Rising ACT scores lone positive for District 205 on annualrr report cards
Rockford School District students had their highest aggregate ACT test scores since 2005-2006, according to the annual School Report Cards from the Illinois State Board of Education.
The average composite test score for District 205 students was 18.6, the highest it has been since students in the 2005-2006 class had an average of 18.7.
Last year marked the third straight year of rising test scores, which had bottomed out at 17.8 in 2012-2013. That year, Rockford-based First Midwest Group, a commercial real estate company, began sponsoring ACT Prep classes on Saturdays for all District 205 students. ACT tests are required by most colleges and universities and raising scores by even two points typically qualifies students for thousands more in academic aid.
The rising ACT scores were one of the few positives from the annual report cards. The district’s four-year graduation rate dropped from 66.2 percent to 64.6 percent. The state’s graduation rate was 85.5 percent. Rockford School District’s graduation rate hasn’t topped 70 percent since the 2010-2011 school year.
Even with the rising ACT scores, only 30 percent of the district’s graduating students were ready for college classes. The state defines that metric as scoring 21 or above on the ACT. The state’s college readiness level was 46 percent.
Finally, the district took a step back on the overall PARCC tests. PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC replaced ISATs in the 2014-2015 school year. In 2015, 23 percent of the students taking the PARCC tests met or exceeded standards. In 2016, that number dropped to 20 percent. For the state as a whole, 34 percent met or exceeded PARCC standards.
- By Alex Gary, Nov. 6, 2016