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District 300 has 'solid foundation' with new student achievement results

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 10:53 p.m. CDT

CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 administrators saw a slight decrease in ACT scores from its most recent class of graduates, but also saw gains in the number of students taking and passing advanced courses.

The Carpentersville-based school district overall is seeing continued improvement in its three high schools with student achievement throughout the past five years.

Total ACT scores generally are trending upward, along with student success in Advanced Placement courses. The 2013 senior class also received the most college scholarships over the past half-decade.

Assistant Superintendent Ben Churchill emphasized the trend and the need to evaluate multiple data points to accurately measure student success during a recent board meeting.

“You have to look at the data all together to paint a broad and detailed picture of what our students are doing,” Churchill said. “I believe our students are doing well. We always have room to grow, but we have a solid foundation.”

The total ACT score for the district’s 2013 senior class dipped to 20.9, missing the 2012 class’ record high score by a margin of 0.1. The national ACT average in 2013 also was 20.9 of a possible 36.

Students’ average scores on the college entrance exam at Dundee-Crown were lower than the average scores at Hampshire and Jacobs high schools. But Churchill said the increasing number of Dundee-Crown students living in poverty may have been a factor.

Since 2007, Dundee-Crown has seen a 14 percent jump in the number of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches compared with 10 percent and 9 percent increases at Jacobs and Hampshire, respectively.

“We have generally shown an upward [ACT] trend over time despite the fact that the number of students living in poverty has steadily increased,” Churchill said.

The district also saw 781 students enroll in AP courses in 2013, the highest enrollment in the past six years. Of those students, 582 of them earned passing scores on their AP exams.

“We are continuing to show gains, and we are very proud of the work of our teachers,” Churchill said.

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