By Kayleigh Rahn
The Tuscola Community Unit School Board of Education during its meeting Monday, Nov. 26 received a crash course in a state-provided district report card.
TCHS Principal Steve Fiscus, East Prairie Principal Carol Munson, and North Ward Principal Jason Wallace presented the state report, which provides a district snapshot of various topics regarding the Tuscola school district.
“This information is taken automatically from our student information system that the Illinois State Board pulls regarding student data, attendance, and student teacher ratio,” Munson said.
The report can be found by logging onto illinoisreportcard.com and for searching the Tuscola school district.
The interactive website highlights various data points including funding, absenteeism, student demographics, and student mobility. The data can be viewed as district-wide statistics or by specific school, which has a history of standardized test scores to compare student growth.
“The new thing for this year is the summative designation,” Munson explained. “They changed how they grade the schools.”
There are four levels by which the districts and schools are graded based on a number of factors including academic achievement, attendance, and graduation rate, among other items. Tuscola schools are considered commendable, or in the second tier.
“That means we don’t have any students in an underperforming subgroup, but what kept us out of exemplary is that we are not in the top 10 percent of all state schools,” Munson said.
A key piece of information to consider with the report is student test scores; however, it becomes difficult to compare year to year since the state tests have changed about every three to four years.
“That is why we don’t teach to tests,” Munson said. “We teach to standards.”
Fiscus noted the average ACT scores in the math and English categories are slightly above the state average, which is a good benchmark to keep.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Nov. 28 edition of The Tuscola Journal.