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Evanston Township High School officials told the school board Monday night that the school is experiencing both higher enrollment and stronger performance on achievement tests.

The annual opening of school report indicates ETHS has 3,322 students this year, the highest number in five years.

The number of students who identify as Hispanic/Latino increased to 18 percent, up one percent from the year before and the highest percentage ever at the school.

The proportion of non-Hispanic black students has remained steady at 29.5 percent for the past five years.

The proportion of non-Hispanic white students decreased to 43.6 percent from 44.7 percent last year.

The percentage of Asian students increased slightly to 5.2 percent and students who identified as being of two or more races declined to 3.3 percent compared to 4.2 percent last year.

ETHS recently reported the highest ACT scores in school history, with the composite score for the Class of 2015 at 23.9. This includes all-time high scores in all subtests (English, mathematics, reading and science) of the ACT, a national curriculum-based test that is scored on a scale of 1-36. The 2014-15 Report on Student Achievement also indicated honors/AP enrollment at 85 percent for grade 11 or 12 students, an increase of more than 2 percent from the prior year.

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said, “Diversity of our students is increasing. ACT results in all subject areas are at an all-time high. AP enrollment is at an all-time high. AP achievement is at an all-time high with a record number of students scoring 3s, 4s and 5s on the national exams.  And racial diversity of students enrolled in our AP classes is at an all-time high.”

School officials suggest the trends may be the result of the school’s efforts started in 2010 to restructure the freshman year experience. The Class of 2015 was the first cohort to be enrolled in the restructured freshman humanities course. Since 2010, both student participation in AP courses and scores have continued to climb.  The percentage of graduating seniors enrolled in at least one AP course was 78.7 percent in 2015, showing an increase of about 4 percent from each of the previous two years.

While the 2014-15 Illinois Report Card is not yet available from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), data from 2013 and 2014 reports show that the four-year graduation rate increased from 86 percent to 88 percent. When 2014-15 data is available, ETHS will also be able to assess the percentage of freshmen students who are on track to graduate, which was reported at about 94 percent for 2013-14.

National Student Clearinghouse data indicates that about 82 percent of 2013 graduates continued in a post-secondary institution within two semesters of graduating from ETHS. Data on 2014 graduates will be available in winter 2015.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. ETHS annual report
    This week ETHS sent resident the ‘Annual Financial Report.’
    Several things stood out to me.
    1. 3238 students with a budget of $79.7 million. That is over 24,000 per student. You usually hear schools in the $12-14,000 area. I’m sure they want to say you have to exclude certain items, but supposedly without everything, they say they could not operate. No student, no costs—“all in” costs per student must be figured.
    2. They say they have 91% of teachers with advanced degrees. Are those MA/MS/PhD in their subject [e.g. MS in Math not Math for teachers] or ‘education’ degrees ? From excellent schools ?
    3. Teachers got 4.3% raises. Given getting 3% is considered good in most businesses, that seems high. Total salaries increased 9.9% due to retirements—does that mean from here on out, total salary budgets will decrease ? Was the increase because of “last minute bumps” [that we read about schools doing] as they head out the door, to increase pay so pensions will increase ? People in other businesses would like to have bumps—they don’t.
    4. What is the rate of graduates who finish college in four years ? Five years ?
    5. ACT scores were in the 23 range. That is generally considered the low range to have confidence in college graduation. Northwestern has 31-34 for the 25-75% of students. DePaul 25.4. Scores are not broken out by race or ethnic group, but considering what is said about unequal teaching for groups, I’d assume white and Asian students pulled-up the averages.
    6. AP scores. The report states the State requires credit in public colleges for scores of 3. Northwestern mostly requires a 5 but some at 4 partial credit—mostly in language.
    7. How many teachers get paid for coaching ? Can’t ETHS find enough Math and English teaching/tutoring to keep the faculty busy ?

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