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ETHS special ed students struggle academically

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Black males and special ed students continue to fall behind academically, according to a report to be presented to the Evanston Township High School Board of Education tonight.

The report compares the GPA, attendance rates, math and English proficiency, and disciplinary referrals for the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019, with students identified by gender, race, participation in free or reduced price lunch (an indicator of income) and the existence of an Individualized Education Program, put in place to address special needs.

A cumulative GPA of 2.8 across four years is one of the benchmarks that indicate college or career readiness according to the Report Card released by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Across the three graduating classes, while the overall performance by students improved, with the percentage meeting the benchmark rising from 63% in 2017 to 65% in 2019, the percent of students achieving a GPA of 2.8 or higher decreased for black males (31% to 27%), Asian males (90% to 72%) and students with IEPs (44% to 30%). 

GPAs increased for Hispanic females (51% to 58%), Hispanic males (29% to 42%) and white males (78% to 83%), and remained essentially unchanged for other groups.

Achievement of English language and math benchmarks, determined by grades, AP exams or SAT scores, are also components of college or career readiness. 

The percent of students meeting English language benchmarks decreased over three years for black females (51% to 41%), Hispanic females (51% to 45%), Asian females (79% to 75%), low income students (38% to 33%) and special education students (27% to 17%). 

Percentages increased for black males (30% to 33%) and Hispanic males (39% to 44%) and remained essentially unchanged for other groups.

The percentage of students achieving math benchmarks decreased for black females (74% to 63%), Hispanic females (78% to 68%), Hispanic males (66% to 55%), low income students (65% to 56%) and students with IEPs (47% to 18%). 

Percentages increased for black males (53% to 58%) and white males (91% to 94%), while remaining essentially unchanged for other groups. 

The school board meets at 7:30 p.m. in Room N112 at the high school.

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