Evanston/Skokie School District 65 has a packed agenda Monday night including the Illinois State Board of Education report card on District 65.

Overall the report card shows District 65 students performed better in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing in 2016-17 than the state average.

It shows 45 percent of our students met or exceeded the PARCC expectations compared to the state average of 34 percent. But that is down from 48 percent in District 65 last year.

The report card also breaks down how the students did in each grade and by racial/ethnic backgrounds.

For example, the report shows in grade three, 64 percent of students identified as White,15 percent of students identified as Black, and 21 percent of students identified as Hispanic met or exceeded expectations in ELA.

In grade eight, 60 percent of White students,11 percent of Black students, and 19 percent of Hispanic students met or exceeded grade expectations in ELA.

The report looks at grades three to eight in both ELA and mathematics.

Alex Morgan, spokesperson for the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL) said,

“As for the report card, obviously we are disappointed in the results from District 65, and the lack of improvement is why OPAL is looking to hold the district accountable.” 

The annual discipline report and the quarterly suspension report are also being presented to the board.

Those reports outline the number of suspensions handed out over the year and this quarter. So far this year has seen a sharp increase in suspensions, with 12 compared to two in the same timeframe last year.

The summary of the suspension report notes “the suspension rate for Black students (58%) is significantly higher than the proportion (23%) of students who identify as black”.

The school board agenda has 29 items and 47 attachments to discuss, meaning it could be a long night. It meets at 7 p.m. at the JEH Education Center at 1500 McDaniel Ave.

Join the Conversation


  1. And here we go again…

    Betcha Opal will demand D65 funnel more resources toward the benefit of minority students. Words like “fill the gap” will permeate the air tonight. This despite the fact that Evanston voters gave D65 a $100 million shot in the arm in a property tax hike referendum this year.

    OPAL’s goal is “to achieve equity in Evanston through voter education, civic engagement and candidate development.” That sounds like a political organization. 9th Alderman Cicely Fleming sits on Opal’s Board. 

    l’d like to know how the 60 percent of 8th grade white students who met or exceeded ELA compare to 8th grade white students in Wilmette and Skokie. This means 40 percent did not meet expectations that’s alarming, too!!

    Folks, get out your checkbooks. They want more of your money.

  2. What has the Board done to fix this
    Evanston is small enough, unlike Chicago, that the Board and Superintendent should be able to shift resources to deal with the problem.
    If the teachers and related staff are just not ‘up to it’, terminate them. If it is a problem of balance, quality of the teachers/aids/facilities shift those resources so that all the students get equal resources—though that might mean moving [yes busing] students to different schools.
    Why do whites score higher ? Surely they have enough studies to do the analysis. Is it they are not given inferior education via all the liberal idea that minorities need special ethnic/race education gimmicks—in essence saying they can’t learn like white kids so give them something they can get by with. There seems to be built in racism with the Board down to the individual schools—belief minority students can’t learn so just pass them through the system.

    1. Education D65

      Having followed the education journey for years, and having heard that boys learn differently than girls, that other races learn differently as well, would it be a good idea to offer a voluntary K-8 magnet school that specializes in teaching African American students and anyone else who wants to participate in that method of learning?  I would be open to that suggestion with the same dollars per student being devoted to that school.  I wonder how many would elect to go to that school on a voluntary basis and to what degree the performance of African American students would increase.

      1. See how that works

        If you’ve been following the “educational journey” you’d know Oakton Elementary has an African American studies curriculum. But the results have not been that good. Ssssh, don’t tell anyone.

        And don’t forget in June, D65 board members voted 5-1 to eliminate tracking eighth grade algebra students “to quash the perception that students of color are not as good at math as their white counterparts.” 

        Yeah, see how that works. And this was done after Evanston voters approved a $100 million property tax hike for D65.

    2. closing the gap

      When the disparitiies are evident as early as third grade it clear that the difference is what is happening outside of school. They have the ability to study, this but the likely difference is, books in the house, time reading, limiting screen time and parents able to afford enrichment activities. The only real way to close the gap is the lengthen the school day so that the kids not meeting grade level standards are reading and working on school work after the normal day ends, rather than going home and watching TV or playing video games. 


