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 RPS 205 Guide to the 2019 Illinois Report Card


The Illinois Report Card this year includes student progress year over year, in addition to details about student proficiency in each subject matter. Results from the 2019 report were published today and include a metric called the Student Growth Percentile. That growth percentile measures how far a student has progressed compared to other students who started at the same level. The average of individual growth measurements are aggregated to determine a school’s overall growth from year to year. This is only the second year the state has included that data on the report card, and it’s the first year for Illinois schools to examine year-over-year growth rates on the standardized test. The data point gives district leaders, principals and teachers a more in-depth look at how RPS 205 students perform compared to other students across the state. 

Annual growth has been an internal target in Rockford Public Schools for years, but it hasn’t been reflected on the Report Card or state-mandated tests each spring – until recently. Results from English/Language Arts and Math are illustrated below from students in third through eighth grade on the 2019 Illinois Assessment of Readiness, or IAR: 

English/Language Arts highlights: 

  • Results from 30 of 32 RPS 205 schools – or 94 percent of schools that serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade – showed improved Student Growth Percentile averages on the 2019 IAR. 
  • Results from 22 RPS 205 schools showed above average growth compared to other schools in the state.
  • The RPS 205 Student Growth Percentile across the district improved by 7.6 percentage points. 
  • Results from 12 schools show improvement by more than 10 percentage points. 
  • The Student Growth Percentile grew at every RPS 205 middle school. 

Math highlights:

  • Results from 26 of 32 schools – or 81 percent of schools that serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade – showed schools improved their Student Growth Percentile average on the 2019 IAR. 
  • Results from 17 RPS 205 schools showed above average growth compared to other schools in the state.
  • The RPS 205 Student Growth Percentile across the district improved by 3.4 percentage points. 
  • Results from 3 schools improved by more than 10 percentage points: Hillman, Lathrop and Cherry Valley elementary schools.
  • The Student Growth Percentile grew at 5 of 7 RPS 205 middle schools. 

 Student Growth Illustrated on the 205 VIBE 

RPS 205 teachers, administrators and staff have focused on student growth for years. Several stories featuring work in 2018-19 to improve student growth were published on The Blog on the 205 VIBE: 

Hillman Elementary School: Hillman Couple United for Student Growth 

“Students in kindergarten classes at Hillman Elementary School are leading the district in growth on the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP assessment. That's a notable achievement for Hillman students and staff. ... Their combined math growth from fall to spring on MAP was 90 percent of students meeting or exceeding projections. Their combined reading growth was 87 percent of students meeting or exceeding projections.” 

Washington Elementary School: Flexibility Among Students, Teachers Pays Off at Washington 

“Third grade students at Washington Elementary School are at the top of the nation for growth in math. Their conditional growth index, which measures growth among similar students, ranks in the 99th percentile in the United States on the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP test.” 

Kishwaukee & Beyer elementary schools: Student Growth Happens in Groups 

“Grade-level teams at Kishwaukee and Beyer elementary schools were among bright spots in student growth on the most recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. … While the teams attribute their success to different factors, there are similarities. Both schools emphasize looking at the whole child as opposed to looking at data only or behaviors in isolation. Both schools use grouping to differentiate instruction — Beyer uses grouping across multiple grade levels and Kishwaukee uses grouping within a grade level.” 

More on the 205 VIBE, featuring:

More 2019 Illinois Report Card Highlights 

State designations: More than a third of Rockford Public Schools improved their status in the state’s school rankings, according to data the Illinois State Board of Education released today from the 2019 Illinois Report Card. Two schools, Thurgood Marshall Elementary and Thurgood Marshall School, raised their designation to an “exemplary” ranking in 2019, up from a “commendable” ranking in 2018. Every school receives an annual designation on the Illinois Report Card, based on each school’s overall data for all of the accountability indicators, as well as data for individual student groups. Here’s a breakdown in RPS 205: 

Lowest Performing​

  • Exemplary schools: Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Thurgood Marshall School 
  • Commendable schools: Guilford High School, Eisenhower Middle School, Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour, Bloom Elementary School, Brookview Elementary School, Froberg Elementary School, Gregory Elementary School, STEAM Academy at Haskell, Johnson Elementary School, Constance Lane Elementary School, Lathrop Elementary School, Maria Montessori at Marsh, Rolling Green Elementary School, Spring Creek Elementary School, West View Elementary School, Galapagos Rockford Charter School, Legacy Academy of Excellence Charter School. 
  • Underperforming schools: Jefferson High School, Lincoln Middle School, RESA Middle School, Carlson Elementary School, Cherry Valley Elementary School, Conklin Elementary School, Hillman Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Whitehead Elementary School. 
  • Lowest performing schools: Auburn High School, East High School, Flinn Middle School, Kennedy Middle School, West Middle School, Ellis Elementary School, Lewis Lemon Elementary School, McIntosh Elementary School, Riverdahl Elementary School, Welsh Elementary School, Jackson Charter School. 

English/Language Arts: The percent of students who met or exceeded standards in English/Language Arts increased to 19 percent, up from 17 percent on the 2018 Report Card. The state average of 37 percent remained flat from 2018 to 2019. 

Math: The percent of students who met or exceeded standards in Math increased to 14 percent, up from 13 percent on the 2018 Report Card. The state average of 32 percent remained flat from 2018 to 2019. 

SAT: The percent of students in 11th grade who meet or exceeded SAT Evidence Based Reading & Writing remained flat from 2018 to 2019 at 22 percent. It remained flat year-over-year for the state, as well, at 37 percent. In math, that percentage dropped to 14 percent in 2019 from 17 percent in 2017. It increased at the state level, from 34 percent in 2018 to 35 percent in 2019. 

Graduation rate: The district’s cumulative graduation rate increased one percentage point to 66 percent in 2019, up from 65 percent in 2018. The state average is 86 percent in 2019, up from 85 percent in 2018. RPS 205 maintains a higher graduation requirement than the state. RPS 205 requires a student to earn 48 credits to graduate, while the state requires 40 credits. 

Ninth grade on track: This data point illustrates the percent of students who are on track to graduate – meaning they have earned 12* semester credits and no more than one “F” grade in a core course: English, math, science, or social science by the end of the school year. *The state formula requires students to earn only 10 credits during freshman year; RPS 205 requires students to earn 12 credits during the same time period. Freshmen on track is at 63 percent on the 2019 report, down from 64 percent on the 2018 report. The state average also dropped to 86 percent in 2019 down from 87 percent in 2018. 

State funding connection to student achievement: For the first time, the designations and academic indicators appear alongside site-based expenditures – which is how much money RPS 205 spends per student at each school. State officials hope to take a closer look at the relationship between financial investments and student outcomes. The state announced a comprehensive change to the way school districts receive most of their state money in 2018. The new funding formula considers 26 essential elements or cost factors, which determine what every district needs to deliver a high-quality, well-rounded education. Rockford is rated a tier-one, high priority district, and was funded last year at only 60 percent of the cost of what the state deems it needs to provide students with an adequate education. This year the district will be funded at 61 percent. The goal is to get all Illinois schools to 90 percent of the cost of an adequate education – or adequacy target – within the next decade. 

What’s next: The Rockford School Board will hear more details about the Illinois Report Card at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 5. In November, RPS 205 will launch its own report, called the School Scorecard. The scorecard will allow district leaders to differentiate goals for each school. It will provide points on a scale for quality instruction, and climate & culture. Some of these key features are not traditionally reflected on the state report card. The district as a whole will have a scorecard, and each school will have its own scorecard. This scorecard will give each school’s leadership team and staff the tools they need to identify where they are on their journey and get the resources and support they need to find success.