Illinois Report Card results released

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The Illinois State Board of Education released the 2016 Illinois Report Card last Monday, showing PARCC results for the year, among other items.

Anyone wishing to see the results for an individual school district can go to illinoisreportcard.com.

In the spring, Illinois high school students will begin taking the SAT rather than PARCC for college readiness while other grade levels will continue using the PARCC as an assessment tool.

For the Waterloo school district, the 2016 PARCC average composite score came out to 54 percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations compared to the prior year’s 57 percent. District curriculum coordinator John Schmieg said some of the test moving to an online platform contributed to the lower results.

“Our kids are not any less intelligent,” he said.

To help students score higher next year, Schmieg said the district is requesting that ISBE returns the testing format to paper rather than online for lower grade levels.

Schmieg also said the district suspects that some of the data is missing from its PARCC score. He said 60 eighth grade students took the Algebra 1 PARCC test, but those results do not appear to be added to the composite score.

Columbia received a 55 percent average composite score for 2016. That displays a five percent increase from the previous year, which superintendent Dr. Gina Segobiano said is the result of “a strong emphasis district wide in math over the past several years.”

Segobiano said the district’s drive to establish the proper curriculum will ensure continued success with the PARCC.

“The teachers have worked hard delivering a curriculum that utilizes the same instructional delivery approaches at each grade level and have worked hard building a clear grade level continuum district wide,” she said.

Valmeyer schools showed the most significant change in its average composite score, going from 51 percent meeting or exceeding expectations in 2015 to 36 percent for 2016.

“I think it’s still a little bit early to use the PARCC as a good measure for schools,” Valmeyer school superintendent Eric Frankford said when examining his district’s results.

Frankford said the district needs more data before turning the schools’ curricula around based on the test. The state began implementing PARCC in 2015, meaning only two years of results exist.

“Making sweeping changes may not be the way to go just yet,” he said.

Meanwhile, Frankford said the district will take a step back and see where gaps exist in curriculum, instruction and assessments.

The Dupo school district improved from a 2015 average composite score of 24 percent meeting or exceeding expectations to 31 percent for 2016. According to superintendent Steve Smith, Bluffview Elementary redesigned its curriculum and the district increased academic rigor to bring up the score.

The district will focus more on individual students’ needs for next year and do item analysis to determine if the district as a whole struggles in a particular subject.

The next PARCC testing period will occur in the spring of 2017.

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