GROWTH BY GRADE LEVEL: A chart measuring the percentage of students meeting target growth levels on the MAP test at District 97. | District 97

Scores on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) spring exam and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam came in lower this year than last in Oak Park Elementary Schools District 97, according to an annual student performance report released by D97 officials last month. They attributed the decline to a new curriculum, implemented during the 2016-17 academic year.

Among all students who took the MAP exam, 57 percent were projected to be college-ready in reading, while 45 percent of test-takers were projected to be college-ready in math. 

The most recent MAP scores reflect a slight dip over the 2015-16 total scores, when 61 percent and 52 percent of D97 students who took the test, respectively, were projected to be college-ready in reading and math. 

Until last school year, total MAP scores in reading had climbed steadily since 2012-13, when 55 percent of students were projected to be college-ready. 

The MAP exam is administered twice a year, in the spring and fall, to second-grade and eighth-grade students and is used to measure student growth and attainment compared to a national norm. 

Fifty-one percent of all D97 students who took the exam in the spring of the 2016-17 school year met or exceeded their target growth level in reading while 45 percent met or exceeded their target growth level in math. 

“Overall, reading continues to be the stronger subject area for growth in D97,” read the report, which was drafted by Emily Fenske, the district’s director of organizational learning, and Amy Warke, the district’s chief academic and accountability officer. 

The 2016-17 growth levels in reading on the spring assessment are at their lowest point since 2012-13, when 57 percent of D97 students met or exceeded their target growth level on the spring MAP. 

As previously reported by Wednesday Journal, overall scores among D97 students on the PARCC exam were also down for 2016-17. Forty-nine percent of D97 students met or exceeded state standards on that exam, down from 51 percent last school year. 

“While these results are disappointing, we recognize that the implementation of new curricula for writing, math, science, and social-emotional learning in 2016-17 was a set of major transitions for the district,” wrote Fenske and Warke. 

“It is normal, and somewhat expected, to see an ‘implementation dip’ in the first year of these new initiatives,” they explained. “We remain proud of the direction these new curricula are taking us in, and of the hard work our teachers and staff undertook to implement them with fidelity in 2016-17.” 

The administrators added that they expect to see performance on both the MAP and PARCC exams improve over the next several years as teachers become familiar with the new curriculum. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com  

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