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Student Academic Growth

 

Academic Achievement Significantly Improved Over 5 Years

Student academic performance in East St. Louis School District 189 is continuously improving and is near meeting national expectations according to the results of an analysis of five years of Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test data.

District 189, along with 485 other districts in Illinois, uses the State Board of Education-approved Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) to determine if a student is performing below, at or above grade level and which areas need focus to help the student continue to grow academically. MAP tests are nationally-normed, which also lets the District know how our students’ growth compares to that of students across the nation.

District 189 gives MAP tests 2-3 times per year to students in grades K-10. This allows our teachers, parents, and students to continuously monitor progress. “Our expectation is that our students’ academic skills are competitive nationally, and this test gives us one measure of progress on that goal,” said Superintendent Arthur Culver.

National academic standards do not take into account the challenges that many District 189 students face, such as extreme poverty and lack of local tax dollars for education. Our students, however, have shown that they can overcome all obstacles. “These challenges are no match for the talent and determination of our staff, students, and community,” said Superintendent Culver. MAP results tell us that Superintendent Culver is correct.

Meeting national academic growth expectations looked like a steep, uphill climb in the fall of 2012-2013 when the MAP test was first given. Our students fell well below national standards, but we expected this due to the lack of resources, personnel, and curriculum available at the time. The District had just begun adding content area specialists and implementing new curriculum.

During the past five years, due to grant funding and appropriations, we have added significant resources including a Curriculum Management Audit completed in the second year of testing and responses to the Audit beginning in the third year.  Here is a summary of the measured growth by cohort group against national growth expectations from Fall 2012 to Winter 2017.

  • From Fall 2012 to Winter 2017, student cohort groups achieved 70% to 109% of nationally normed growth expectation in math.
  • From Fall 2012 to Winter 2017, student cohort groups achieved 77% to 112% of nationally normed growth expectation in reading.

Beginning in the Fall of 2014, District 189 implemented even more supports to increase academic rigor.  Focused training of building leaders and instructional coaches along with changes in curriculum and assessment writing also contributed to marked improvement in student performance. 

When the data is assessed from Fall 2014 to Winter 2017 - the time period in which these supports have been the strongest - student growth is even more pronounced. 

  • From Fall 2014 to Winter 2017, student cohort groups achieved 83% to 178% of nationally normed growth expectation in math.
  • From Fall 2014 to Winter 2017, student cohort groups achieved 88% to 156% of nationally normed growth expectation in reading.

It is a source of great pride for District 189 that the cohort for grades 7-10 outperformed the national expectation for growth in math during this time period. The remaining cohort groups are no more than 17 percent away from achieving this goal. This is a vast improvement over the first year of testing when cohorts were significantly below national grade level standards. Some cohort groups (same students tested each time) improved up to 78 percent greater than the national expectations.

District 189 students can and will meet and exceed national standards. Resources and support are necessary for our students to succeed, and we will continue to seek grants and appropriations to supply them. 

There are many adults who deserve credit for improved academic growth in East St. Louis School District 189, including teachers, administrators, staff, parents, churches, community, strategic partners, the local Board, and the State Board of Education. It is the students, however, who have accepted the challenge of meeting national academic growth standards and who are well on their way to success. 

For specific information about your student’s progress, contact the school principal.

To access the full NWEA Growth Analysis for Fall 2012, Fall 2014 - Winter 2017, click here.