D204 examines new testing results
By David Sharos For The Sun February 26, 2013 10:52AM
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:33AM
The Indian Prairie School District 204 School Board received updates Monday night regarding new benchmarks for state testing as well as a report on how a second measurement tool being used throughout the district reflects student progress on the new Common Core assessments.
Pat Nolten, executive director of assessment, research and development for the district, provided highlights of the district’s performance in math and reading and said that realigned state standards will mean that the district’s performance of more than 90 percent of students meeting standards in math and reading will now actually appear lower.
“Because of the adjustment made with ISAT scores, we find ourselves with about 8 out of 10 students meeting the standards as opposed to 9 out of 10 before the ISAT ... score transition,” Nolten said. “These are still the same schools, the same students, and the same teachers. The new alignment means we’ll have a better projection now in terms of college and career readiness.”
The adjusted scores go along with the implentation of the new Common Core standards designed to provide tougher standards to help better prepare students for the work world.
The district has also been using the Riverside Interim Assessment aligned to English Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core state standards in order to track progress throughout the current year. Nolten explained that the test was given already this fall and winter, with a third assessment planned for this spring.
“Unlike the ISAT, which in Illinois focuses on about 20 percent of the core standards, the primary purpose is to assess present levels of performance and growth relative to Common Core expectations,” he said. “It will allow us to get a sense of where we are now before the tests during 2014-2015 and stay ahead of where we want to be.”
Performance results so far after two of the three tests showed improvements in Common Core language arts skills in all grades two through seven. Eighth grade performance fell slightly from the first test to the second. In the math test, all grades showed improvement. The final exam will be given sometime in April or May.
In other developments, a report on the district’s new food service program run by Chartwells was presented. Highlights included an expanded menu with five options at the elementary schools, the transition of the Metea satellite kitchen being completed and the food company entering into a community partnership to help Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry help the needy.
Surveys conducted showed that 62.4 percent of parents throughout the district rated the meals adequate to excellent. A total of more than 71 percent of students in grades three through five said they liked the lunch program “a lot or sometimes” while a majority of middle school students said the program was “good or excellent.” High school students offered the same ratings of “good or excellent” at a rate of 68.2 percent.
of the time for the food service.