District 211 Academic Goals (Part 1)
With an emphasis on college readiness and success after high school graduation, students in District 211 have been challenged to meet learning goals outlined for the 2011-2012 academic year.
There are four different academic goals in the District’s plan, including that students will meet critical learning standards outlined by the District, students will demonstrate academic growth, student enrollment in more rigorous courses will increase, and students will demonstrate college-readiness. The goals monitor two areas in academic progress, which were the attainment of identified outcomes and growth.
Attainment is an indication of a student’s performance on identified outcomes at a particular point in time, which is based on test scores ranging from his or her eighth grade year through junior and senior year. Growth is measured over time by looking at how much or how far a student or group of students progressed over a defined period of time from his or her previous performance.
Each student that graduates from District 211 should have the ability to pursue college or other career opportunities. By maintaining and improving knowledge and skills in mathematics and communication, students will have better educational and career focused opportunities post-graduation. Additionally, critical thinking skills, problem solving, communication and listening skills, and knowledge application are some of the skills sets the District is focusing on.
Throughout the past few years, each curricular department shifted a focus from what is being taught, to what is being learned by students. Each department outlined critical learning standards and a plan to develop a district-wide summative assessment for those standards. Departments will track students’ future scores and compare them to the 2011-2012 academic year to monitor growth and attainment assessment.
The second goal, which makes sure all students demonstrate academic growth, is based on test results used throughout the District. The Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS), includes the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT exams; the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test in reading, and the ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State) test for students learning English, are taken at various times throughout a student’s academic career.
The third goal is to have higher student participation in rigorous courses, including Advanced Placement courses. The District found that the class of 2012 had a 2.3 percent increase from its graduating class enrolled in at least one AP course. Additionally, there is an emphasis on increased dual-credit opportunities.
The final goal, all students should demonstrate college readiness, is determined by the percentage of students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. Those minimum scores are evaluated by English and Mathematics. The minimum test score for English on the ACT is 18, with mathematics being 22. Seventy-one percent of students in the class of 2012 met the English benchmark and 60% met the benchmark in mathematics. Overall, student ACT test scores improved 10% from the PLAN test taken during their sophomore year in school.
The Board of Education approved the goals for the next two school years at its July 12, 2012 meeting. For more in-depth information on academic goals and results from the 2011-2012 academic year, please visit board docs.