D86 report card shows scores are rising

Initial look shows big jump in science scores, increase in English/language arts

More details about District 86 students’ performance on the Illinois School Report Card will be presented in January, but Interim Superintendent Linda Yonke was anxious to discuss some results last week.

“We didn’t want to wait to share this good news with the community,” she said at the board’s Nov. 16 meeting.

The best news is the rise in scores on the Illinois Science Assessment, which was rewritten in 2021. The first year, 45.3 percent of District 86 students met or exceeded expectations. The number rose to 71 percent in 2022 and 80.6 percent this year, Yonke said, compared to state averages of 42.7, 51.1 and 52.2 over the three years.

“It’s an incredible improvement, and that is true at both schools,” she said.

District 86 students also earned English/language arts scores on the SAT that were 6 percent higher than last year’s scores.

On the math section of the SAT, students districtwide saw scores of 61.6 percent this year compared to 61.4 last year. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, scores were 68.4 percent.

“We’re moving up, but we want to continue to work to reach and exceed those prepandemic levels,” Yonke said.

The designations for each school remain unchanged from last year. Hinsdale Central is ranked exemplary, while Hinsdale South has a commendable rating.

Yonke noted that two schools often listed as Central’s comparables, New Trier and Stevenson, did not earn an exemplary rating. The ratings are based on graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, the percentage of freshmen on track to graduate, test scores and a climate survey.

“We’re very proud of these results and look forward to talking more about them,” Yonke said.

The board hopes to have appointed a seventh member to fill the spot left by Kay Gallo’s resignation and to have named a new superintendent before administrators present a full academic review in January.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean