The Examiner U-46 News Feed
Annual ISBE report card not kind to District U-46
By Seth Hancock
The annual report card on schools was recently released by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and School District U-46 continued to see generally flat or declining academic results that lag behind the state.
Included this year was a new test, the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), given to third through eighth graders. U-46 came in 10 points behind the state average in English, 28 percent meeting or exceeding expectations compared to 38 percent from the state, and five points behind in math, 27 percent compared to 32 percent.
On the SAT, taken by high school juniors, the district saw 27 percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations in English, which is 10 points behind the state (37 percent) and a drop in U-46 from 2018 (29 percent) and 2017 (32 percent). There was the same 10-point gap between U-46 and the state in math (25 percent U-46, 35 percent state) and a drop from 28 percent in 2018 and 29 percent in 2017.
The average SAT score has steadily declined each year in U-46 with a total of 979.4 in 2017, 969 in 2018 and 945.6 in 2019. The state average score was 1,015.9 in 2017, 1,007.1 in 2018 and 994.5 in 2019.
The science assessment measures a test “given to students enrolled in grades 5 and 8” and at high school “the assessment is course-based and corresponds to the content of Biology I,” according to the ISBE. U-46 had 36 percent proficiency in 2019, down from 38 percent last year and 42 percent in 2017, and the state was at 49 percent proficiency this year and 51 percent the previous two years.
On the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment, a test given to cognitively disabled students, U-46 had 12 percent at target and 0 percent advanced in English (dropping year to year from 34 percent in 2015), 9 percent at target or advanced in math (up from 8 and 7 percent the previous two years but down from 13 percent in 2016 and 14 percent in 2015) and 4 percent at target and 0 percent advanced in science (same as last year, the first year of science data).
The state outperformed the district on the DLM in both English (17 percent at target or advanced) and science (10 percent at target or advanced) and matched the 9 percent in math.
Freshmen deemed on track did rise from 81 percent in 2017 and 2018 to 84.3 percent, but it remains behind the state’s average of 86.6 percent and 87 percent in 2017 and 2018. Both U-46 and the state were at 82 percent in 2016 while 2015 was the last time U-46 was ahead of the state, 85 percent to 83 percent.
U-46’s four-year graduation rate dropped from 84 percent to 83 percent which was behind the state’s 86 percent, which was an uptick from 85 percent the previous year. The dropout rate has doubled in both U-46 and the state average, both going from 2 percent to 4 percent.
Average daily student attendance was 93.2 percent in U-46 and 94 percent for the state, and the numbers have remained generally consistent since 2015 for both.
Chronic absenteeism, missing at least 10 percent of days, dropped from 21 percent to 20 percent, behind the state average of 18 percent. Chronically truant, missing at least 5 percent without valid excuse, was at 20 percent behind 13.4 percent for the state and up from 14 percent in 2018, 12 percent in 2017, 9 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2015 for the district.