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  • Carol Wicks, the learning resource center director at Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora, prepares to record students reading captions to go with a slideshow on ecosystems. A student subgroup at the school made enough progress in reading and mathematics scores that the school was deemed to have made “adequate yearly progress.”

    North Aurora elementary school passes — district peers do not Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora bounced back to the "pass" side of the school report cards, once again the only school in West Aurora District 129 to do so. Bell-Graham Elementary School in St. Charles joined that district's list of schools that failed to make "adequate yearly progress."

  •  Beginning in 2014, students statewide will begin taking new standardized tests that will ask them to demonstrate how they solved a problem, instead of just providing the answer. The approach is a key piece of the “Common Core” standards initiative adopted by Illinois and 47 other states.

    Tough new ‘Common Core’ tests designed to better prepare students Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    State education officials say the current method of testing students isn't properly measuring their progress, but they're hoping the implementation of a new set of internationally benchmarked learning standards in English and math will change that. The so-called "Common Core" standards have been adopted by Illinois and 47 other states in an attempt to better prepare students for higher education and beyond.

  • Majority of DuPage districts fail to meet federal standards Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    Out of 30 school districts in the Daily Herald's DuPage County coverage area, 24 failed to make adequate yearly progress in 2012 as defined by the No Child Left Behind act. In many “failing” districts, officials say AYP has risen to an almost unattainable level. “All districts in the state will fail to meet state targets at some point when the target is 100 percent,” said Lori Bein, superintendent of Roselle District 12.

  • District 214 students new to the U.S. study at the Newcomer Center in Arlington Heights, where they take Mario Perez's social science class, among others. Students stay at the Center for one or two semesters before moving to their regular high school.

    School report cards: Hispanic 'achievement gap'Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    Northwest suburban Hispanic high school students are doing better on standardized tests than their downstate counterparts, but the gap between Latino students and others is too great. "If a huge portion of our population doesn't succeed, our country doesn't succeed," said a school counselor.

  • Teacher Rick Feffer goes over a problem with sixth-grader Brisa Robles in strategic math class at Benjamin Middle School in West Chicago. The school is part of one district among only six in the Daily Herald’s DuPage County coverage area to make adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind this year.

    6 of 30 DuPage districts passing No Child Left Behind standards Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    Out of 30 DuPage County school districts, only six smaller, relatively affluent DuPage districts remain ahead of the curve of No Child Left Behind standards, according to the annual state report card data released today. The 2012 report card data measure student achievement on standardized testing.

  • Accelerated physics students Connor Perlin of Kildeer, left, Hayley Wineberg of Buffalo Grove and Joey Traynor of Long Grove conduct an experiment in the hallway at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Stevenson again swept the five academic categories on the annual state report card among 92 suburban high school districts examined by the Daily Herald.

    School report cards: Stevenson leads suburban schools Oct 31, 2012 12:00 AM
    Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire again has swept the five academic categories among high schools, according to state report card data from 92 suburban school districts examined by the Daily Herald. For the second consecutive year, Stevenson led in composite scores, reading, math, science and ACT college entrance exam results.

  • Rotolo Middle School in Batavia has to offer students the option of attending other schools because some of its student subgroups failed to make adequate progress on standardized tests.

    Kaneland, Batavia schools must offer attendance choice Sep 16, 2012 12:00 AM
    Two more local schools are giving their students the option of attending other schools this fall.Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School in Elburn and Rotolo Middle School in Batavia must offer the so-called “school choice” because of the results of standardized tests students took in the spring.School choice is required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which sets passing standards for schools and for subgroups of student types in those schools.Kaneland District 302 is dealing with the requirement for the first time. Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School is offering a choice after it failed to make adequate yearly progress because one of the school's subgroups — the economically disadvantaged — didn't have enough students score well in reading. Only 75.5 percent made the grade.

  • Sophomore English teacher Joseph Geocaris works with students using iPads on assignments at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

    7 local schools meet federal standards after failing Nov 1, 2011 12:00 AM
    With constantly rising expectations, it's not easy for schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. Still, at least seven schools in the North, Northwest and West suburbs made AYP this year after failing last year. Another three schools met standards for the second year in a row, winning removal from state and federal academic watch lists.

  • Educators hope for break from No Child Left Behind Oct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Suburban educators say a more accurate system to gauge student progress is needed if Illinois receives relief from certain federal No Child Left Behind provisions, which critics contend have led to most schools being tagged as failing. “When (almost) every school is labeled as failing, the evaluation becomes meaningless,” said Steve Cordogan, director of research and evaluation for Northwest Suburban High School District 214.

  • Jessica Benedick uses a song to teach Spanish to third-graders at Richmond Intermediate School in St. Charles. This is the first year for the school, which is for third- through fifth graders.

