Students in Homewood District 153 schools generally are meeting or exceeding expectations, according to an analysis of testing data.
Midwest Analytics and Education LLC presented a report to the District 153 school board in October. In its summary, the company reported:
- Students typically score at or above national averages
- Grade level averages increase each year, with generally higher growth in lower grade levels
- Students need very high growth, generally speaking, to meet or exceed on PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)
- Overall growth for the 2016-17 school year was in the normal range
District 153 gives the state-mandated PARCC test, but throughout the school year it uses it’s own STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) assessments to get immediate data on how students are working in the classroom.
“The STAR assessments and teacher-created common formative and summative assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards to ensure high levels of learning for all students,” Superintendent Dale Mitchell told the Chronicle.
Dave Kush of Midwest Analytics said students show extremely high growth in primary grades, which is to be expected. That the growth continues into the middle and upper grades is just as important.
For example, STAR scores show increases between fall 2016 and spring 2017. Fifth and sixth grade reading scores jumped by 100 points. Math scores for fifth and sixth grades jumped between 40 and 55 points.
“We continue to be pleased with the progress of our students as they move through our three schools and prepare for high school,” Mitchell added. “We are able to use the data to review individual student growth over time and be in compliance with the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) for teacher and administrator annual evaluations.”