Twenty-seven of the 28 District 202 schools that took the state assessment last spring were designated as either “Exemplary” or “Commendable” as measured by the new “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA).
Dr. Glenn Wood, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction reviewed the results of the most recent state test data as part of the new state report card at the Board of Education’s November 5, 2018 regular meeting.
The ESSA is the new federal academic accountability system replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act. It measures student growth and helps the neediest schools improve.
That’s a significantly different approach than the NCLB which penalized schools and districts that “failed” to meet arbitrary learning and achievement targets.
“The new ESSA system really shows a more complete, accurate picture of everything our students and staff are doing in the classroom to learn more, and learn better,” Wood said.
“On the whole, District 202 did well, we are happy with our results and expect to do even better next year,” Wood said.
The ESSA assigns four designations to schools based on 10 indicators of performance including student growth: Exemplary, Commendable, Underperforming and Lowest- Performing:
Drauden Point Middle School -- was designated as “Underperforming” due to academic performance on the Dynamic Learnings Maps Assessment among its special education students. Under ESSA, District 202 will get extra funding and resources to help improve academic achievement in that population.
Preschools including District 202’s Bonnie McBeth Learning Center are not assessed. Scores for Plainfield Academy, which serves both high school and middle school students were incorporated into their home schools’ results.
District 202’s scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam exceed state averages in all key areas.
“There is certainly plenty of room for improvement, but I am encouraged by our performance overall,” Wood said.
In English Language, 45 percent of all District 202 students tested meet or exceed state English Language learning expectations, compared to 37 percent statewide.
Likewise, in math, 41 percent of all students tested met state learning expectations, versus 32 percent statewide.
The SAT college entrance exam replaced the ACT last year as the state’s official college exam and is given to all juniors.
On the SAT, 39 percent of district students met English Language learning expectations, compared to 37 percent statewide.
In math, 37 percent of district students met the SAT learning expectations, versus 34 percent statewide.
Last spring’s round of testing was only the second full year of full implementation for the new PARCC system, and the first year that all juniors took the SAT. The state plans to replace PARCC with a new assessment system next year.
The state report card also shows District 202 using its resources effectively and efficiently both in the classroom and district-wide.
The average salary for District 202 teachers was $60,504, compared to $65,721 statewide. At the elementary level, District 202 averaged one teacher for every 19 elementary students, matching the state ratio. At high school, District 202 had one teacher for every 24 students compared to the state ratio of one for every 19 students.
Administrators also made less than the state average, earning an average of $96,101 versus $107,279. As well, administrative costs comprised only 1.1 percent of the total budget, compared to the state average of 3.1 percent.
Finally, District 202’s Operating Expense Per Pupil (total operational expenses divided by total enrollment) was $9,895, compared to the state average of $13,337.
The district’s Instructional Expense Per Pupil was $6,044 compared to the state average of $8,024.
“Our financial data show that District 202 operates very efficiently on behalf of our taxpayers,” Wood said. “We get tremendous value for the resources we get from our community.”