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Central students top state average on Illinois Science Assessment

February 05, 2018

In the spring of 2016, Central High School sophomores took for the first time the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA). The ISA was the first of its kind from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). ISBE created and developed the exam, as the state moved away from the Prairie State Assessment Exam (PSAE) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The ISA is a computer-based assessment that features 25-30 questions that requires the students to answer in essay form.

A delay in state funding prevented the scoring and releasing of the 2016 scores.

In mid-January 2018, ISBE had completed and released the 2016 ISA scores, and by the end of January 2018, ISBE released the 2017 ISA scores.

According to a release from ISBE, “The State Board approved the Illinois Science Assessment threshold scores and performance levels descriptors at its public regular business meeting on August 16, 2017. The State Board approved two performance levels for the ISA, Proficient and Not Proficient, with different threshold scores for each grade-level test, based on the recommendations of the ISBE Standard-Setting Committee for the ISA and an impact data analysis.”

The scale score needed to be proficient at the high-school level was 307.

In 2016, 85 Central sophomores took the ISA. Forty-eight (48) of the students tested scored a 307 or better (56%), with one student scoring a perfect 400. The next highest Central student scored a 372. The average scale score of Central students was a 312, which was higher than most schools in the surrounding area. Eighty-three high schools in the state of Illinois scored a 312 or better. Northside College Preparatory High School had the highest mean scale score, recording a 353.

In 2017, 87 Central sophomores took the ISA. Fifty-six (56) of the students tested a 307 or better (65%), with one student scoring a perfect 400. The next highest Central student scored a 398. The average scale score of Central students was a 315.

The ISA will be given again in 2018. The window to give the ISA is March 1-April 30. Federal accountability law requires students to be assessed in science.

--COMETS--

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