D115 Superintendent Touts High ACT Scores, Academic Growth

Despite failures in AYP at five district schools, Scott Wakely highlights academic growth.

“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re making progress.”

Those were the words of District 115 Superintendent Scott Wakely following a presentation of the 2011-2012 AYP results.

According to the report five of the district’s nine schools failed to meet AYP requirements in at least one area, as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Autumn Creek Elementary School, Grande Reserve Elementary School, Yorkville Middle School Yorkville High School and Yorkville Intermediate School failed to meet the 85 percent mark set by the federal legislation that calls for 100 percent of students to meet academic standards by 2014.

Despite that, Wakely said the district is constantly showing signs of academic growth. ACT scores for 2012 are at an all-time high. Students at Yorkville High School averaged a composite score of 21.1, up from a 19.8 composite in 2005.

“That’s a drastic increase. Now the challenge is to try and sustain it,” Wakely said.

Adequately Yearly Progress is the measurement for reading and math performance for the federal educational reform initiative No Child Left Behind. In Illinois AYP is measured by the Illinois Student Achievement Tests. NCLB requires that every child meet standards in reading and math by 2014. Students are divided into various subgroups for testing purposes. If any subgroup fails to meet AYP, then the whole school does not meet AYP.

The subgroups defined by NCLB are: Racial/Ethnic: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and multi-ethnic; Economically Disadvantaged: Students on free or reduced lunch; Students with Disabilities: Students with IEPs; and Limited English Proficient students.

Autumn Creek did not meet AYP in reading for both the Hispanic and economically disadvantaged subgroup.

Grande Reserve did not meet AYP in reading for economically disadvantaged subgroup.

Yorkville Middle missed the mark in reading for economically disadvantaged subgroup and in math for students with IEP’s.

Yorkville High School failed to meet AYP in both reading and math and for students with IEP’s.

Yorkville Intermediate missed AYP in reading and math for the Hispanic subgroup and reading for students in the economically disadvantaged subgroup and the subgroup for students with IEP’s.

Wakely also noted an increase in the number of high school students participating in Advanced Placement classes. In 2005 there were 85 students participating in AP classes. This year there are more than 400, he said.

Additionally he pointed to increases in reading and math scores of elementary and middle school students.

Wakeley said the district will continue to use student data to identify and monitor the academic progress of all students especially as the district aligns language arts programs to Common Core standards next year.

Focusing on growth models, rather than “saying everyone in this room should jump this far on the same day,” provides a clearer image of academic performance in the district, Wakely said.

School Board Vice President Lynn Burks praised district staff and faculty for their efforts in improving the academic performance in the district.

“We have a lot more to do, but we’re moving,” Burks said.

Olivia5307 October 28, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Try to SUSTAIN this embarrassingly-low ACT score?? How about drastically improving it?? By the way, the most recent district score posted on the Illinois State Board of Education web site, which is also linked from the district's web site, is 20.6, not 21.1. The state average is a lowly 20.6 and that includes Chicago Public Schools and downstate rural schools. Nothing to be proud of, District 115! And 56% of our schools failed to meet AYP requirements? Someone needs to be fired. By these two metrics, it's evident that Yorkville teachers and administrators are not doing their jobs to educate our students!
Angela Nelson November 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Grading any child, teacher or dist. by any standardized test is a joke. As is the person calling for someone to be fired! These tests are one piece, of a big puzzle. Sure we use them to evaluate some of our strengths and weaknesses. Saying pass or fail solely on them is ridiculous! I believe in our teacher's and our school dist!!


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