Starting Tuesday, parents and taxpayers can search online for updated information about schools in their area and across the state.
Illinois publishes a report card for each school and district every year. A variety of data from the last academic year became available this week.
You can learn the following:
▪ How many students met the state’s standards based on their test scores.
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▪ What schools spent their money on — from instruction to salaries.
▪ How much experience teachers had on average and their level of education.
For now, the public can find PDF versions of the report cards on the Illinois State Board of Education’s eReport Card website: webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/getSearchCriteria.aspx.
By Friday, the information will be available on the state’s interactive website illinoisreportcard.com, which includes customizable graphs and allows people to compare schools.
Statewide, schools saw improvements in the following areas:
▪ Students’ achievement in English language arts — one of the two subject areas on the annual assessment, PARCC.
▪ The four-year graduation rate and college enrollment rates.
▪ Students’ participation and success in advanced placement courses.
State Superintendent Tony Smith said in a news release that the results from the last academic year show “we are making real progress” despite the difficulties caused by financial uncertainty in Illinois.
“Our educators and educational leaders are diving into the data to uncover what’s working and to identify new strategies and partnerships to support the whole child,” Smith stated. “... We need to accelerate the growth we’re seeing by facilitating connections and knowledge-sharing between schools and districts.”
One area of concern for the state is the rate of “chronic truancy,” which is when students miss 5 percent or more of the school days per year without a valid excuse. The rate increased from 9.8 percent in 2016 to 10.8 percent in 2017, according to the news release.
Coming soon: Return to BND.com for more on the state’s data on student performance, including which metro-east schools have seen the biggest improvements over time.