DOWNERS GROVE – District 99 high school students' state test scores failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress this year, the school district announced during a workshop meeting Monday.
Because District 99 receives Title 1 funding to help at-risk-students, it must make Adequate Yearly Progress as defined by the federal government's No Child Left Behind program.
For 2013, the minimum state target was 92.5 percent of all juniors meeting or exceeding reading and math standards on the Prairie State Achievement Test. That benchmark percentage increases every year, which has led to the majority of high schools in the state not meeting AYP. Last year, less than 10 schools statewide made AYP, according to District 99.
District-wide, one subgroup, white students, made AYP in reading. Two subgroups, white and Asian students, made AYP in math.
The school district saw large improvements in two subgroups. The percentage of black students who met or exceeded standards increased by 15 percent, and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students who met or exceeded standards increased by 12.9 percent.
"We are making progress, but we still didn't meet the standard that was set," Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Gina Ziccardi said Monday.
At North High, 75.5 percent of students in all groups met or exceeded reading standards, and 76.5 percent in math, Ziccardi told board members, below the benchmark of 92.5 percent.
At South High, 69.6 percent of students met or exceeded reading standards and 70.1 percent in math.
At South High, reading scores did increase in every sub group over last year, according to South High School Associate Principal for Curriculum Georgia Hash.
The district is required to provide free tutoring services to low-income students because it has not made AYP for three or more years. Twenty eight tutoring companies provide the services for up to about 90 students, Ziccardi said.
The board workshop meeting Monday discussed several methods of tracking student performance in addition to AYP.
Associate Principals for Curriculum at both high schools reported rising enrollment in Advanced Placement classes.
District officials also said that North and South High School students outpaced state and national averages in ACT scores.
The average District 99 students scored a 22.9 on the ACT in 2013, compared to 20.9 nationally, and 20.6 statewide.
Within the district, that's an improvement from 2002, when the average was 21.5, but a fall from a peak of 23.3 in 2011. Officials said a change in the method for reporting ACT scores attributed for a portion of that dip.