State results released last week for Proviso Township High School District 209 show a district with wide inequalities in test scores, graduation rates and readiness for college. While scores for students at Proviso Math and Science Academy rose above last year’s scores and exceeded state and national averages, scores at Proviso East and Proviso West lagged behind state averages and revealed a student population scoring poorly on “college readiness” benchmarks.

The Illinois State Board of Education did not release the scores of the new PARCC exam, but they did release ACT scores, graduation rates and “college readiness” scores.

Students at Proviso Math and Science Academy performed better on ACT tests than in 2014, with tests in all subject matters inching upward an average of one point. The average composite score on the ACT was 23. The score of 21 is considered “on track” for college-level work. 

Seventy-five percent of PMSA students were deemed “college ready,” as compared to a state average of 46 percent. D209’s selective enrollment high school also had a 100-percent graduation rate in 2015.

The scores for Proviso East High School (PEHS) provided a stark contrast. Composite ACT scores remained steady at 16, the same level as last year, with slight increases by one point in English from 14 to 15 points and science from 16 to 17 points. This was far below the state average of 21 points and meant that only 7 percent of students were deemed “college-ready,” as compared to 46 percent statewide. The 2015 graduation rate at PEHS was measured at 61 percent, which was a slight rise in the 4-year graduation rate from last year’s 58 percent.

At Proviso West (PWHS), the scores were higher than Proviso East but still below state averages. The 2015 composite and subject ACT scores were the same as last year’s, averaging 17 points. This means only 14 percent of students are “college ready,” as compared to 46 percent statewide. The PWHS 4-year graduation rate was 74 percent, up from 70 percent in 2014, but below the state average of 85 percent.

D209 selects new law firm

A new law firm was chosen by the Proviso Township High School District 209 school board at their meeting on Oct. 26. The board voted 5-1 to select education law firm Robbins Schwartz, with board member Dan Adams voting nay. Theresa McKelvey was absent from the meeting.  Robbins Schwartz was formed in 1970 and represents more than 130 public school districts. 

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...