Graphic by Alex Leonhard, Kaneland Krier Graphic Designer
by Amanda Schiff
Kaneland Krier Editor
KANELANDâ€”Although Kaneland High Schoolâ€™s PSAE scores declined and didnâ€™t meet federal requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress (APY), the same scores showed more students are college-ready.
Juniors are given the test and each spring, and the scores come back each fall. Studentsâ€™ scores declined in three of the four areas.
In reading, 61 percent of KHS students met or exceeded goals, a decrease of 10 percentage points from 2009. In writing, 60 percent met or exceeded, an increase of 6 points. In math, 52 percent met or exceeded, a decrease of 10 points; and in science, 57 percent met or exceeded, a decrease of four percent.
The standards, which are set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), require all schools to provide evidence that students meet learning standards. NCLB is a moving target, with schools required to have a greater percentage of students passing each year in order to make AYP. In 2008, the percentage of students who had to meet or exceed to make AYP was 62.5 percent; in 2009, it was 70 percent; and in 2010, it is 77.5 percent.
â€œThe idea behind it is that after a certain number of years, no one will fail the test,â€ Patty Welker, English department chair, said.
The scores, however, are more than just numbers. They also tell whether students are prepared to succeed in college, a measure called a College Readiness Benchmark. The difference between the two is that AYP is a general benchmark set by the state, and CRB is based on research and measures readiness of students entering college.
â€œCollege Readiness Benchmarks measure four areas: English, reading, science and math. It helps us to be specific about what students need to be ready for college. They are researched by the College Board, so we know they are a good guideline,â€ Erika Schlichter, curriculum coordinator, said.
Although the number of Kaneland students meeting or exceeding decreased in most subjects, the number of students who met College Benchmarks increased by 7 percent in both math and reading, which Schlichter said was an indicator that more students are well prepared to take college courses.
Several changes at the high school have been implemented to help more students succeed on the exams.
â€œStaff have been receiving training and have put in place multiple interventions, such as the math power review, writing intensive courses and question-of-the-day,â€ Schlichter said.
Although Kaneland is revamping its curriculum and schedule to improve test scores, the rise in college readiness is a positive sign, Ken Dentino, math department chair, said.
â€œWe are properly preparing our students for life after high school, which is obviously the most important thing we do as teachers,â€ Dentino said.