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First 2020-2021 state achievement data show pandemic’s impact -- More data coming next spring

District 202 high school student state academic achievement dipped in 2020-21, at least partly because students did not have direct, in-person instruction for much of the last school year.

The State Board of Education on December 2, 2021, released the first round of 2020-21 academic achievement data as part of the new State Report Card. More detailed information reflecting actual assessment data from last spring’s state testing is expected in April 2022.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) updated information on the Illinois School Report Card website for school districts to the public.  District- and school-level data can be found at

The website includes district- and state-level assessment data for the 90 percent of districts statewide that opted to give accountability tests in the spring 2021, including District 202.

Ten percent of school districts are administering tests this fall. That data will be released in April along with final statewide data.   

The current report card data includes the results from the Spring 2021 Illinois Assessment of Readiness and the SAT, which test students’ mastery of grade-level standards in math and English language arts in grades 3-8 and grade 11 on the report card.

The data illustrate the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of access to in-person learning as student achievement data reveal lower rates of ninth graders on track to graduate and declines in students across grade levels attaining proficiency in math and English language arts.

District 202 students showed a 15.5 percent drop in English Language Arts (ELA) from 2019, and 16 percent drop in math from 2019 on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR.) 

All third through eighth graders take the IAR. High school juniors take the SAT college entrance exam.

Likewise, District 202 students showed a 6.7 percent drop in ELA and a 10 percent drop in Math on the SAT.  

Statewide data show similar declines: 16.6 percent fewer students met grade-level standards in English language arts in 2021 than in 2019 and 17.8 percent fewer students met grade-level standards in math. 

The state data continue to show achievement gaps between some historically marginalized demographic groups and their peers.  District 202 students have lower achievement gaps than the state through the years and showed closed gaps in IAR for 2021.

The rate of District 202 ninth-grade students on track to graduate dipped 6.5 percent from 2019 to 2021, reflecting an increase in students receiving failing grades.  Students identified as on track have earned at least five full-year course credits and have earned no more than one semester “F” in a core course.

Students who finish the ninth-grade year on track are almost four times as likely to graduate from high school as students who are not on track.  

Comparing year to year or school to school data is difficult in the current environment. ISBE does not recommend comparing 2021 rates of graduation, chronic truism or ninth graders on track to graduate to 2020 rates. However, District 202 does use statewide data to focus areas for improvement and celebrate successes.

District 202 students compared favorably to state averages in a number of areas, including: chronic truancy, chronic absenteeism, 9th Grade on Track, graduation rate, mobility rate, dropout rate, and percentage of students taught by a gifted endorsed teacher. 

The district low-income percentage rose to 32.2 percent from 2020. Graduation rates dipped one to two percent from 2020 depending on the high school.

The state report card also includes general and financial information for each district. The state did not issue summative designations to schools and districts this year, after giving all districts their 2019 designations in 2020.  

ACCESS data for English Language Learner students is currently not available.










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