The Evanston Township High School District 202 School Board heard some good news Tuesday night about the performance of its students on the ACT college readiness tests.

While the rest of the nation, and Illinois schools as well, experienced steady or sagging scores for the Class of 2015, scores at ETHS climbed significantly on all four segments of the test.

Taken annually by every junior, ETHS students registered the highest ACT scores in its history, according to Peter Bavis, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction

Average scores on the English component grew from 22.9 to 23.8. In reading, comparable scores were 23.2 to 24.1; math from 23.0 to 23.8; and science, 22.3 to 23.4.

Overall, the composite score increased from 23.0 to 23.9. This compares with the national average of 21.0 and the state average of 20.7.


Bavis noted that, since 2009, all juniors took the test, and when a score on any of the four components grows by nearly a point, “this is incredible.”

In other action Tuesday night, the board welcomed its newest member, Anne Sills, who took the place of William Geiger, who resigned because he and his family were moving out of the state.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. We did it!

    After reading this story I am so pleased to know that District 202 finally closed the educational "gap". Thank you to all the teachers, ETHS board members and administrators for a job well done!

    1. Not clear
      It’s not clear from this article that any gaps have closed. It looks like the scores of all students increased, so presumably, the gap remains.

  2. What about PARCC?
    I am confused. I thought that PARCC, not ACT was the measuring stick now. Did all ETHS students take both ACT and PARCC? What are their PARCC results?

    1. NO PARCC for juniors last year

      ETHS, thankfully, opted out of making the juniors take the PARCC test last year. They still need to take the ACT, and they also all take the pre-ACT, plus many also choose to take the PSAT and SAT, and then there are AP tests, so the administrators made the wise decision to not subject the kids to another test. Hopefully this is something they can continue to get away with.

    2. Maybe how to improve education not just scores

      Have students ever been surveyed as to what they feel are the best ways to improve their education ?  I assume a lot of answers would not be useful—such as shorter hours, more "relevant reading" like rap music instead of dead white white writers/musicians, less math, etc..  However I would be interested in what the 'top' students say. Such as did they learn more from their teachers, reading books instead of classroom lectures, what they consider their "own efforts" along side or apart from teachers; their parents encouragement and helping them with their learning–I don't mean doing their howwork—or providing tutors/university courses/summer academic class, for more advanced work. 

      I suspect the home enviornment with encouragement and help in learning will prove to much more important than all the 'expert' analysis wants to admit.

  3. Anne Sills
    How did she get on the Board? I thought there were other more qualified candidates with actual higher education administrative experience????

    1. She was appointed to the position

      Anne Sills was appointed to the position by the regional superintendent of schools after the remaining members of the board were unable to agree on a replacement. Here's the link to that story.

    2. Anne Sills isn’t qualified

      Chae, you are correct – everyone of the other candidates were more qualified. For example, all the other candidates have AT LEAST a college degree, and many have graduate degrees. Anne Sills never graduated from college. Secondly, almost all the other candidates have kids in ETHS and/or D65. Anne's supporters credit her for learning about the issues. The other candidates live the issues since they see what's happening and what's not happening in the schools.

      Bottom line, this was a political decision whose outcome was determined before the process began. Classic Chicago style politics. 

      Hopefully people will wake up to school board issues and pay attention.




      1. Qualifications

        The Board represents all the taxpayers, not just the parents.  So, for this taxpayer, it is just fine that she is not a parent.  I also do not believe a board member needs a college degree to represent me.

        Give her a chance.   

        1. Talk with her and you will understand

          I spoke with Anne on several occasions during the most recent campaign and was thoroughly unimpressed.

          Talk with her about educational issues and ideas and you will understand.


          1. Her qualifications — marching to the beat of the PEG drum

            At the most recent D202 Board meeting, it was announced that Ms. Sills, along with three other Board members, are attending a Pacific Education Group conference. They canceled a Board meeting because four Board members (a majority of the Board) will be at a PEG conference.  

            This is not good news as PEG preaches white privilege as the only reason that white students succeed (and they are happy to drum this into students), that individuals must be categorized as black, white, Hispanic, Asian or "other", and white people must admit that they are racists (pretty much toward block people only to the exclusion of other minorities) and if they don't make this admission, they are the worst kind of racists who need more PEG "training" at exorbitant cost.  

            So it appears that Ms. Sills' willingness to dance to the beat of the PEG drum is her strongest qualification and the primary reason that the current Board president (a PEG devotee) fought so fiercely for her appointment. This does not bode well for reasoned decision making in the best interest of all students as no students should be shamed because of their race and we should be focusing on the best interests of all elements of our diverse student body.

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