Homewood School District 153 schools again received a "commendable" rating on the 2018-19 Illinois Report Card released Wednesday.
"While we are pleased that all three of our schools once again were rated commendable, our district's educational philosophy is to maintain a proper perspective about state mandated standardized tests. The state report cards get an over-sized amount of public and media attention, but standardized tests are just a small piece of the overall academic puzzle," said Board of Education President Shelly Marks.
Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell said District 153 places greater faith in teacher assessments and observations along with district-wide STAR tests as a more accurate reflection of student and school performance. He said those measures show District 153 students doing well and on track for their next stages of schooling.
Mitchell pointed to another piece of information on the state report card: state funding adequacy.
"It should be noted that District 153 schools continue to be rated commendable even though we only receive 61% of the funding that the state itself says we need to provide an appropriate education. We continue to perform similarly to many of school districts that are much better funded," he said.
Marks said she wishes as much attention was focused on the values and student attributes our community holds dear as on test scores.
Precious little attention is paid to all the other really important things our community values about our students, staff and schools. Kindness. Helpfulness. Work ethic. Persistence. Creativity. Artistic and/or athletic ability. Appreciation of differences. Good citizenship. A sense of humor! These are things that will never be measured on a standardized test, but we know they are just as important to student success. We work on these things every day in District 153," said Marks.