By ERIN SANSON
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual school report card on Oct. 27.
Of all of the schools in Macoupin County, 26 between eight districts, all but two were listed by ISBE as “commendable.” Carlinville Middle School was the only school given a “targeted” designation. Northwestern Junior High School received the only “comprehensive” designation in the county.
Summative designations began being required in 2018 after the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. A summative designation helps people understand how wells the schools in an area are serving the community. In Illinois, there are four designations, Exemplary School, Commendable School, Targeted School, and Comprehensive School. There are several factors which make up the summative designation, such as subject proficiency, chronic absenteeism and student growth in subjects.
Targeted and Comprehensive schools receive additional funding and supports to improve student outcomes. A targeted school is one in which one or more student demographic group is performing at or below the level of the “all students” group in the lowest five percent of all schools. A Comprehensive school is a school in the lowest-performing 5 percent of all schools in Illinois or any high school with a graduation rate of less than 67 percent.
In Carlinville Middle School’s case, the demographic group is the “children with disabilities” group. This group includes students receiving special education services, students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and students with a 504 plan. This is Carlinville Middle School’s first year in the “targeted” group.
This is Northwestern Junior High School’s first year as a “comprehensive” designated school. They received “commendable” designations in the 2019 and 2020 report cards. There was not a specific student demographic that contributed to being designated a “comprehensive” school.
Summative designations were not given on the 2021 report card due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and students.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to assess their learning standards for English/Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Science. Students are then measured against a state wide proficiency average. While proficiency can be measured in multiple ways the Illinois Report Card uses standardized testing to measure proficiency in a subject.
The proficiency rate is determined by combining all standardized test scores, rates are calculated for ELA, Math and Science at the elementary and high school levels.
The “All Test Proficiency Rate Accountability” measure is calculated using a 95 percent Participation Rate denominator. That formula and the proficiency results are submitted to the federal government as part of accountability reporting.
In 2022 the proficiency measure included results from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), the SATs, dynamic learning maps (DLM) assessment and the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA).
Macoupin County Schools
Bunker Hill is split between two schools with 579 students. Bunker Hill High School, which serves grades 8-12 has 222 students, while Wolf Ridge Elementary serves 357 students from Pre-K-7. Bunker Hill has a 93 percent graduation rate, the second highest in the county. In ELA the Bunker Hill School District was determined to be 16.1 percent proficient versus the average state proficiency of 29.9 percent. It is 12.9 percent proficient in mathematics, the Illinois average is 25.8 percent. In science, Bunker Hill is 62 percent proficient, 12 percent higher than the state average of 50 percent.
Carlinville School District has a 78 percent graduation rate, lower than the state average of 87 percent. Total district enrollment was 1,320 for 2022. Students were 30.8 percent proficient in ELA, almost one percent higher than the state average. In mathematics the district had a proficiency rate of 28.2 percent. In Science the proficiency rate was 61 percent.
Gillespie is serving 1,140 students out of three schools. Gillespie School District has an 81 percent graduation rate and a 92 percent attendance rate. The proficiency rate for Gillespie School District in ELA was 21 percent. In mathematics, students had an average 21.1 percent proficiency. Students had a 42 percent proficiency rate in Science.
The district with the highest graduation rate is Mt. Olive School District which has a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. Mt. Olive serves 472 students in two schools, with 367 of those students at the Elementary School. Students of Mt. Olive had a proficiency in ELA of 22.4 percent, 17.4 percent in math and 55 percent proficiency in science.
North Mac School District has 1,166 students enrolled. North Mac High School has the most students out of the four schools in the district with 370 students. The graduation rate for North Mac is 76 percent but the attendance rate across the district is 93 percent. North Mac students had a 14.8 percent proficiency in English against the state average of 29.9 percent. Mathematics had a proficiency rate of 13.6 percent and students were 51 percent proficient in science.
Northwestern School District has a total enrollment of 326 students between three schools. The elementary school has the most students with 193. Northwestern has an 86 percent graduation rate and a 91 percent retention rate. Northwestern students had a proficiency of 15.4 percent in English, a 13.5 percent rate in math and a 38 percent proficiency rate in science.
Southwestern School District has 1,226 students at five schools. The High School serves the most students at 309, with Brighton North Primary School not far behind, serving 271 students. Southwestern has a 77 percent graduation rate and a 94 percent attendance rate. Southwestern ELA students were 4 percent more proficient than the average Illinois student with a 33.9 percent proficiency rate. They almost met the average proficiency rate in math having 24 percent proficiency against the 25.8 percent state average. In science students were 54 percent proficient.
Staunton School District serves 1,213 students. They have an 86 percent graduation rate and a students attendance rate of 92.9 percent district wide. Staunton English students blew the rest of the county out of the water by earning a proficiency rate of 40.1 percent. They surpassed the average in mathematics as well scoring a 27.4 percent proficiency rate. In science the proficiency rate of Staunton students was 59 percent.