    3. Evanston is small but issue is complex

      Guest raises several issues. First, “Evanston is small enough…D65 should be able to shift resources to deal with problem.” Education isn’t like building a car where the company controls the process from start to finish. Students are in school about 7 hours a day and for only 5 days of the week. And you have vacations and summer break. A lot of education is happening for some kids outside of school. Additionally, students entering kindergarten don’t all start with the same skills.

      “If teachers and related staff are just not ‘up to it’, terminate them.” There are union rules and processes that D65 must adhere to which take time. But more importantly, D65 and our community is fortunate to have many highly qualified, skilled and motivated people teaching our kids. Teachers and staff aren’t magicians. Maybe OPAL will also make an effort to hold parents accountable for having each and every child show up at school on time, fed, well rested and prepared to learn. And if there are family circumstances that can’t or won’t provide those conditions maybe OPAL will help facilitate and coordinate with families and non-profits in Evanston who are working to provide additional resources to kids who need more help.

      “Why do white students score higher?” Maybe a better question is, why do some black and hispanic students perform very well academically, and what can our community learn from those students and families? Emulating success is a more constructive approach than blaming others for failure.

      “Belief minority students can’t learn” – I will not, cannot, and will NEVER accept this statement. Nor have I ever heard a teacher, administrator or parent express this opinion. People who have followed education in Evanston understand that some students have different challenges and have less resources and undoubtedly face more obstacles in learning than other students. All students can learn.

      As a community, let’s adopt a can do attitude and focus on the underlying issues and challenges we know exist in Evanston, instead of espousing racially polarizing language that has shown not to help students who most need our help to be successful in school and later on in life.

  3. Not again!

    Well, here we go again, 50 years later same issue, same bad statistics.  And by the way, don’t compare Evanston with all the poorer schools in the state! 

    Why aren’t minorities doing like whites?  I’ve worked with black groups and Hispanic groups.  And both times I found out that the parental involvement is NOT the same as in white households.  Why isn’t the district (and 202) dealing with this?  Hispanic parents come to this country disadvantaged in that they have no idea how our school system works.  In  Latin America (I am Hispanic), parent involvement is not needed like here. Schools are not as wealthy and have only one strand per subject:  One course, one texbook for everyone, at each level and subject.  No choices of higher or lower Math or History or geography.  Just the one tunnel where all students go, minorities or majorities.  So when they get here they have no idea you have to be very involved if you want your kid to go to college. Many times they don’t even know that they have to decide that their kids should go to college to get what they wanted to get by immigrating here.  They don’t know that from day one you have to make sure your kid is placed in the course that will allow him to do its best. That you have to make choices!   And I mean from Kindergarten!  But for some reason Hispanics are told about the rules of the game only when they get to ETHS.  Like Mr Murphy, the former superintendent of D65 told me should be. That is NOT fair.  That is NOT equality of opportunity!  Hispanics ARE intelligent.  But they must start at the same starting point as whites do. 

    By now one would think that the districts know all this, but they don’t seem to.  They keep repeating the same strategies and we know what that spells: insanity!

    I’ve been to a small and very poor high school in Padre Island, TX where they managed with 10% of what we paid here per student.  Their kids were 80% Hispanic…and very poor.  But their principal made them feel that they owned the school: it was THEIR school.  So the kids painted the walls, fixed up their gymnasium, and even collected money for a computer lab.  Besides that, they invited their parents to come to school in the evenings and THEY, the students, their own children, gave them classes of English and computer.  Of course the principal also did his part in many ways.  One was to invite every month a group of parents to dine with him in the school.  He even wrote the invitations himself by hand.  All these strategies are extremely simple!  And they don’t need to ask taxpayers for more dollars.  This principal of West Oso High School knew that IT IS THE PARENTS!  Without the parents being very involved and feeling it is THEIR school, our statistics will continue being the same.  Please don’t wash your hands off minorities, board members and superintendents!  Do with minorities what you yourselves do at home and at school with your own kids!!!

    1. the last sentence is correct…..

      Therein lies the problem.  The last sentence that you posted says it all!  Parents are NOT parenting..they are absent…..their children are neglected  for whatever reasons..they are NOT encouraging, learning, teaching, loving, etc. at their own homes.   Each child needs to feel special.  Love & learning life’s issues begins in the home….before kids enter school  Every day should be a learning experience of some kind for children from day one.  It’s just not happening.  The thirst for knowledge should be rampant..but some kids are not thirsty..just dehydrated.

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