School report cards coming out Monday
Will results match the early data for suburbs?
How did suburban students perform on the state's new standardized test?
Parents will find out Monday when comprehensive results are released from the 2016 Illinois School Report Card, now in its second year.
The results are from the 2015-16 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics administered this spring to third- through 10th-graders.
Compared to the previous test, the new test is based on the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and aligns with the more rigorous Illinois Learning Standards, focusing on students' mastery of key concepts, critical thinking and writing skills.
The Daily Herald's analysis of the complete 2016 report card will include final statewide, district-level and school-level data, with some new categories, such as the numbers of students earning college credit through Advanced Placement courses, taking career technical courses, or taking six or seven years to finish high school. It will be available online at reportcards.dailyherald.com and in Monday's editions.
Preliminary state-level data released in August showed declines in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations in English language arts/literacy and an uptick in math, except between eighth grade and high school, where it dropped from 31.8 percent to 21.8 percent.
Statewide results showed anywhere between 60 percent and 70 percent of Illinois students are not ready for college or careers after high school.
State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith called the earlier statewide results a sobering reminder that Illinois has a long way to go to better prepare students for college and careers.
The 2015 data showed nearly half of Illinois high school graduates enrolled in state community colleges required remediation in at least one subject -- 48.7 percent of nearly 40,000 high school graduates enrolled in community colleges.
Their toughest subject was math, where 41.1 percent required additional preparation before advancing toward their degree; 16.1 percent of students needed remediation in reading.
Poor students also struggled more on the new test. Elementary schools with more than 90 percent low-income students scored the worst, with an average 15.6 percent meeting or exceeding standards.
Schools with the fewest low-income students had an average of 63.8 percent meeting or exceeding -- a 48.2-point gap.
Those trends are expected to continue and likely worsen.
The PARCC test is aligned to national assessments of readiness. The test changed last spring after educators complained about how much time it took to administer it over two testing periods. This spring, there was only one testing period and the test itself was 90 minutes shorter for most students and followed a simpler format. And more students took the test online.
Backlash from school districts and boycotts by high school students refusing to take the test prompted the state to drop PARCC for high schoolers this year in favor of a revised SAT college admission exam for all juniors. Students in third through eighth grades will continue to take the PARCC assessment through the 2017-18 school year.