The Illinois State Board of Education released data today about school districts across the state, including Rockford Public Schools. The information was published on the Illinois Interactive Report Card.
The report card includes data about postsecondary enrollment, freshmen on track to graduate, district-level financial information, student demographic information, graduation rates and truancy. The Report Card this year does not include data on student academic growth or achievement from the PARCC exam, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The State Board plans to update the Interactive Report Card with that information later this year.
The Illinois State Board of Education made the information public this morning, but the state gives media early access with the stipulation they will not print or broadcast information until today.
RPS 205 highlights:
- The RPS 205 chronic truancy rate is two points below the state average, meaning more RPS 205 students are in class and on time. Last school year the district was on par with the state at 9 percent. While the state average is still 9 percent, the district's chronic truancy rate dropped to 7 percent. This is the first time RPS 205 has better than the state average in chronic truancy since that data has been recorded at the state level.
- The five-year graduation rate for RPS 205 students is on the rise from 67 percent in 2012 to 72 percent in 2015.
- More Hispanic students are graduating from RPS 205. The graduation rate among Hispanic students has steadily grown over the past five years – from 66.1 percent of students graduating within four years in 2011, to 71.1 percent in 2015.
- College enrollment on the rise: 56 percent of RPS 205 graduates enrolled in a two-year or four-year college within 16 months of graduation, up from 53 percent last year. Fifty-one percent of graduates enrolled within 12 months, up from 47 percent last year. College and Career Readiness is the district's focus, and officials will continue to monitor this new data point closely.
- Student attendance across the district remains constant from last year at 94 percent. Overall student attendance is on par with the state average for the second time since 2011.
- ACT scores have increased nearly 1 point from a 17.8 in 2011 to an 18.5 in 2015.
More analysis to come: Administrators are still analyzing data and looking for trends to continue to improve. One such measurement is the "freshmen on track" snapshot, which has dropped year-over-year for both RPS 205 and the state. To be considered "on track," a student must have earned at least five full-year course credits and have earned no more than one semester F in a core course – English, math, science or social science – by the end of his or her freshman year. According to internal data, RPS 205 freshmen passed more courses in 2015 than they did in 2014, despite the state figures which illustrate a drop from 92 percent in 2014 to 63 percent in 2015.
In 2014, all RPS 205 high schools were above the "freshmen on track" state average of 87.4 percent. This year, the state average dropped to 83 percent. Administrators are working on disaggregating the data and finding out more about the disparity.
Good news on graduation rates: The five-year graduation rate for RPS 205 students is on the rise from 67 percent in 2012 to 72 percent in 2015. Officials are exploring that data, but growth may be attributable to credit recovery and alternative programs.
More on the PARCC: Results released today are from 2014-15 school year demographic data. The above information is only a portion of the annual Illinois Report Card. Last month, the state released preliminary statewide results for the PARCC exam, which measures academic growth and achievement.
According to ISBE, the 2015 results and scores have taken additional time to produce. ISBE says Illinois educators and their colleagues from other states needed time to review students' work to determine the performance level threshold scores. In the future, PARCC results should be available sooner.
Initial statewide results show a downward shift in the number of students who met or exceeded expectations in math and English language arts. This shift was expected as the PARCC exam is aligned to the higher Illinois Learning Standards expectations, so PARCC results should not be compared to previous test results. The PARCC exam is drastically different from the state's previous assessments: the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE). The PARCC emphasizes critical thinking, concept mastery, problem solving and writing skills.
District administrators will continue to release reports on achievement and assessments as information becomes available.