Illinois schools report card gives most districts a "failing" grade

By WEEK Producer

October 31, 2013 Updated Oct 31, 2013 at 10:54 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Report Card for Individual Schools in the state has now been released and most districts did not get a passing grade.

However some local educators said the results are not the full measure of progress the schools are making to achieve academic goals.

Metamora High School students are yielding hot blades in a welding class they hope will lead to successful jobs. Superintendent Randy Toepke said that kind of real work experience shows the progress teachers and students accomplish daily.

''We have a lot of really good things going on at this school,” Toepke said. “We have great academic progress with our fine arts our career and technical education.”

Toepke said the Illinois Report Card for Individual Schools in the state is not a full measure of district accomplishment. It shows that most districts do not get a passing grade. Toepke said it is a better tool for parents and the public.

"I think it's really a just something that's gonna be user friendly to the public,” he said. “I think it's a way for parents in the district to compare where their schools are to the rest of the state.”

Locally, only 40% of District 150 schools met requirements on state tests.

In a statement, District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan said Peoria Public Schools rely on several testing platforms so that student growth can be tracked throughout the school year.

In McLean County, only 59% of District 87 schools 69% of Unit 5 schools met standards. Regional School Superintendent Gerald Brookhart said schools should be rewarded for progress.

"I think it's a good start,” he said. “I think we need more support. The state of Illinois has dedicated some personnel and dollars to social and emotional learning.”

Dr. Brookhart said once schools have fully implemented core education standard will students will be able to globally compete for careers and jobs.

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