Most Metro East school districts scored below state average in annual standardized test
The majority of Metro East school districts once again performed worse than the Illinois average in the state’s annual English and math test, with some high-poverty districts having less than 10 percent of students who scored proficient, according to state data released to the public Monday.
Cahokia School District, with about 3,500 students, scored the lowest in English, with 6 percent of students scoring proficient. Brooklyn School District in Lovejoy, with 143 students, scored the lowest in math, with no student achieving proficiency.
In the East St. Louis School District, which has about 6,100 students and which has been under state control for the past five years, about 8 percent of students scored proficient in English and 4 percent in math. That’s slightly better than last year, when about 4 percent scored proficient in English and 2 percent scored proficient in math.
School districts in O’Fallon, Millstadt, Swansea, Mascoutah, Freeburg and Shiloh were among those who did better than the state average for both subjects. Fourteen of the 40 school districts in the Metro East scored above the state average for math, and 17 districts did so in English.
And I can’t think of a reason why O’Fallon, Millstadt, Swansea, Mascoutah, Freeburg and Shiloh would show better than Cahokia, ESL and Brooklyn.
Cahokia Superintendent Arthur Ryan acknowledges that his district’s scores were low but said he thought there were logistical challenges in administering the test.
“I’m not kidding myself. Our district, we have a very high poverty rate, we have very high mobility and we have a lot of factors against our kids,” he said. “I’m not pretending all our kids scored the greatest in the state. But there were a lot of factors that were not helpful with getting reasonable scores on this test because this process has kind of been a mess.”
Low income, transiency. It’s almost as if they point to something.
Young said the Brooklyn district had worked to improve performance by extending the school day by an hour and the school year by four days, and filling the longer day with science, technology, engineering and math education through the Project Lead the Way nonprofit. She also said her district was showing improvement in the number of students who met the “approached expectations” or “partially met expectations” categories.
Okay, so you’re going to keep the same failed students in the buildings longer every day and for more days per year, and when they are there give them more difficult work. Let me know how that works out for you.
All the other sentence means is that the district has more failures than massive epic failures.
Several other measures of accountability, such as graduation and attendance rates, remained stable on the state level from last year. Barker called that a commendable feat, considering the state’s legislative dysfunction and budget turmoil during the past year.
Graduation rates are political and attendance rates are procedural, neither are an empirical measure. Also, I fail to see how either would much be affected by a budget stalemate in the state capital.