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District 210 Receives Annual Report Card

The district did not meet statewide standards in 2011-12, but Lincoln-Way Schools were still high-ranking among area districts.

Lincoln-Way School District 210 recently received its annual Illinois District Report Card.

According to the report, the district is not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress statewide standards.

However, neither is any other high school district in the state, according to Sun-Times Media.

Adequate Yearly Progress is determined by student scores on the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE), participation rates on state assessments and graduation rates.

During the 2011-12 academic year, the number of Lincoln-Way students meeting or exceeding state standards dropped, from 72.1 percent in 2010-11 to 68.8 percent in 2011-12. The state average during both years was approximately 51 percent. The state standard is 85 percent.

In math, for which the state standard is also 85 percent, 70.9 percent of Lincoln-Way students met or exceeded state standards in 2011-12, compared to 71.3 percent in 2010-11. The state average was approximately 51.5 percent during both years.

All four schools in the district were ranked in the top five highest scoring south and southwest suburban high schools on the PSAE, according to documents provided by Lincoln-Way Schools. Every Lincoln-Way high school also tested within the top 10 percent of high schools in the state on the PSAE.

“I think all four of our schools do really well,” said Sharon Michalak, assistant superintendent of District 210.

Michalak said that offering the same opportunities to students at all four schools in the district is a priority for Lincoln-Way.

She also specified that No Child Left Behind, the policy with which Adequate Yearly Progress measurements are associated, has led to several beneficial changes within the district since its implementation in 2002.

The district now offers an advisory period where teachers meet with study hall students, as well as support systems, such as math labs and writing centers. Summer school is now used as a supplementary educational resource for high-achieving students in addition to serving as a remedial option.

Machalak is particularly proud of the district’s requirement that every student take reading class, a policy that she says is unique to District 210.

In reference to the district’s declining reading scores, Machalak said “That makes me question the assessment.”

The Adequate Yearly Progress system will remain in effect for two more years. 92.5 percent of students will be expected to meet or exceed state standards in the 2012-13 school year and 100 percent will be expected to do so by 2014.

In the years following 2014, schools will begin to use Common Core standards, a rigorous program that emphasizes student growth and compares students on a national scale, according to Sun-Times Media. All districts will be using Common Core by the 2016-17 school year.

Michalak says District 210 will utilize Common Core to better teach comprehensive and critical thinking.

Michalak and district director of community relations Stacy Holland both discussed the importance of student achievement benchmarks outside of the Adequate Yearly Progress standards, such as activity participation and attendance.

“There’s a lot more that goes into student achievement than just a two-day test,” said Holland.

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Will County Resident November 13, 2012 at 09:59 AM
Question the reading assessment? Maybe your reading class is a waste of time? I didn't take it and I did absolutely fine on my ACT. I actually performed better than the students who did take the class because I actually read the paragraphs and answered the questions instead of trying to "skim and scan" and highlight useless phrases in an attempt to game the test. The LW reading class is a joke and should not be forced onto any student. There should be more focus on actual elective classes that teach real world skills instead of jamming core requirements onto every student. I took three years of English, two years of Math, and two years of Science, and I had a full time job leaving high school because I actually had real skills I gained from my electives. I've had that same job for over 4 years now, and I would not have it right now if I was forced to take four years of English instead of a limited supply of electives.
Donny November 13, 2012 at 08:47 PM
How would you know if the LW Reading class is a waste or not? I ask because it is clear you did not go to LW. LW graduation requirements are 4 years of English, 3 years of math, and 3 year of science. You cannot graduate only taking 3 years of English, 2 of math, and 2 of science. Been this way for years. Only way you can take more electives is if you do summer school to get core classes out of the way and/or zero hour each year.
Will County Resident November 14, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Donny, go look at the requirements for the class of 2008. The requirements were 3 years of English, 2 years of math, and 2 years of science. 4 years of English, 3 years of math, and 3 years of science were all increased after I graduated. I was also able to bypass "Reading Seminar" because I took Honors English my freshman year. I do not believe you can do that anymore to get out of the reading class, but I don't know 100%.

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