ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Illinois test scores are finally in for every school in the state. On the surface, scores for elementary and middle schoolers are significantly lower due to a more rigorous standardized tests, however we’ve analyzed the numbers and found there was some growth.
Families shouldn’t get too caught up in the scores of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test known as ISAT. The numbers are much lower compared to last year, but when using the same, apples to apples scale, students didn’t do that bad.
Looking at combined reading and math ISAT scores for the four districts, all saw just a 1 percentage point drop in the number of students meeting or exceeding state standards with the exception of Freeport, where it dropped five points. The state average is 59%
When it comes to 4-year graduation rates, we see mixed results.
Belvidere and Harlem dropped, Freeport stayed the same and Rockford saw an increase, but all four districts are still below the state average. A new feature to Illinois’ report card this year is the number of students ready for college coursework. The measurement is based on the percentage of kids who got a combined score of 21 on the ACT which is given to high school juniors. Harlem is the only district that matched the state’s college readiness and Rockford came in last with just 27% of kids ready for college.
Rockford school leaders are working on strengthening their high school intervention system and believe the new career academies are the reason for the increase so as they’re now implemented in all high schools they think that will help. They also want to get more kids in pre-school because research shows that education increases the graduation rate.