    Report Cards: Richmond still failingOct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Richmond Elementary in St. Charles once again didn't meet state goals for improving students' reading and math skills, but it did improve. But it is a new ballgame this year, as Richmond's students have been blended with another schools.

  • Honors Algebra II teacher Kristin Tuma works with junior Bryan Jones at Jacobs High School, where students made significant gains on statewide math testing.

    Jacobs makes big gains in math Oct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Jacobs High School in Algonquin jumped 9.3 percentage points in a statewide mathematics assessment compared to the previous year. The gain is based on the number of students who met or exceeded state standards in 11th-grade math, according to 2011 school report card data released today.

  • Christine Young, center, solves a problem during Mike Coit's honors pre-calculus class at Lisle Senior High School, where average composite ACT scores jumped from 22.0 in 2010 to 23.1 this year.

    Report Cards: Lisle students make big stridesOct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Lisle Senior High School's average composite ACT score improved from 22.0 to 23.1 (out of a perfect score of 36_ from 2010 to 2011 — the largest improvement among 69 high schools in the Daily Herald's coverage area of North, Northwest and West suburbs, according to 2011 state report card data released today.

  • Sophomore Nathan Walkine works in his Algebra 2 Essentials class at Lakes High School in Lake Villa, one of four schools praised for making progress in Advanced Placement participation but tabbed as not meeting federal standards.

    Report Cards: Lake Co. schools now labeled failuresOct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Four Lake County high school school districts were praised in April by the Illinois State Board of Education and a national college organization for implementing more rigorous learning standards for students and boosting Advanced Placement exam participation. But now they are listed as academic failures on the state's 2011 report card.

  • Wheeling High School Principal Laz Lopez discusses the school's science, technology, engineering and math efforts in the health careers lab.

    Report Cards: Wheeling High flourishing, but failingOct 31, 2011 12:00 AM
    Despite national recognition for its efforts in science, technology, engineering and math, the highest average ACT college entrance exam score in school history and more students than ever taking and passing Advanced Placement tests, Wheeling High School is failing according to No Child Left Behind standards. "That's why that label has absolutely no value in the community," Principal Laz Lopez says. "It's meaningless.”

  • Clock running out on No Child Left Behind? Oct 31, 2010 12:00 AM
    The clock may be running out on No Child Left Behind, and educators already have started to develop new measures that eventually could replace the much-maligned school evaluation system.

  • Confused by the alphabet soup? Here are some basic termsOct 29, 2010 12:00 AM
    No Child Left Behind (NCLB): The landmark 2001 federal legislation that requires schools to meet a rising bar on standardized assessments each year or face academic sanctions, such as having to file a school improvement plan or offer a choice of schools.

  • Computer technical aide Diane Olson works with Anthony Avitia, 11, on his computer project as Noemi Garcia, 11, works on hers in the Learning Resource Center at Matthews Middle School in Island Lake. Matthews was one of three Wauconda District 118 schools that met adequate yearly progress standards established under the No Child Left Behind Act.

    Three Wauconda schools improve, scores showOct 29, 2010 12:00 AM
    Students at three Wauconda Unit District 118 schools improved their performance on recent standardized tests enough for the buildings to reach federal goals something they didn't do last year.

  • Prospect High School AP student Avram Avramov listens to teacher Matt Love in class. A year after failing to meet No Child Left Behind standards, Prospect this year became the only Northwest suburban high school to earn a passing grade.

    Prospect, Schaumburg Dist. 54 make the grade Oct 29, 2010 12:00 AM
    It starts out very small. If a group of students in an Illinois school reaches 45 members, that group whether it be special education students, a minority group or kids with limited English skills qualifies as a subgroup under school testing criteria and No Child Left Behind. And that subgroup needs to reach target testing scores.

  • Second-grade teacher Margaret King works with students at Harold G. Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora, which has made adequate yearly progress after being marked “failing” last year.

    N. Aurora's Fearn School meets higher standardOct 29, 2010 12:00 AM
    Today is a red-letter day at Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora. The school got a passing grade on the 2010 state-mandated school report card, a year after it failed. And it did so even though the bar for passing was raised. “Our scores are definitely something to cheer about,” said Mary Beth Heilmann, a fourth-grade teacher. “The extra work has paid off.”

  • Fourth-grade teacher Paula Amota teaches a class at Timber Trails Elementary School, which was able to get a passing grade from the state because of the improved performance of students with limited English skills.

    Diversity, data winning combination for Timber Trails Oct 29, 2010 12:00 AM
    Timber Trails Elementary School in Elgin Area School District U-46 achieved a rare feat this year: it got a passing grade from the state one year after failing to do so. Only 40 schools throughout the suburbs were able to do that in 2010, out of almost 600.

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