D65 Students improve in reading and math

Chris Kirk

Changes in student achievement was the hot topic at Monday’s District 65 School board meeting.

A recently released achievement report shows District 65 students have improved in reading and math since last year.

More students have met or exceeded reading and math standards on the Illinois State Achievement Test than last year, continuing an upward trend that has been going on since 2006.

Most students who do not meet achievement test standards are of limited English proficiency or have disabilities. Excluding these students, 2.7 percent of students do not meet test standards for reading performance.

Racial disparities remain; of this group, 92 percent of black students, 99 percent of white students, 94 percent of Hispanic students, and 97 percent of Asians students meet standards for reading performance.

Nevertheless, most students scored higher than the average American student. Four-fifths of D65 students are outperforming half of the nation in reading and math, up from last year by about one percentage point.

Students in grades 3 through 8 take the Illinois State Achievement Test every year in March.

Results from the last Measures of Academic Progress test, however, projects the percentage of students who meet standards on the Illinois State Achievement Test this spring will slip from last year’s performance levels across middle school grades and for both math and reading.

“If we look at the projected scores, we’re not at all satisfied,” said assistant information director Lora Taira.

The results predict a decline of roughly three percent for the number of middle school students meeting reading or math standards.

Information director Paul Brinson said the administration often refers to test scores in strategizing.

“Many of these numbers are numbers that we discuss on a regular basis,” he said.

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