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School District 65 released students’ results on the 2011 ISATs in a 2011 Accountbility Report this week. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, 85% of the students in each student subgroup were required to meet or exceed standards in reading and math on the 2011 ISATs, or alternatively, satisfy a safe harbor requirement. Generally, the safe harbor requirement may be met by reducing the percentage of students who fail to meet AYP by 10% from the prior year.

The table above shows, on an aggregated basis, the percent of District 65 students in six different subgroups that met or exceeded standards in reading and math on the 2011 ISATs (“LEP” refers to students who are “limited-English proficient”): 

School District 65 as a whole did not meet AYP or the safe harbor requirement for black students and students with disabilities in reading on the 2011 ISATs. 

Seven of the District’s schools failed to meet AYP in reading for students as a whole or for one subgroup on the 2011 ISATs: Dawes (Hispanic students); Kingsley (low-income); Lincoln (low-income); Oakton (all students); Chute (students with a disability), Haven (black students), Nichols (students with a disability), King Lab (low-income).

Two of the schools failed to meet AYP in mathematics for one or two subgroups on the 2011 ISATs: Chute (students with a disability), Haven (students with a disability and low-income).

Oakton and Chute were required to offer parents the option to transfer students to another school in the District because they failed to meet AYP and are in Year 1 Improvement Status. Washington met AYP for all student subgroups on the 2011 ISATs, but was required to offer parents the option to transfer students to another school because it failed to meet AYP in the prior two years.

Approximately 50 students opted to transfer to another school under the school choice option, almost 30 from Oakton School. None of the District’s schools were subject to AYP requirements for LEP students and none of the District’s K-5 schools or magnet schools was subject to AYP requirements for students with a disability because they had too few students in these groups to be subject to AYP reporting requirements. 

Illinois is continuing to use a benchmark to “meet standards” on the ISATs that is ranked among the lowest in the country – most recently, 41st in reading and 45th in math at the eighth-grade level, according to a recent study, “Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2009” (2011), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education. For eighth-grade reading and math, the benchmarks to “meet standards” on the ISAT are set at the 20th national percentile, using the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests as yardsticks.

The Board plans to discuss the Accountability Report at an early-morning meeting to be scheduled in October.

% D65 Students Meeting/Exceeding

                          Reading   MathBlack                     77%      84%Hispanic               79         89White                    97         99LEP                          63         83Low-Income          76         85Disability              51         68 

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...