Posted October 1st, 2013 by Terri McHugh
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.
Discussion – 2013 State and District Assessments:
Assistant Superintendent Karen Hindman presented the 2013 state and district assessment results. In 2013 the Illinois State Board of Education changed the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) so that 20 percent of the questions on the reading and math tests contained items written and aligned to the Common Core State Standards. In 2014, 100 percent of the questions will align with the Common Core State Standards.
The state also increased the ISAT grading scale in 2013. The new performance levels make it more difficult for students to meet proficiency on the ISAT reading and math tests. They also better align with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and help schools prepare for the new PARCC (Partnership for Readiness of College and Careers) assessments, which will replace the ISAT during the 2014-15 school year.
The new performance levels also better align with those of the Prairie State Achievement Exam administered to high school juniors in Illinois and therefore provide more accurate information about how prepared our students are to meet college- and career-readiness benchmarks.
These changes have resulted in a smaller percentage of our students meeting or exceeding standards. In 2013, 77 percent of District 54 students met or exceeded standards in reading and 80.9 percent met or exceeded standards in math. This does not mean that our students or teachers are any less capable than they were in previous years.
Rather, Illinois is raising the bar. The adjustment is needed to better inform administrators, teachers, parents and students of students’ progress toward college- and career-readiness.
These changes have led to only six District 54 schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. AYP for 2013 is defined by the state as 92.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards in both reading and math on the ISAT, an increase from 85 percent in 2011 and 2012. If a school has a subgroup of students, 92.5 percent of that subgroup must meet or exceed standards. A subgroup is defined as at least 45 students in one of nine categories (based on race, limited English proficiency, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students). In 2014, AYP will be 100 percent.
Our district embraces the higher expectations for our students. While any standardized test score is just one indicator of student performance, we study these results and use them to help us tailor our instruction and support our students.
We also study the results from the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which we administer three times each year. MAP is a computerized, adaptive assessment that measures each student’s academic performance and growth in reading and math as compared to other students at the same grade level across the nation. In 2013, 30 percent of students doubled their expected growth in reading and 31 percent of students doubled their expected growth in math.
District 54 has a goal that each school will perform at or above the 90th percentile (top 10 percent nationally) in meeting individual student growth targets in reading and math as measured by MAP. As a district, our student growth was in the 94th percentile in reading and 95th percentile in math.
All Illinois school districts will be releasing the annual Illinois State Report Cards at the end of this month. Illinois has mandated these report cards for years so parents and community members can learn how the students at that school perform on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) administered in March each year. This year the report cards will have a new look that will be online and interactive, and will provide additional information such as school awards, special programs and data on how schools’ results are improving over time.
For a more detailed look at District 54 assessment results, click here to read the board memo.
Public Comment: A parent asked if it were possible for her son to be transferred to a different school in the district and whether the Board would consider changing the procedure for parents requesting a transfer to another school.
Freedom of Information Act Requests: There have been two requests since the last meeting related to sealcoating work and vendors for physical education supplies and equipment.
Consent Agenda: The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda:
- Minutes of the regular meeting on Sept. 19, 2013
- Resignations and employment of personnel
- Checks dated Sept. 20, 2013
- The Board approved the appointment of additional representatives to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2013-14 school year.
- The Board had the first reading of the following policies:
- 6:60 – Basic Instructional Program,
- 7:210 – Student Suspension or Expulsion from School and
- 7:220 – District-Provided Transportation Behavior – Student Suspension.
- Several board members read to kindergarten students today at part of Read for the Record, a national literacy campaign.
Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:57 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters and for business matters.