Friday, Dec 13, 2013
School Report Cards Show Decline in Student Performance
WSIL -- Illinois school report cards were released on Thursday, and the results are not good. The annual evaluation shows a sharp decline in students meeting state standards but educators say the scores are misleading because of tougher tests.
"Testing has been a moving target and it changes so frequently and so rapidly," said Frankfort Schools superintendent Greg Goins. "I'm hopeful that the scores are going to level off and get back to the standard that we want them to be. Probably next year or the year after."
Less than half of the Frankfort CUSD grade school students passed the most recent standardized test, down from well over 70 percent a year ago. A tougher grading scale is only partly to blame. Funding cuts have also played a role.
"We cut personnel, cut programs, that impacts class size," explained Goins. "All of this in a roundabout way is going to impact student performance."
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, school progress is monitored based on one standardized test. Only 62 of 863 Illinois districts met benchmarks under the law last year, down from 152 the year before.
Despite poor numbers, many superintendents support the report cards.
"We get the scores, we look at the data and then by the spring we might look at program changes or course changes," said Stephen Murphy at Carbondale High School.
He supports the higher standards but wonders if educators have become too focused on scores alone.
"We may be becoming increasingly reliant on just a test score to tell the story of a school," explained Murphy. "I hope we don't just keep going down the road of reducing everything to one score."
To see how your school scored click the link in the related content box.
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