When compared to the rest of the state, students in Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools are still testing higher in both reading and mathematics, according to data contained in the 2013 Accountability & Achievement Report, but little has changed since last year.

For the third straight year, 73.8 percent of the district’s students have met or exceeded standards in reading, as measured by the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. Math scores dipped slightly from 76.0 in 2011 to 75.9 in 2013.

For the state as a whole, 57.1 percent met or exceeded standards in reading in 2011, climbing to 59.0 in 2013. The comparable percentages in math for the state inched up from 58.7 in 2011 to 58.8 in 2013.

A number of tests are given to district students each year, and the full report, discussed at the district’s board meeting this week, is 53 pages in length.

In its current three-year plan, the district’s goal is to see improvement in both reading and mathematics scores from 2011-12 through 2013-14.

In addition to the ISAT, other tests given district students are the Ilinois Alternative Assessment (IAA), Measures of Acadmic Progress (MAP), and Explore.

Students in grades 3 through 8 are tested in reading and math on ISAT and MAP. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are administered the IAA in place of the ISAT.

Explore is administered to eighth graders.

The percentage of all students scoring in the lowest quartile decreased from 2009 to 2013, based on both the state and national norms in reading and the national norms in mathematics.

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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