Schools learn results of Illinois Report Card - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Schools learn results of Illinois Report Card

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WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. -- The Illinois State Board of Education released its newest school report card data, ranking schools from highest-performing to lowest.

Those rankings put schools in one of four categories, "exemplary," "commendable," "under performing" or "lowest performing".  These ratings measuring students' improvement on tests instead of their passing rates.

"We have four schools in West Frankfort. Three of them are rated in the 'commendable' category. One is slightly under performing, but basically, that identifies to us, okay where do we see some issues and now we can go forward on how to address them," said Frankfort School District Superintendent, Matt Donkin. 

Donkin says Central Junior High school, is the one ranked "under performing." The report shows the middle school has a higher percentage of low income students and homeless students than the state average and like many schools, doesn't have the adequate funding to meet expectations. But Donkin says, teachers have done their best to keep up during the budget crisis and the teacher shortage. 

"I hear people say, 'Well you can't just throw more money at the problem.' However, it takes people, it takes resources to get people, it takes resources to have more staff to have smaller class sizes," said Donkin. 

Donkin adds schools that are "under performing" have access to federal funds to help target weaknesses. 

Joshua Stafford, the superintendent at Vienna High School, says it's important to look at the big picture when looking at these report cards. 

"Even though we have a 'commendable' designation, it doesn't mean that there still isn't work to do," said Stafford. 

Donkin says moving forward, they'll find what they could have done better and work to improve, while keeping a close eye on students growth from year to year. 

West Frankfort is working to identify other factors that may have contributed to their under-performing score. 

For a link to see how your child's school ranked, click here.

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