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D228, Tinley Park High School Fall Short on State Report Cards

Bremen High School District 228 failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress, a state-mandated grading system for Illinois schools. But administrators say the system sets up school districts for failure.

The numbers are out for Adequate Yearly Progress for the Class of 2013 in Bremen High School District 228, and like other high school districts in the state, D228 didn't measure up.

But the results didn't surprise district administrators, who say this way of evaluating students is stacked against schools.

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“The system that we're working in is absurd,” said Supt. Bill Kendall. “You're doing the best you can in an absurd system, but you're set up for failure, really. I hate to say that.”

The data shows that district-wide, only 40.7 percent of students in reading and 41 percent of students in math met state standards for the year; the standards were set at 85 percent of students meeting state-set scores.

District students are expected to meet 100 percent of state-set scores by 2014, according to AYP planning.

“Nobody met 85 percent, nobody is going to meet 90 percent, and nobody is going to meet 100,” said Assistant Supt. of Teaching and Learning Corinne Williams. “The intent is good, to make sure that we're pushing all kids. But when you're using a test [the ACT], it's a college entrance test designed to sort and separate. … They're getting the same results year after year.”

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“It's very frustrating, because you constantly get pressure from the state,” Williams added. “'You're not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. Now you're in corrective action. Now you're in restructuring. Every time you turn around, there's a different mandate, based on how we're doing on tests.”

Kendall and Williams both said students' progress is in line with the district's own goals, with student test scores improving yearly and students continuing to graduate on time, many moving on to post-secondary education and jobs.

“We're preparing our kids for post-secondary, whatever that may be,” Williams said.

The administrators pointed to the district's graduation rates, which have hovered around 90 percent from 2007 to 2010—with 2011 rates dropping to 81 percent because of a reclassification in how special education students are classified at graduation time—as proof that the district is providing students with a strong education.

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“We're doing things,” Williams said. “We're helping our kids achieve.”

The following is a breakdown of D228 subgroups, as a district and at Oak Forest and Tinley Park high schools. Subgroups are groups of 45 students or more who fall into a specific demographic, based on race, income, special needs, English proficiency and other variables.

Bremen High School District 228

Reading

Subgroups District Score % AYP Score % Met AYP All 40.7 85 No White 56.4 85 No Black 28.4 85 No Hispanic 32.7 85 No Students With Disabilities 24.4 85 No Economically Disadvantaged 31.5 85 No

Math

Subgroups District Score % AYP Score % Met AYP All 41 85 No White 59.4 85 No Black 25.1 85 No Hispanic 32.9 85 No Students With Disabilities 23.8 85 No Economically Disadvantaged 29.1 85 No

High Schools

Oak Forest High School

Reading

Subgroup Score % AYP % Met AYP All 50.3 85 No White 53.7 85 No Hispanic 45 85 No Economically Disadvantaged 45.3 85 Yes*

Math

Subgroup Score % AYP % Met AYP All 52.7 85 No White 58.7 85 No Hispanic 42.6 85 No Economically Disadvantaged 43.1 85 Yes*

Tinley Park High School

Reading

Subgroup Score % AYP % Met AYP All 50.7 85 No White 64.8 85 Yes* Black 28.9 85 No Hispanic N/A 85 N/A Economically Disadvantaged 34.6
85 No Students With Disabilities 33.9 85 Yes

Math

Subgroup Score % AYP % Met AYP All 51.9 85 No White 67.9 85 Yes Black 25.6 85 No Hispanic N/A N/A N/A Economically Disadvantaged 38.3 85 No
Students With Disabilities 33.9 85 Yes

SOURCE: Bremen High School District 228

*Indicates that this subgroup of students did not meet AYP with its scores, but did meet Safe harbor status. Safe harbor allows a subgroup to meet minimum targets on achievement, so long as the it has existed for two consecutive years. To make safe harbor, the group must decrease by at least 10 percent in the percentage of students who did not meet standards the previous year.

 

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TaxPayer November 05, 2012 at 07:20 AM
How is it that the 'Physics First" curriculum that Dr. Williams and Dr. Kendall tested at TP and then forced upon the entire district has not improved our scores as promised? The Physics First movement is coming out of the DuPage county area where both Dr. Kendall and Dr. Williams attended Aurora University. They are proponents of Dr. Leon Lederman who won a Nobel Prize for physics and is behind the "Physics first " movement. Dr. Lederman is an impressive man who has been associated with Fermi Lab, Aurora University and Illinois Math ans Science Academy to name a few. When we first heard this idea six years ago while attending a seminar at IMSA, we thought it was an interesting idea. These kids were considered the top in the state why not expose them to physics early. They all had at a minimum an algebra class back in seventh or eighth grade. Most kids at IMSA were sophomores, they had a couple of more years of math, so why not. The big problem as I see it is most of the kids in D228 do not have the math needed to complete a true physics class. Certainly some of the top kids could complete such a course, but to force it on an entire district as diversified as D228 seems to be a misguided act of loyalty to a man that I doubt ever visited our district. Why doesn't the district try the simple approach of early intervention of Jr. High kids, as all experts agree this works.
Elliot November 10, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Is it no wonder that few if any teachers send their own kids to a D228 school??? This district once had many families that worked here and also sent their children here, not anymore. When I consider that the taxpayers of the district are paying all the bills we need to demand better from all involved, starting with this lame excuse for a school board. They need to hire the absolute best from the marketplace not the most connected. I keep hearing about all these college grads that can't get a job, why aren't we hiring them???

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