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Low Test Scores at Mill Street Give Students Option to Transfer

After failing to meet No Child Left Behind Act standards for the second year, Naperville School District 203 officials required to offer parents the option to transfer their children.

Picking out pens and backpacks is one thing, but choosing between three different schools? Parents whose children attend may now have that option, according to officials.

The district is required to offer parents the option to transfer their children to an alternate school under the No Child Left Behind Act after Mill Street failed to meet the act’s standards for the second year in row, according to a district press release.

Low-income students did not meet the 85 percent target in the area of reading in 2011. For 2012, the same category of scores in the low-income subgroup will also not make the target of 92.5 percent proficiency in reading, according to officials.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools are expected to meet state-set goals for average yearly progress based on student achievement data collected by the school system, officials said.

However, if a waiver is approved before the first day of school on Aug. 15, the option to choose an alternate school may be withdrawn. The school choices selected by District 203 are and based on capacity, according to officials.

“Regardless of what the final outcome of a waiver request is, the focus at Mill and all our schools will remain the same. Identify where achievement needs exist for each child and provide them with the resources they need to succeed,” said Superintendent Dan Bridges in a press release. “Mill families have shown their commitment to the school, and we hope they continue to do so.”

Mill Street parents received an email regarding the option on July 30. In the email, the school's principal, Mary Baum, described how the school will be addressing the achievement gap. 

“One of the strengths Principal Baum brings to Mill is the fact that she has been through this before with schools that have been in more difficult situations. She was very successful in her prior assignments and that knowledge is going to benefit her staff, the school and the District,” said Kitty Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education in a press release.

Transfer forms must be submitted by Wednesday, Aug. 8 and priority is given to the lowest achieving children from low-income families first.

“While Mill Street administrators, teachers and support staff worked diligently to address this issue and have made strides, more needs to be done to identify and address improvement areas,” Ryan said in a press release. “Mill has a very strong community of educators and parents. We believe, working together, that Mill will make significant strides in the coming year.”

For more information, visit www.naperville203.org

The Sentinel July 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Why blame the school? Don't the low-income kids share in the blame?
Claudine Barnhart July 31, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Low income kids didn't meet the 92.5% target? Come on! That target is crazy! Think a little bit about what that means. If there are 25 low income kids, then it would just take 2 kids not to pass in order for the school not to hit their mark. The low income subgroup is made up of kids who are very transient and have huge gaps in their learning. A lot of these kids do not have the support at home. Some even come from families that do not value education. I'm sure that the staff members are working their tails off to address the needs of that subgroup. My concern is that they are forced to focus so much on the low income subgroup that the "average kid" is going to unintentionally get the shaft. Do people also realize that in addition to allowing students to switch schools, funding will be cut? That's a way to handle a "failing school"....cut money to a school that actually needs more programs to help kids. NCLB has done some good things for our schools, but it is unrealistic. 100% will be the target soon. There will be an awful lot of failing schools out there.
River Talk July 31, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Agree. Anyone in Dist 203 or 204 with that low of scores, either just got to town, or is not doing the work. Some don't know the language well. So they get to fail at another school? We have some of the best teachers anywhere.
River Talk July 31, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Isn't Illinois going to opt our of NCLB? Where is our waiver??? Ask the teachers if they want to keep it and i think they will say no.
Janice Lindegard July 31, 2012 at 05:15 PM
There is so much more to student achievement than a test score. Do kids "share in the blame"? That's a pretty board statement. A test score on the ISAT is a snapshot of the student's capability and the teacher's success in conveying the information needed to pass the test. If a kid is having a bad day, they are going to screw up the test. I have seen gifted children who excel in every subject chose the wrong answer on a test when I know they know the correct answer. I'd be much more interested to know if the children were doing well on their daily work. Obama 2012, same goes for your comment. A simple answer to a complex problem is never helpful to anyone involved.
JP4 July 31, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Claudine Barnhart said: "My concern is that they are forced to focus so much on the low income subgroup that the "average kid" is going to unintentionally get the shaft." I have a child at Ellsworth and this is one of my exact concerns too. If I sense that the teachers are having to spend a disproportionate amount of time with the kids who never learned to read at home, I would look elsewhere too. I too don't think that what's happening at Mill is the fault of the teachers or the administrators there.
QualityEducation203.org August 03, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Claudine, I'm not aware of any loss of funding if a school doesn't meet AYP.

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