What school rankings mean

Updated 10/30/2018 6:44 PM

How schools are evaluated changed with this year's Illinois Report Card under a new accountability system. Some quality indicators: standardized tests, alternative assessments, academic growth, English language proficiency, science scores, fine arts participation, success on college entrance tests and graduation rates.

Schools now fall into one of four ranking categories based on multiple measures of academic achievement and student success:

Exemplary -- A school with no underperforming student demographic groups with a graduation rate greater than 67 percent whose performance is in the top 10 percent of schools statewide.

Commendable -- A school with no underperforming student groups and a graduation rate higher than 67 percent, but whose performance is not in the top 10 percent of schools statewide.

Underperforming -- An otherwise well-performing school with one or more student demographic groups performing at or below "all students." Schools with this designation will receive targeted support.

Lowest-performing -- A school within the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools and any high school with a graduation rate of less than 67 percent. This designation will provide comprehensive support from a statewide network of education partners.

More measures to comeSome school measurement indicators weren't included this year and will be phased in during coming years to allow for statewide collection and consistency of data.

• Student proficiency on science subjects will be included in next year's report card.

• This is the first year the state is collecting data on college and career readiness, which also will be reported next year.

• School climate surveys will be considered starting next year.

• Fine arts measure for preschool through high school and other student performance measures in preschool through eighth grades, including participation in dual language, enrichment and acceleration programs will be included starting in 2021-22.

Source: Illinois State Board of Education

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