Kaneland focuses on meeting federal mandate

By on September 25, 2009

KHS scores remain below state standards
by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Kaneland High School scores on the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) were higher than they were last year, but not high enough in math and science to meet increasing state requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The high school scores in reading increased 12 percentage points, science by 9 points and math by 8 points over last year’s scores. However, the percentage of scores that meet or exceeds state standards—61 percent for math and 62 for science—is lower than this year’s state requirement of 70.

“It certainly already has our attention,” Kaneland School District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said on Monday.

This is the second year in a row that the high school has not met what the No Child Left Behind Act calls adequate yearly progress (AYP), which is a state-determined percentage of students required to meet or exceed state standards. That requirement—which reached 70 percent in 2009—progressively increases to 100 percent in 2014.

“The AYP benchmark is a moving target,” Kaneland Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm said.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, if a school fails to make AYP for two consecutive years, it is placed on School Improvement. In that year, the school must develop an improvement plan. Further years of failure to meet AYP leads to additional requirements of corrective action.

McCormick said that district administrators planned to meet this week to determine goals at the high school level to address the state’s requirements. These goals will be presented to the School Board next week.

The percent of the high school’s reading scores that met or exceeded standards was 71 percent, exceeding state standards for this year.

In an informal survey of other school districts in the area, such as Geneva, Batavia and Burlington, Mumm said Kaneland’s scores were fairly consistent with their scores.

The high school test, the PSAE, is a test of college readiness, Mumm said.

“It’s a predictor test,” she said.

District celebrates elementary ISAT scores
Kaneland’s elementary schools’ scores on the Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) for the 2008-09 school year were something to celebrate, Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm told the School Board.

Mumm said the reading scores for grades three through eight have been fairly consistent, with a 1 to 2 percentage point increase over last year, and with a range of scores from the mid-80s to the low-90s.

The elementary schools’ math and science scores also remained consistent in the 90 percent range.

The elementary school test, the ISAT, measures school performance on the individual subjects; for example, how well the students read with understanding and fluency.

For more info
For district comparisons and complete data over time, visit http://iirc.niu.edu.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s website is www.ISBE.state.il.us.