Not as Good as You Think

Not as Good as You Think

Why Middle-Class Parents in Illinois Should Be Concerned about Their Local Public Schools —

Parents know how important good schools are when deciding where to live. That’s why many are willing to stretch their budgets for a home near a “good” school. But parents should not be convinced by tree-line neighborhoods and pricey homes – the neighborhood schools may not be as good as they think, according to the findings in the new study, “Not as Good as You Think: Why Middle-Class Parents in Illinois Should Be Concerned about Their Local Public Schools”, published by the Pacific Research Institute. Illinois parents may be alarmed to discover that in a significant number of public schools located in middle class and affluent areas throughout the state — more than half of the students are not proficient in English or math in at least one grade level.

Further, hundreds of public schools in middle class and affluent areas have at least one grade level where student proficiency is lower than the average performance of schools with similar income demographics.

To learn more about a particular school or school district, type the name in the Search box on the screen. If you are unable to find your school, it means that it did not meet the criteria of a non-low income school defined in the study as a school where 33 percent or fewer of the students qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

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[Presentation]

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HOW TO READ THE TABLES

% Low-Income

The percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged students in the school. The study only includes those schools in which 33 percent or fewer of the students qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

English Prof. Less than 50% / Math Prof. Less than 50%

The number of grades in the school in which 50% or more of the students scored less than proficient on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in English-language-arts or math exam.

English Prof. Below LR / Math Prof. Below LR

A technique called linear regression-line modeling (LR in the tables) was used to show a relationship between the percentage of students in a school who are classified as low-income and the percentage of students who score proficient or above on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (English-language-arts or math) for a particular grade level. This analysis for each grade in reading and math allows for the identification of schools that are performing above or below average performance based on the performance of all the other schools in the state. This column shows the number of grades at that school that were below the average performance of all other schools with the same percentage of low-income students.

% English Prof. / % Math Prof.

The percentage of students who scored proficient or above in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test English-language-arts or math exams.

English LR Gap/Math LR Gap

A technique called linear regression-line modeling (LR in the tables) was used to estimate whether a relationship exists between the percentage of students in a school who are classified as low-income and the percentage of students who score proficient or above on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (English-language-arts or math). This column shows the percentage points above or below the average (the linear regression line) for that grade based on the percentage of students who are low-income and the percentage of students who scored proficient or higher. A positive number means that the school is performing above the average and a negative number means that the school is performing below average. The higher or lower the percentage, the larger the gap from the average.

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Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.