Schools make AYP, district doesn’t in Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills 181
Updated: November 28, 2011 8:45AM
Despite all nine of its schools meeting standards, Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 for the first time failed to make adequate yearly progress for 2011 on state School Report cards released by the district.
Adequate yearly progress is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act which requires all public schools to meet minimum standards on student testing. The percentage of students required to meet or exceed test standards has increased each year since the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted for 2003. The requirement started at 40 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards and is set to reach 100 percent in 2014. The target is 85 percent for 2011.
District 181 fell short for 2011 because only 83.8 percent of its students with disabilities met or exceeded standards for reading on the Illinois State Achievement Test, which was given to students in the spring.
Having 96.5 percent of all tested students in the district meet or exceed standards didn’t prevent the district from not making adequate yearly progress in reading.
For math, 98.2 percent of all students tested in District 181 met or exceeded standards. For the students with disabilities subgroup, 88.9 percent met or exceeded test standards in math.
“We are committed to the education of every child in our district,” Superintendent Renee Schuster said. “I’m very proud of how well our schools did with our scores.”
Schuster said she wasn’t really surprised that the district failed to make adequate yearly progress.
“We were expecting that eventually we would join the others,” she said, noting 80 percent of school districts in Illinois didn’t make AYP. “There are a lot of ways not to make AYP, and all it takes is one subgroup that doesn’t quite make it to impact a district.”
With the 83.8 percent mark of students with disabilities meeting or exceeding test standards in reading, Schuster said it’s likely that one or two students was the difference in the district not reaching the 85 percent mark for that subgroup.
Schuster also said that to be included in the subgroup of students with disabilities, students must meet requirements to indicate they belong within that classification.
“There are requirements to be in that group, but that group still has the same testing standards required of it as all students,” she said. “There is work being done on this, and there probably will be some changes coming, but this is the way it is for now.”
In fact, nearly 99 percent of Illinois public high schools failed to meet federal progress standards this year, state officials revealed last week in announcing plans to seek a waiver from the increasingly demanding federal law.
Only eight of the state’s public high schools made adequate yearly progress.
“We know there’s a lot better story going on than that,’’ said Gery Chico, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. “More than eight high schools are doing well with their students...
“I’m very, very disturbed by the No Child Left Behind Law and what it’s doing right now to schools by labeling them as failing because they do not make AYP.”
Chico said Illinois would act on a recent federal decision to let states apply for waivers to the law. Illinois’ plan to do so in February, Chico said, is not an attempt to cover up lousy results. Instead, he said, the state will push for a more “realistic” accountability system with “rigorous” but “attainable” goals.
Schuster said a more in-depth analysis of District 181’s School Report Card and a discussion of a school improvement plan is scheduled for the Nov. 14 meeting.
At the district’s middle schools, 99 percent of tested students met or exceeded testing standards in math, and 98.3 percent did so in reading at Clarendon Hills Middle School; at Hinsdale Middle School, it was 97 percent in math and 97.1 in reading.
For District 181 elementary schools, those meeting or exceeding standards were 99.1 in math and 95.5 in reading at Madison; 98 in math and 95.3 in reading at Oak; 98 in math and 96.7 in reading at Walker; 98.4 in math and 91.9 in reading at Elm; 99.5 in math and 95.7 in reading at The Lane; 98.2 for math and 96.5 for reading at Monroe; and 98.1 in math and 95.8 in reading at Prospect.
Sun-Times Media contributed to this article.