Mixed results from curriculum redesign at Oakton

Oakton Elementary School.

The Evanston School District 65 board tonight will get a report showing test score improvements for Oakton Elementary students in grades 3 through 5 but declines in grades K through 2 after the first year of a curriculum redesign.

The redesign was intended to address low overall academic performance, low enrollment in the African-Centric Curriculum program and a lack of cohesion between the school’s three academic programs – ACC, bilingual and general education.

The progress report contains results of Measure of Academic Progress tests for reading and math and indicates that the percent of all students in grades three through five meeting college readiness benchmarks rose 2.6 percent for reading and 4.1 percent for math.

The percent of all black students meeting college readiness benchmarks rose 6.7 percent for reading and 8.7 percent for math.

The report showed mixed results on the Developmental Reading Assessment.

Eighty percent of students achieved the grade 3 benchmark, which outperformed the district as a whole.

But the percentage of students achieving the benchmark in grades K through 2 fell. The decline hit both students who did and did not demonstrate litaracy readiness when they entered kindergarten.

The new curriculum program focuses on integrating STEAM (science, technology engineering, art and math) opportunities into core instruction through the use of project-based learning.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. at the Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.

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Comments

This is a joke

I am a staff member in this building and this is really sad.  What redesign?  What was done differently?  Two "STEAM" units were taught in SS/SCI.  One being the same in all D65 schools. And most of the work taking place after the last MAP was given.  So let's not say that the results are due to STEAM.  Teaching the curriculum is more effective.  Teachers need to be held accountable for teaching it and the administration is not doing that, allowing some to teach however they like.

In regards to ACC, are the numbers up?  The class sizes are still the same 12-14, at the most.  Many students coming from Chicago.

Let's redesign Oakton by following and holding teachers to high standards of teaching the district provided curriculum.  There are many ways to meet the needs of students in that currciulum. Let's focus on that. Many of the teachers didn't even like the STEAM but it was pushed top-down, making lots of teachers look to move out of Oakton.  

Questions for S.W.

On average Oakton students perform at lower levels on standardized tests, why is this the case?

Is it because:

- lower socioeconomic situation in families and parents are working 2 or 3 different jobs that aren't the typical 9-5 timeframe?

- parents lower level of academic achievement 

- poorly designed D65 curriculum

- weaker teachers at Oakton

- Administration doesn't care about Oakton and provides fewer resources

- more single parent households

- students aren't as prepared when they enter kindergarten

- student population is more transient

- institutional racism

In the 25+ years our family has lived in Evanston, Oakton has always had the lowest performing students on average, yet there has never, ever been a comprehensive, thoughtful and insightful understanding of why this continues and what can be done to help all kids realize their potential.

Lots of hopes and good intentions but not a lot of results.

S.W. any thoughts you can share would be appreciated.