Jacobs test scores drop during COVID

ALGONQUIN, IL – State education officials have released Illinois’ first report cards since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show a decline in standardized test scores among students at Jacobs High School.

The school-level assessments follow the release last month of preliminary statewide data, which showed declining academic skills for schools in the state.

Illinois State Board of Education data shows 3% fewer Jacobs students met grade-level English standards and 16% fewer students met math standards in 2021 compared to 2019, the last time report cards were completed. Throughout Community Unit School District 300, the percentage of juniors who met or exceeded the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, standards fell in both English and math.

Even with the number of SATs declining, the vast majority of Jacobs High School students went on to post-secondary education to a two- or four-year college. Within a year of graduating in 2021, 82% headed to college, compared to 78% who took the same path in 2019. That’s well above the state average of 69%.

Here’s a look at how other schools in the area have fared in terms of SAT and college acceptance rates:

  • Students at Huntley High School saw a slight increase in their English SAT scores, which rose from 51% of students meeting or exceeding the standards in 2019, up from 52% meeting this benchmark in 2021. Math scores saw a slight decrease with 48% meeting or exceeding standards in 2019 compared to 46% in 2021.
    A lower percentage of students enrolled in college after graduating in 2021 compared to 2019. In 2021, 76% of students at Huntley High School enrolled in a two- or four-year college in the year after graduation, up from 80% in 2019.
  • Dundee-Crown High School English Language Arts SAT scores increased from 24% meeting or exceeding standards in 2019 to 22% meeting this goal in 2021. Math scores also fell with 24% meeting or exceeding standards in 2019 and only 20% meeting or exceeding standards in 2021.
    The percentage of students enrolling in post-secondary education has remained low in Dundee-Crown compared to the region and state school averages. In 2021, 56% of students enrolled in a two- or four-year university, which is a decrease of one percentage point from 2019. The state average is 69% and 70% of students from District 300 headed to college in 2021.

For students who started high school in 2017, Jacobs’ four-year graduation rate was 96 percent, compared with 93 percent at Dundee-Crown High School and 94 percent at Huntley High School.

Carmen Ayala, the state’s superintendent of education, praised teachers and administrators across the state for their dedication to Illinois students in a statement announcing the new newsletters.

“The assessment data gives local communities a better insight into the impact of the pandemic on their students and what they need to recover,” said Ayala.

“We are confident that the full return to safe, in-person learning and the significant investment by the state and the federal government in our schools will provide the conditions for all of our students to thrive in the years to come,” she added. “Each school district has had a unique experience during the pandemic, with different strengths and challenges. “

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