Elementary School Students Performing Better than High School Students

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

The math equations worked out in Mrs. Nelson's class have prepared these 2nd graders to be good test takers. But high school students in the Belvidere School District aren't performing quite as well. Boone County has the largest achievement gap in the Stateline area, with Stephenson County doing the best.

"We haven't had a good attendance at our high school and that was when we were grossly overcrowded and our hope is how we're not we'll have a longer school day and kids will be able to get more school they'll be more regularly and good things will come," says Belvidere School District Superintendent Michael Houselog.

High school students are in class a half-hour longer than last year and they're not as crowded with the opening of Belvidere North. Plus there's a task force underway looking at how to improve reading scores for special education students.

"In the past, special education wasn't deemed to be as related to the regular curriculum and our intent is to align special ed with more so our regular curriculum," Houselog says.

That way the Belvidere School District could be removed from the federal watch list, along with Belvidere High School. And good news for Lincoln Elementary and Belvidere Central Middle Schools, both earned their way off the watch list.

Administrators in the Rockford School District say they're not surprised by the 28-percentage point gap between their Elementary and High school students, since new efforts to improve performance started this year. But they expect the gap to narrow next year.

Meanwhile, the Illinois House could vote on school funding bill by the end of the week. This bill would provide about 600-million dollars for Illinois schools. The South Beloit school district is really relying on this money. Because of the amount of growth and poverty seen district-wide.

"Our district being one of the poorer districts we need all the funding we could get so we keep up with the times and increase what we offer at the school," says South Beloit School Board President Leon Anderson.

If the bill doesn't pass, the South Beloit School District would have to operate on 100-thousand dollars less than they do now. If they do get funding, it's 400-thousand dollars more. And that's a lot of money for a district of that size.


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