Proviso School District 209 and Forest Park’s District 91 schools both released reports this month that document how students performed on standardized tests during the previous school year, and neither are where they want to be.

Throughout D91’s schools, 75 percent met or exceeded standards set by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), based on how they performed on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) during the 2010-2011 school year.

This score was down some five percent from the previous year, and Superintendent Lou Cavallo clearly expressed his displeasure with the results during D91’s monthly school board meeting on Oct. 13

“This is absolutely not where we should be,” he said. “Our kids in this district are not making the gains they should be.”

The board members were equally concerned and wanted to know how Cavallo was going to work with principals and teachers in order to bump future test scores.

“What specific, detailed lesson plan is there?” asked board member Joan White. “What’s your plan? How’s that going to come together?”

At D209’s schools, where high school students take the Prairie State Achievement Exam, scores were much lower.

At Proviso East, for example, 82-85 percent of students did not meet or exceed standards set by ISBE for math, reading, and science. At Proviso West, performance was only slightly better, with 76-84 percent below standards.

The numbers were better at Proviso Math and Science and Math Academy, where 73-74 percent met or exceeded standards.

A press release from D209 states that a test preparation program was in place during the last school year and points out that, despite the poor scores, gains were made in almost all of the three categories district students were tested in. 

“It is a researched-based fact that it takes three to five years to see the results and full impact of any implemented initiative, but we have seen increases, and we look forward to more to come,” said D209 spokesperson TaQuoya Kennedy, in an email.

-Nick Moroni