Superior “Great Schools” rankings? Think again.

Back in October, I dug into the state “report card” metrics for the District 214 school, and learned that, however much the district boasts of its top rankings and recognitions, behind that are some very troubling numbers, as Hispanic and low-income students perform only marginally better than the statewide average, and at some schools and…

Update on Covid Guidance and Keeping Schools Open

Today Gov. Pritzker announced a new level of mitigations for all regions within the state of Illinois, sharply restricting public activity and strongly urging individuals to restrict their own activity as much as possible beyond the legal limits. However, this is what the guidance says with respect to schools:  School districts and local officials should…

School board workshop, Oct. 29, 2020

What, you ask, is a board “workshop”?  It appears merely to be an opportunity for staff to give presentations.  In this case, there were three agenda items: Technology update Teaching & learning update Return to in-person update Tech:  they purchased unlimited-data hotspots, provided to all students who need them. Secure device charging stations added to…

The Missing COVID metric

School District 214 now has a number of return-to-school metrics posted on its website.  In a Google document, they now track the weekly cases per 100,000 for our local area.  Separately, they track the student and teacher infection rates. As of October 22 (as retrieved on October 25), the student infection rate stood at 0.08%…

How are students faring? A report card update.

How are District 214 students faring, after two quarters of remote learning? That’s hard to say, in any precise fashion; we’ll know more when standardized testing resumes.  For the moment, via a FOIA request, I have student grades, or, rather, a report of the percentage of students, by class and school, who received a D…

“Best high schools”? Awards? Rankings? Think again.

Here are some paragraphs from the district’s website: Township High School District 214 schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state and the country. Most recently, all six of the district’s high schools were recognized by US News & World Report and The Washington Post. US News and World Report annually ranks more…

Yes, COVID-19 is real. But that’s not the only question that matters.

Let’s start with some links, just to share where I’m getting my statistics at the moment. A site called rt.live tracks the effective rate of transmission for each of the 50 states, by incorporating positive tests and testing rates — in other words, in the spring when there was a shortage of tests, they adjusted…

In response to Petro and Dussling’s Daily Herald Self-Defense

On Saturday, October 17, School Board President Dan Petro and Vice President Bill Dussling published a letter to the editor in the Daily Herald, defending their decisions surrounding school closures and the very limited nature of the schools’ subsequent reopening.  That letter, while it attempts to be conciliatory,  is nonetheless misleading in its statements. Specifically,…

Board meeting notes, October 8, 2020

Yes, you can take a look at the minutes posted on the District 214 website, when available.  But let’s face it: those minutes provide an incomplete picture.  Here’s my account, based on my notes: The meeting started with a school staff presentation on efforts regarding the well-being of students, describing home visits being undertaken, especially…