State’s school report cards give parents another tool to gauge performance

Parents now can see how their children’s schools stack up as the Illinois’ local school report cards are now available.

Between 60 percent and 70 percent of students in the state aren’t reading or doing math at their current grade levels.

John Barker, chief performance officer at the Illinois State Board of Education, said the board is “owning” the poor test scores.

“We’ve got challenges,” Barker said. “In terms of owning those challenges, we have a diagnostic system with PARCC that gives us clarity into that.”

Barker said the new measurement tools, which are part of the unpopular PARCC test, should allow the state to target schools that are underperforming.

But local schools can’t measure how individual students did on those tests year-to-year. That information isn’t part of the local report card.

Barker said that for schools that are performing well, the local school report cards give parents the information they need to ask questions of their children’s schools.

“(Parents can) use this to ignite a conversation,” Barker said. “At parent-teacher conferences, at meetings of the PTA, with their children’s school’s principal.”

In addition to test scores, the local school report card shows how much schools spend on kids and teachers, dropout and graduation rates, and even teacher attendance.

–Illinois News Network

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