State to allow progress-report review

By Nina Gougis

To avoid last year’s mistakes, the Illinois State Board of Education will allow schools to review information before it determines whether schools meet federal and state requirements.

Last year, the ISBE allowed 720 schools to review and update their information on student performance and found that almost 450 schools, including DeKalb High School, were wrongly said to be in violation of the No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the law, “adequate yearly progress” is determined for each school. The “AYP” for each year is the amount of improvement each school must make to have all students meet or exceed standards in math and reading by 2014.

Schools that do not meet requirements for two years must offer supplemental educational services and give students the option to transfer.

Interim State Superintendent Dr. Randy Dunn made the decision to let local school districts review the information this year after almost 2,000 schools were found to fail federal and state requirements, said Naomi Greene, ISBE spokesperson.

Local school districts will have until today to review the information. The process may keep the board from keeping the Oct. 31 deadline set by state law, said ISBE Principal Consultant Mark Wancket.

“It’s really unknown at this point when the reports will be released,” Wancket said.

The delay will make it difficult for teachers who use the reports to analyze student performance and re-evaluate their curriculum, said Linell Lasswell, District 428 assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

“We do, however, appreciate the chance to make sure the information is correct,” Lasswell said.

Although Huntley, 821 S. Seventh St. and Clinton Rosette, 650 N. First St., middle schools also saw their figures change for the better, they still did not meet requirements.

Lasswell said the schools have implemented tutoring programs and reading classes since last year’s reports were posted. She said that although the schools do not meet requirements for adequate progress, both schools are still above the state average.

For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Education Web site,