D86 continues to perform well on tests
Last updated 10/31/2019 at 12:20am | View PDF
By Pamela Lannom
Students at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools continue to earn higher test scores than average compared to students across the country, according to the 2019 Illinois Report Cards.
“Illinois has set rigorous goals for both ELA (English-language arts) and math performance that exceed national standards set by the College Board,” Carol Baker, chief academic officer, told board members Oct. 23 in a preview of report card data, which was released yesterday.
In ELA, 75 percent of Central students met or exceeded the standard. At South, 44 percent did so.
In math, 79 percent of students at Central and 47 percent at South met or exceeded the standard.
“As you can see, we are still very high compared to performance in the state of Illinois,” Baker said.
In the second year of the new state ranking system, Central again was ranked an exemplary school, and South maintained its commendable rating.
“The only difference between the exemplary and the commendable schools are the exemplary are the top 10 percent of the commendable group,” Baker explained.
Those ratings are based on nine different weighted categories, including subject proficiency, chronic absenteeism, climate surveys and the graduation rate.
The graduation rate counts as 50 percent of the score, Baker noted, adding that District 86 takes issue with how the its rate are calculated.
The state doesn’t take into account, for example, students with special needs who continue their education at the Transition Center.
“If the state’s priorities are misaligned that District 86 should somehow be penalized for what we do at the Transition Center, then I will wear that as a scarlet letter,” board member Kevin Camden said. “I continue to find Illinois’ approach to education at the state level laughable.”
Superintendent Tammy Prentiss said she has made recent progress in her efforts to get the Illinois State Board of Education to rectify the problem.
“There is an entire team working on it,” she said.
Baker presented a slide that shows if this and other factors — such as transfers to other schools — are taken into account, graduation rates are 96 percent at Hinsdale South and 99 percent at Hinsdale Central. The state lists them at 87 percent and 96 percent.
“You can see how significant the impact is on the graduation rate for schools,” she said.
The report card also reports on the number of students taking AP classes in 2018-19. At Central, 391 seniors took one or more AP exams for a total of 3,307 exams taken, or an average of 8.45 per student. A total of 2,983 exams resulted in college credit.
The report card proficiency scores are on based on the SAT test that class of 2020 students took in April 2019.
More information can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education website at https://www.isbe.net.