D203 officials happy with state report card results
By David Sharos For The Sun November 5, 2012 5:36PM
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:25AM
Naperville School District 203 officials were happy with the results of state report card results released last week.
Significantly, the district achieved AYP or adequate yearly progress in 334 of 363 indicators, or over 90 percent, which Assistant Superintendent Tim Wierenga called “a true celebration.”
District officials presented results of the annual report card Monday afternoon during a special press meeting before Monday’s night regularly scheduled board meeting. Assistant superintendents Wierenga, Jennifer Hester and Kate Foley offered a 30-minute overview of district results, followed by a question-and-answer session. Malee Farmer, director of research and analytics, was also on hand.
“Our performance exceeded the state requirements in terms of the benchmark areas of participation of those taking the test, students meeting or exceeding in each subgroup, graduation rate and attendance rate,” he said. “This compares favorably with last year when our numbers were 332 out of 363.”
Individual breakdowns of elementary, junior high and high school AYP were provided, with results showing that overall, elementary schools performed the best, which generally reflects the performance of schools across the state. A total of 11 of 14 elementary schools achieved AYP in reading and math. At the junior high level, Lincoln Junior High performed the best making AYP in reading and math, while Jefferson, Kennedy, Madison and Washington all made AYP except for primarily one subgroup.
Naperville Central and North High Schools also achieved AYP except for some subgroups in the reading and math areas. Wierenga noted that “the rigor of state testing offered at the 11th-grade level” continues to result in lower scores across the state with “very few schools making all AYP standards.”
“All of our groups have students that have excelled as well as others that have struggled,” he said. “Our task is to look at individual students, and we want to accelerate prevention, which always trumps remediation.”
Naperville high schools continue to far exceed state averages on the ACT score as the 2012 results were a composite 25.3 — a level that also exceeds scores of no less than five comparable unit districts in the area. The state average is more than four points lower at 20.9, while the national average this year was 21.1
Foley noted that the district was working “on multi-level, tightly knit assessments” but that the true teaching and remediation “still must come at the classroom level.” Wierenga stressed that in terms of remediation for subgroups as well as all other students, “local context and strategies are important.”
“Strategies work differently in different settings,” he said. “The local context is also important, and teachers need to respond in a culturally responsive way.”
Officials said new alignment of state testing is coming in 2014-2015, which will allow comparisons of students across the country.
Director of Communications Susan Rice noted that parents will find results of the report card on the district’s website and that comparisons of districts and groups can be made by visiting the Illinois Interactive School Report Card at http://iirc.niu.edu/