The Evanston Township High School District 202 School Board received its annual report on student achievement this week, which validated claims that the school’s students are still at the top of their game.

The highlights:

The Class of 2014 had the second highest ACT composite score, 23.6, in the school’s history (okay, so last year’s score was a tad higher, at 23.9).

The highest percentage ever of juniors and seniors, some 64 percent, took at least one Advanced Placement exam.

ETHS had the highest number of 3, 4, and 5 AP scores in the school’s history.

The five-year graduation rate stands at 90 percent.

The student dropout rate of 1.1 percent was the lowest in history.

Reading and math scores in the last year of Illinois’ Prairie State Achievement Exams, were higher.

The ACT scores are considered the most meaningful, as they are used by most colleges and universities in determining college admissions.

In 2002, the national ACT average was 20.8. That year, the ETHS average score was 21.9.

This year, the national average had edged slightly upward to 21.1, compared with the 23.6 score for ETHS.

When looked at by race and ethnicity, the ETHS groups were all higher than the national averages.

African Americans at ETHS scored 17.9 compared with the national average of 17.0

Hispanic/Latino students at ETHS scored 19.5 vs. the national average of 18.8.

And white students scored 27.5, compared with the national average of 22.3.

As for gender, males scored slightly higher than females at both the local and national levels. Scores for males averaged 23.4 at ETHS vs. 21.1 nationally. And females at ETHS averaged 22.7 vs. 20.9 nationally.

In the groupings, adjustments were made by ETHS because the national scores do not include racial and gender scores for all students. In the groupings cited above, the ETHS score for all students is recalculated to be 23.0 vs. the national average for all students of 21.0.

The report was received favorably by board members.

Jonathan Baum said the scores reflected “a tremendous achievement, for which you all should be proud.”

Mark Metz said that “what has been accomplished continues to be a big success.”

And Doug Holt said the figures represent “another year of incredible achievements.”

Earlier stories:

ETHS tops New Trier in national ranking

Evanston High ranked 21st in state

Another magazine ranks ETHS in top 2 percent

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. What was the Distribution ?
    What were the Mean and Standard Deviations [other statistics] ?
    Among high scoring students, how many got substantial support at home from parents or tutors parents hired? took college course while in school ?

    Schools claim they don’t have enough Asian students to break them out. What group are they lumped in ? It there are not enough to break out, I think Evanston needs to know why there would be so few Asian residents, given all the undergrad/grad/faculty/other just from NU ?

      1. Curious Black vrs. Hispanic Scores
        Again we see the curious relation between minority scores.
        The schools push TWI because Hispanic students supposedly will suffer a language gap. But it seems their Reading and English scores are higher than Blacks each time. Something else must account for this difference. Two parent homes ? Parent involvement ? Income ?

        I don’t know what goes into the Reading and English testing but with grade [I know tests are not ‘grades’] inflation over the years and reports of testing being dumb’d down, one has to wonder if the same thing goes on with test scores. Math should be a better indicator, but less and less seems to be required/expected each year. A recent report showed that in many colleges students got by with five hours study a week—versus two hours of study for each class hour in the 1960s.
        Also many college student did not even know the term in office of Senators and Representatives—among many other ‘simple’ things.’ Even with that, getting into college may not be a good indicator of graduating. U. North Carolina’s sports scandal shows even graduating may prove little—even beside UNC, ask employers who interview what they think of candidates—very disappointing !
        Maybe the criticism of testing is valid—it seems to prove little.

      2. Observations

        Two things stood out.  Evanston seemed to do better than state results,but spending per student was almost twice as much.  Evanston cost of living is high [and that is a problem] but twice ?

        I was very surprised by how female grades seemed to exceed male scores in every ethnic group.

        As I understand the thinking for years has been girls will do better if they do not feel intimidated by boys in their classes—hence arguments for schools/classes separated by gender. It looks like Evanston does not have that problem.  Maybe there is something here the schools need to look at more—just why the gap does occur.  I assume poverty, single parent households, language barriers and other reasons for ethic differences cannot explain this.


    1. AP increase in enrollment
      It is interesting to note that the increase in AP enrollment (AP test takers – not total tests) nearly matches the increase in number of 1’s and 2’s.

      Two pieces of data would be telling… How many students in AP classes do not take the test? and What is the average score by number of tests taken?

      I suspect that there is a couple of things going on in this AP push… Students who are extremely capable are getting high scores while taking many courses (increasing total tests taken,average tests/student and #of 3-5 scores) and less capable students pushed into AP courses either do not take the test, or get a low score in 1 course taken.

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