The district’s average Illinois State Achievement Test scores were higher than last year in both reading and math, Supt. Lou Cavallo told the D91 school board. Seventy-nine percent of D91 students, grades 3-8, met or exceeded the state standards, up from 73 percent last year. Statewide, 79 percent of students met or exceeded reading scores. In math, the district gained 1 point, rising to 77 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards. Statewide, math scores were reported by Illinois Interactive Report Card as 86 percent meet-or-exceed.

The district failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the second year under national No Child Left Behind guidelines. The ever-increasing AYP meet-or-exceed number for 2012-2013 was 92.5 percent for math and reading. Only Garfield School met AYP benchmarks for both math and reading. Betsy Ross School did not achieve AYP status with only 74.5 percent in reading. Field-Stevenson School did not make AYP marks with reading scores of 78 percent and math scores of 78.5. Grant-White School failed to make AYP because lower-income students failed to make a “safe harbor” target of 81.3 percent in reading. Forest Park Middle School scored 78.7 in reading and 75.4 in math.

Cavallo pointed out that the ISAT scores will be phased out in 2015, and the district is preparing for “growth model” assessment that is aligned with the Common Core standards. “We are not ‘teaching to the test,'” Cavallo said later. “We are already phasing in the Common Core standards, which are much more rigorous.”

Cavallo requested two new software programs to assist teachers with developing tailored curriculum plans for students based on MAP “growth model” assessments. Cavallo recommended that the district purchase Children’s Progress Academic Assessment for primary grades and Skills Pointer for grades 3-8. He said teachers were requesting the programs and that they cost around $10,000.

-Jean Lotus