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School report card issued to PHS

PRINCETON — Information on class size, average teacher salary and the academic performance of its students is now available for Princeton High School through the 2012 Illinois Interactive Report Card.

The 2012 report card for all school districts in Illinois was compiled by Northern Illinois University with support from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Principal Andy Berlinski presented the 2012 Illinois Interactive Report Card for PHS at last week’s school board meeting. The board did not discuss the report card at its meeting. The report card is available online through the school’s website or a hard copy is available at the high school.

On Tuesday, Berlinski said the school report is based on Prairie State Achievement Examination, which is a combination of the ACT exam and state of Illinois Work Keys test scores for junior students. In addition to academic performance information, the school report card also includes other school information including demographics, enrollment, teacher salary, teacher experience, administration information and school finances.

The report card also states whether a school district met the federally-mandated Academic Yearly Progress (AYP) for the year, which PHS did not. However, AYP fails to take into account the fact the students testing on the PSAE are different from year to year, Berlinski said.

“Because of that, it is difficult to see from the test in April whether or not the school is truly progressing from year to year,” Berlinski said. “As each class contains different students with different skill levels when they enter our doors as freshmen, the test does not measure the growth that each student make from their freshmen year to junior year.”

During the past few years, PHS has continued to see increases in the number of students who have met or exceeded the test standards, which reflects the hard work which students and teachers have dedicated to preparing for these tests in April, Berlinski said.

“I am most happy to continue to see growth by our students, which isn’t necessarily anything that can be found in the school report card,” Berlinski said. “The numbers found in the report card reflect different students from one year to the next. What is most encouraging is that these scores continue to show growth among the students from their freshman to junior year.”

With the newly implemented Common Core School Standards, new assessments will be given at all schools in Illinois, Berlinski said. The Prairie State Achievement Examination at the high school level and Illinois Standard Achievement Test at the elementary/junior high level will be replaced by a new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers assessment, he said.

In looking at some summary highlights, the 2012 Interactive Report Card shows the average class size for PHS at 19.6 students, which is a slight decrease from the previous three years, and that 93.8 percent of PHS students are described as white, with about 28 percent of students designated as low income. Also, the report card states the average teacher salary at PHS was $74,609, with the average teacher experience at 16.6 years and the average administrator salary at $109,868.

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