Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board members are scheduled to review a generally disappointing report on student achievement at tonight’s board meeting.

Two years ago the board established a five-year strategic plan with goals for improving student performance that included:

  • Increase the percentage of students at or above college readiness benchmarks in math and reading.
  • Increase the percentage of students making expected gains in math and reading.
  • Decrease the percentage of students at or below the 25th percentile in math and reading

However, as a chart from the report shows,  the trends are heading in the wrong direction.

The full report breaks down the results of individual schools and grades levels throughout the District based on scores from Measures of Academic Performance and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers tests. 

The board meets at 7 p.m. at 1500 McDaniel Ave. 

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  1. From this, these results are
    From this, these results are sobering. What’s not working, and who will be held accountable?

    1. Probably pay raise to come
      Administration [and teachers] will probably ask for a pay raise as a ‘retention bonus’ [won’t leave a problem district] and to encourage them to ‘try harder.”
      No one will admit blame—except that voters did not give them enough money and of course ‘discrimination’ by residents.

    2. I can assure you that despite
      I can assure you that despite more poor performance, the teachers will get their raises and the massive tax increase will be eagerly gobbled up.

    3. Maybe the teachers?

      It interests me that we want to hold adminstrators, parents, our economic and social ills accountable for these results.  But we almost never mention the teachers who may have more influence than anyone else, but seem to be exempt.  How do we know that every teacher, every day,  is ready, willing and able to teach the children in his/her classroom?  

      It seems to me, if they were, we might have different results.

        1. Is this Lake Wobegone ? or better ?
          Lake Wobegone was famous for everyone being ‘above average.’ Here the teachers are ‘proficient [average+] or excellent.’ That should tell you something is wrong with the rating system. We hear news stories of similar claims in other cities—-only to find out the teachers are anything but excellent. Whether they get the ratings because supervisors are lazy in reviewing, afraid of the union/lawsuits, something is wrong.with the system.

          1. School Board Matters 3.0

            The strategy and policy behind our Human Capital Management process is one the most important issues for the School Board to consider. Yet it doesn’t get the time and attention it deserves.

            Identifying,  Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Retaining the VERY BEST TALENT for our schools should be priority #1, #2 and #3.

  2. Criminal ineptitude
    It is said insanity is when one does the same thing over and over and expect different results. But I call it criminal ineptitude: when through the years one of the wealthiest and best equipped educational systems in the nation –ours– delivered so many students into the world improperly prepared.

    Has our educational establishment ever seriously examined the reasons why white and Asian students score higher than minorities? Or how consequential are families in the success or failure of a student? History tells us that parents’ understanding and embrace of education is paramount in the process of a child’s education. Even the schools tell us that “parents are the first teachers.” Yet apparently nothing is done to make sure this is the case with lower achievers! It is just taken as a given that some parents just do not participate in the school life of their kids and that is that. Sadly as much as they try, no program will ever be successful replacing the role of parents in their children’s education.

    For over 50 years I watched hugely paid superintendents shamelessly waffle with so many of their students’ futures. Programs come and go but the essence is the same: lower the standards so the lower scoring kids can be graduated with passable marks. ”Let’s get rid of the Honor Society because there are no black students enrolled….” as I once heard the board discuss. So our schools, once among the best in the world, are now among the lowest ranking. And our jobs are being taken by better prepared outsiders.

    Superintendents should publish not only the rate of high school graduates and students accepted in college, but the rate of Evanston students who achieve college graduation. And superintendents’ salaries and pensions should be lowered or raised according to the proportion in which underachievement, gap size and college graduation go up or down. Rather than letting them flow through our system collecting praise and pension while so many of our students graduate with very dark prospects for a similar life of ease.

    As for Hispanics, of which I am one, what is being done with TWI is also criminal. Not only they are separated from the main stream of students—which is illegal– but they are taught in Spanish in a country and a world where English is the language of success. In kindergarten, when they are at their highest in potential to learn, they are taught 90% in Spanish. I don’t know how board members can sleep peacefully knowing this…and even worse, turn the entire Bessie Rhodes School into a TWI school? How do we expect them to qualify for college when their main language is Spanish? And nobody can argue with Hispanics’ low and getting lower achievement scores. No wonder a director of ETHS’ career department once told me that “Our Hispanics are not in the same league as Northwestern University’s students and they should not aspire to be accepted there.”

    1. Are the parents listened to ?
      There have been many comments about how children suffer when parents cannot or will not support them in their education.
      There can be a different side—I hope this does not happen in Evanston. A co-worker in a respected western suburb school system, had to fight with his daughters teachers because the teachers, backed by the principal, thought the girl was reading beyond the level of her classmates and should go back to ‘class level’ materials. The parents were actually told [by teacher and principal] that the teachers, not parents, knew what was best and the parents should leave education to the teachers. The girl [and sister] loved reading, math, science and about every subject. The parents had no choice but to home-school. Result—she learned her math, science, literature, French, German, Latin, was in the Lyric’s children choir, wrote opera reviews [appeared on PBS for an opera review], graduated from MIT and has a successful career in business—and is very well adjusted and happy.
      P.S. While a Hollywood version of ‘gifted’ children, I’d strongly recommend the 2016 movie ‘Gifted’—one of the most enjoyable films in years.

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