last year to show progress —in reading and math on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test given in March. Subgroups were tested of Hispanic students and those with limited English proficiency, disabilities and an economic disadvantage.
“When subgroups don’t meet, we certainly focus on how to best serve them during the traditional school day and beyond with afterschool support,” Heeke said.
District administrators and teachers strive to consistently implement core curriculum throughout the district’s four elementary schools and Gurrie Middle School, she said.
“We have spent a great deal of time creating grade level learning targets, assessments and pacing guides to ensure consistent implementation and learning experiences for all our students,” Heeke said. “Through extensive analysis of student assessment data, teachers and staff intervene with research-based interventions as necessary.”
Gurrie Middle School met standards, except for economically disadvantaged students with 75.8 percent achieving the math benchmark, short of the 82 percent Safe Harbor target.
Only 76.2 percent of Hodgkins students met or exceeded the reading standard, yet math scores were high. Math standards were met by 100 percent of third-graders and fourth-grade girls. Fourth-grade science scores varied with 92.3 percent of boys making the grade, compared to 64.7 percent of the girls.
Ideal School fell short in three categories with 77.5 percent of students meeting the reading benchmark, 62.3 percent of Hispanic students achieving math standards and 67.3 percent of Hispanic making the grade for math.
Seventh Avenue School students met all standards with 100 percent of third-grade boys, fourth-grade girls and fifth-graders meeting the math goal. The science standard was met by 100 percent of fourth-graders.
Spring Avenue School students also met all standards and posted 100 percent results for third-grade girls, fourth-grade boys and fifth-grade girls for math and fourth-grade girls for science.
Superintendent Glenn Schlichting said the district’s use for the past six years of the computerized Measures of Academic Progress test, which adjusts and challenges students to their highest level, has helped shape district programs and boost ISAT scores.
“We do the MAP test multiple times a year so we can use it to get timely feedback on kids as a diagnostic test,” Schlichting said. “ISAT is in no way geared that way. We don’t get the results until kids are gone for the year.”
ISAT scores have been a useful accountability measure, but MAP tracks student progress over time and targets areas of struggle or strength, he said.
Schlichting said future No Child Left Behind challenges for the district are uncertain, whether the standard will jump another 7.5 percentage points to 92.5 percent, or whether safe harbor targets will be increased.
Federal officials have indicated some flexibility will be granted to state education officials in how they will address meeting AYP.
“ISAT is going to change significantly in the next three years and be given multiple times a year with an emphasis on progress,” he said.