State Assessments Show Growth

Math, English Scores Improve Across Grades
Posted on 10/24/2019
Illinois Assessment of Readiness

Results of the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) that was administered to third- through eighth-grade students in March and April of 2019 show student growth in each subject and school. The IAR is the state standardized test that measures student attainment of Illinois Learning Standards in English language arts and math.

When combining all grades and schools, the percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations on English language arts climbed 6 points in 2019 to 68%. Individual averaged school scores range from 72 percent to 66 percent.

In math, district-wide scores climbed 4 points to 66 percent of all students meeting or exceeding expectations. Meadowbrook School saw the highest average, where 76 percent of students meet or exceed expectations in math.

The Illinois Science Assessment is taken by fifth-grade and eighth-grade students. Results show a continuous climb in student performance, with a combined score of 79 percent proficient in 2019 for the district, up 8 points over the previous year.

The 2019 IAR used the same test questions as its predecessor, the PARCC exam, but was shorter in length, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kris Raitzer said when she shared the overall scores with the Board of Education on Oct. 22. The state assessment attempts to measure proficiency in the Illinois Learning Standards, which are outlined by grade and category, to identify what students should have learned and how they demonstrate that knowledge. All typically developing public school students in Illinois in grades 3 through 8 take the assessments within the same testing window in the spring.

The IAR is one snapshot of student progress, but is mostly used at the district level to evaluate curriculum and how well the content taught is aligned to state learning standards because the assessment is administered in the spring and the individual student results are not available until mid-summer.

District assessments that help teachers adjust instruction include Fountas & Pinnell, which benchmarks each student’s independent and instructional reading levels, and NWEA MAP assessments, which are used three times a year to monitor student growth as well as curriculum alignment to standards. To learn about all the different assessments the district uses, please visit our assessment page.

“Just as a student is not a test result, a school is not a test result. It’s what we learn from test results to improve teaching and learning that’s important,” Raitzer said. The 2019 results show growth as well as areas where more work needs to be done, she said.

The state releases the final IAR results for all schools on Oct. 30 through the state website, illinoisreportcard.com. View the results for the schools and district shared with board here. A review of student performance in comparison to area districts will be presented at the November meeting.  This year’s NWEA Map assessment results will also be shared at the November Board meeting. 

 See Related Story: Principals Share Improvement Efforts 

Read the full report on the Oct. 22 board meeting in October Board Briefs